Mah Sing cements foothold in Rawang - Business News | The Star Online

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Mah Sing cements foothold in Rawang


Good appeal: Chong and Ho posing with a scale model of the company’s project. Ho says there are several features in M Aruna that will appeal to the house buyers despite the current soft market conditions.

Good appeal: Chong and Ho posing with a scale model of the company’s project. Ho says there are several features in M Aruna that will appeal to the house buyers despite the current soft market conditions.

Property developer launches third project called M Aruna

FRESH from its rebranding exercise in March, property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd is preparing the launch of its third project in Rawang, Selangor.

The unveiling of M Aruna @ Rawang will further cement the Mah Sing brand in that locality. Rawang is between 30km and 35km from Kuala Lumpur. Rawang has attracted a number of developers to add their footprint in that town of about 120,000 as its proximity to Kuala Lumpur is attractive to developers.

Mah Sing is one of them. Its latest project M Aruna has a total land area of 97 acres. There will be a total of 565 units, comprising two-storey linked units and two-storey cluster garden homes. The entire project will have a gross development value of RM520mil.

Chief executive officer Datuk Ho Hon Sang says there are several features in M Aruna that will appeal to house buyers despite the current soft market conditions. The first is the price, second is concept and third is the growing accessibility.

Its phase one will be priced from RM550,000 onwards. According to real estate negotiators, the most popular units are those in the RM500,000 to RM600,000 region. In terms of housing types, double-storey terraced are the most popular. This was confirmed by the National Property Information Centre.

Attractive pricing: The living area of M ArunaRawang phase two showhouse.
Attractive pricing: The living area of M Aruna@Rawang phase two showhouse.

At that price, M Aruna seems to be a good buy in today’s prevailing high price environment.

Ho says: “The market today is challenging. Competition is great and cost of complying with regulations imposed by the various utility has rocketed significantly. The economy is not exactly flying and further more, affordable housing is becoming a big focus and will be coming in the market in a big scale going forward. So the higher end of the market will be taking a back seat.”

Because of the competition, the developer has attractively priced M Aruna at just over a half a million ringgit. The built-up area of its phase one units is about 1,700 sq ft (or 20ft x 60ft). Not withstanding that price point, the developer will be putting a lot of effort to differentiate this latest development from its two previous projects in Rawang.

Tag-lined “the secret garden”, the concept comes with open space and greenery; this is its selling point in this leasehold development. Ho says there will be a lot of greenery, linear walkways or jogging path in the development.

To keep its monthly maintenance low, units are individually titled, says Ho. He says there will be pros and cons to this.

In a strata development, owners are governed and protected by the law. Permission is needed for any external renovation. There will also be uniformity in colour as owners are not allowed to paint their properties any colour they like.

This legal structure is not imposed on individual titled units. Therefore, there may be a tendency for owners to renovate their units and over time, this may change the look and feel of the place.

“M Aruna will be value for money,” says Ho.

Ho says the aim is to bring lifestyle living even at the half-a-million ringgit level, something unheard before over the last several years as house prices went through the roof. Generally, lifestyle homes have been equated with prices in the region of RM800,000 and above.

Mah Sing’s target audience for M Aruna are first time home buyers and young families.

“At the end of the day, M Aruna – as with our two previous projects – will be offering a lifestyle experience to buyers,” says Ho.

There will be a total of four phases with the fourth comprising 240 units of town houses. This will be the company’s “commitment” towards affordable housing.

Town houses will have a built-up area of about 1,000 sq ft and will come with three rooms. The indicative price for the town houses is from about RM200,000 onwards, says sales and marketing general manager Angela Chong.

“Our plan is to build a diverse community in every one of our projects,” says Chong who oversees all three projects.

She says buyers from Kepong and Selayang form a percentage of buyers. Local Rawang residents and surrounding areas form the bulk of their purchasers in M Residences and M Residences 2.

Property development is expanding and changing the Rawang landscape, not only in terms of the number of units but in terms of the physical structures.

It was not too long ago that Rawang had its country homes. When that project was launched, it attracted buyers form Kuala Lumpur. Today, changes continue as new landscaped communities are being planned and developed. Its network of road infrastructures have also improved.

The efforts to provide better accessibility is continuous, says Ho.

“Once these road works are completed, Rawang will expand even further,” says Ho.

In the older parts of Rawang, housing comprises mainly barrack-style single and double storey landed located. There are quite a number of bungalows but the access and internal roads are generally narrow. It is against this backdrop that Mah Sing’s modern contemporary neutral colours have become its hallmark.

Ho says the company saw potential in Rawang due to its proximity to the city. The company bought 226 acres in October 2011 and that eventually became M Residence @ Rawang. That first project has a take-up rate of 93% and is about 60% occupied. Most of the buyers are up-graders and investors from the Rawang and nearby townships. When non-strata freehold M Residence was launched, prices started from RM360,000. It is, however, a guarded development.

A year later in 2012, the group bought its second parcel of about 157 acres and launched it as M Residence 2 @ Rawang, with the alphabet “M” as part of its branding process. Currently, this second project has a take-up rate of 88%. Although it is leasehold, M Residence 2 is a strata gated and guarded development. Units were launched from about R620,000 onwards.

Mah Sing has a total of 480 acres in Rawang. On whether it will continue to buy land in the area, Ho says this is a possibility but it will be selective.

“Kuala Lumpur is expanding fast. In the city, residential units can only go upwards whereas Rawang has the space for growth. Malaysians generally prefer landed housing, which means they will have to buy further away from the city if they want this form of housing.

“That is why we believe Rawang has the potential. Because we are not constrained by space, we are able to offer bigger built-up areas in our units and more open space.”

Over the last five to six years, supermarket chains like Tesco Extra and Aeon have also expanded there. This has helped to raise the lifestyle of the Rawang community and surrounding areas like Kundang and Bandar Tasik Puteri. Currently, the market in the town centre is the focal point for the population but over time as new housing projects take shape in the peripheral, Rawang’s vibrancy is expected to increase.

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