Bright days ahead for Mont’ Kiara


  • Business
  • Monday, 06 Jan 2003

By LIEW LAI JING

Datuk Michael Yam

SUNRISE Bhd, developer of the prestigious Mont'Kiara condominiums, is ushering in the new year with hopes of investing abroad and securing more joint-venture deals with landowners. 

Seeing vast opportunities in China's residential market, the company has begun exploratory talks with some parties for some possible property deals. 

As Sunrise is still in the midst of a preliminary discussion, it could not reveal any details at this juncture but sees huge opportunity in the residential segment in the republic, especially with the rising affluence in the republic. 

“Prices of residential units in China are generally two to three times higher for a comparative unit in Malaysia,” Sunrise chief executive officer Datuk Michael Yam told StarBiz in an exclusive interview.  

For a bare unit without finishings such as floor tiles and even a toilet bowl, the selling price was RM500 per sq ft, he said. 

“In any residential development, the target market should be the locals,” he said, in reply to a question if its potential partners in China were looking at building and selling these units to foreigners or expatriates.  

This is especially in view of the numerous relocations of multi-national companies to the country.  

As for its plans to go into joint-venture projects with landowners, Sunrise has a maiden project to co-develop a 4.1-hectare prime site in Saujana Golf and Country Resort with Handal Dinamis Sdn Bhd.  

“We are selective when we talk to landowners as we want to make sure that our products sell. We are consistently producing quality homes and buyers know that when they purchase a unit, they can be assured of its quality. 

“Hence, we look for land owners with prime locations,” Yam said, reciting the mantra of every property developer. In the next two years,  

Sunrise expects to seal five joint venture deals with land owners. 

A testimony of its quality product is a high Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS) score from the Building & Construction Authority of Singapore. 

For its recently completed block of high-rise Mont’ Kiara Bayu, Sunrise’s standards of construction for its condominiums continue to climb, rising to 79.8 points.  

The rating measures the quality of architectural and external works and the maximum score is 100 points.  

“This is the highest score we have achieved to date for a Sunrise Mont’ Kiara unit,” Yam said, adding that the four preceding phases also notched up scores of above 75 points.  

Although there are plans to expand its earnings by investing abroad, the thrust of Sunrise’s earnings in the near term will still come from its projects in Malaysia, especially its Mont’ Kiara development.  

The hive of on-going activities at its flagship development reflects only a part of the vibrancy of the management’s plan to take on challenges of the future and test its ability to sell its products compared with those offered by competitors that have flocked to the area.  

Among the competitors, the Sri Hartamas–Mont’ Kiara vicinity is shaping up beautifully as a second Bangsar, a favourite spot for night crowds. 

“About 40% of our buyers are repeat and referred buyers. And 70% of the home purchasers buy our units as an investment and to lease out,” he said, adding that sales for the Mont'Kiara project had already topped the RM1bil mark.  

Prices of its Mont’ Kiara Bayu condominiums started at about RM200 per sq ft while its Mont’ Kiara Damai units were marketed at RM400 per sq ft. Both launches were completely sold out. 

Asked why someone would pay a premium for a condominium at Mont’ Kiara, Yam said that this question was best answered by another question:  

“Why would someone pay so much more for a two-litre luxury car when he could easily get another make for a lot less?”  

Obviously, Yam said, the buyer of the more expensive luxury marque appreciates and values the features, safety and quality imbued. The driver was willing to pay more for quality, he reasoned.  

Yam said: “But buying a Mont’ Kiara unit is more rewarding than purchasing a car. Our purchasers are not only getting good yields over the years, their units also appreciate (in value) as time goes by. 

“The profile of the repeat buyer is normally a Malaysian expatriate earning US dollars and serving a contract overseas with the intention of coming back to Malaysia eventually.  

With his earning power, he buys his first unit and leases it until he is back. As the years go by, he sees good returns from his first unit and then decides to buy more units.  

We have people who come to us saying: 'Hey, we have bought so many units of condominiums from you. How about giving us some discount?” 

That sparked off the idea of a privilege card.  

“To qualify for a gold card, the purchaser would have bought a minimum RM3mil worth of properties from us.  

We have 80 members in this category.  

So that shows we have a group who believe in our property products as an investment,” Yam said. 

To qualify for the Priority (Silver) card category, the card member would have spent between RM1mil and RM3mil, while the Prosperity Card (Classic) card would be allotted to those with purchases worth below RM1mil. 

The privilege card entitles the holder to discounts on the sales prices for Sunrise properties – 2% for the Gold card member, 1.5% for the Silver card holder, and 1% for the Classic member.  

The Plaza Mont’Kiara has been planned so that its residents can shop for gifts or party knick-knacks and the young working professionals can hang out at al fresco outlets for a coffee break or surfing the Internet wireless at their favourite spots via the broadband access.  

Its Mont’Kiara business centre, located with Plaza Mont'Kiara, offers work area and facilities which are available on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rental. 

Sunrise has a winning formula in hand.  

Its top-notch branding, meticulous planning and strategy will pave the path for the future as it no longer has to rely solely on scouring for prime land acquisition to expand its business; landowners are now approaching Sunrise to be their development partner. 

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