More incentives to push house sales

  • Business
  • Monday, 21 Jul 2003

Property Talk: A weekly column by S.C. Cheah

DEVELOPERS are giving big discounts, attractive rental guarantee, free maintenance fees and a host of other incentives that includes a contest with a BMW 318iA as the grand prize to push sales in the current sluggish property market. 

Today, in the second part of our survey on how these developments are faring, we shall look at a few more such packages. 

l Bandar Botanic in Klang: This is probably one of the most successful projects in the Klang Valley. Gamuda Land has introduced a very strong “garden” concept as well as incentive package for purchasers. 

Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew showing a model of the Country Heights 2. He is introducing CHIPI for his affordable apartments priced below RM100,000.

Its sales and marketing manager Leslie Quah said the BBHomes (Bandar Botanic Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme) 1 and 2 had been a great success, achieving RM30mil to RM35mil sales a month.  

“We have sold close to 400 houses since we launched the schemes three months ago. Without this pac- kage our sales could have dropped drastically because of the recent war in Iraq and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS),” he said, adding that the new BBHOMES3 would continue up to July 31.  

Although BBHOMES2 and 3 do not have the retrenchment protection plan as in BBHOMES1 and offer only 5% and 4% respectively, instead of 6% incentive on the down payment compared to BBHOMES1, people are still attracted to it. Other incentives under this package are the extended warranty on paint; waterproofing and anti-termite treatment; 24 months defect liability period instead of 18 months; and no interest on the loan during construction period. 

l Bayu Lakehomes: This 1,384-acre development by Island & Pen- insular Bhd in Pajam, Negri Sem- bilan, is 35km south of Putrajaya. It consists of homesteads (vacant bungalow lots, double and single-storey detached houses) and a small commercial area. 

Buyers of its bungalow lots can opt for two plans. Under Plan 1 they will enjoy interest-free flexible payment for up to three years while Plan 2 offers big rebates.  

For example, they can get RM30,000 rebate for phase 1B2 lots of 6,000 sq ft (RM24 psf). For phases 1A6, 1A8 and 1A9 lots of 9,000 sq ft each, the rebate is RM40,000. Price per lot is from RM16 to RM24 psf. There is a RM50,000 rebate for the bigger phases 1A3, 1A4 and 1A5 lots of 12,000 sq ft and a RM70,000 rebate for the 21,000-sq ft lot (RM16 psf) under phase 1A1. The freehold bungalow lots with individual title are completed with infrastructure and ready for construction. 

·Taman Universiti: BBN Deve- lopment Sdn Bhd, the developer of this mixed township in Bandar Baru Nilai, has slashed prices of its houses. The Natasha two-storey terrace house priced at RM173,880 is now down to RM153,000 for the first 50 buyers. Free automatic gate is also thrown in. Likewise, the price of the 22ft x 75ft two-storey terrace Teratai has been reduced from RM158,880 to RM148,000 and the Suria (22ft x 70ft) single-storey terrace house is now priced at RM91,000, a discount of RM7,880 from the original price of RM98,880. Other savings include free stamp duty and free legal fees on the sale and purchase agreement (SPA). 

l Sutera apartments in Kajang Utama: Those looking for an apartment in Kajang will be pleased to know that the developer, MRCB Utama Sdn Bhd, is making home ownership easier and more affordable. Under its Sutera e-plan, buyers will enjoy savings of RM6,610 that include free smart home system worth RM4,000, free legal fee on the SPA, free legal fee on loan agreement and up to 100% loan. Civil servants earning RM1,000 per month and above can qualify for a 100% loan. There is only a RM500 down payment. 

The freehold three-bedroom/two bathroom apartments, with 980 sq ft to 1,114 sq ft built-up area, are priced from RM99,910 to RM121,500. Each unit has a balcony and wash area. 

l Taman Tasik Prima: Houses in this new development in Puchong are selling very well. Bumiputra purchasers get 12% discount while non-bumiputra buyers get 5% discount besides free stamp duty, free legal fees on the SPA and subsidised legal fees on loan agreement. 

Bolton Bhd senior marketing ma- nager Joyce Sin said the package also included free grilles for all doors and windows of the Andaman (22ft x 75ft) and Idaman (22ft x 70ft) double-storey terrace houses. Buyers of the Sutra 22ft x 75ft double-storey terrace house get a RM5,000 “early bird”. 

l Taman B.K. Sentosa, Klang: Besides the usual freebies like free security system, the developer Farjar Marketing & Development Sdn Bhd, is offering free maintenance fees for 25 years (savings of at least RM10,000!) for its three-bed- room/two bathroom apartments priced from RM58,500. 

However, not all developers are jumping onto the bandwagon. For established players like Sime UEP, the location and its famous Sime UEP Homes brand sell, as shown by the continued good response to its launches, particularly in Putra Heights. All 119 units of the 20ft x 70ft Mahogany link houses in Putra Heights were sold within a week of the launch on May 21. 

Following the hallmark “alternating facades in series” concept, the Mahogany also offers different facades, internal layout, and built-up to suit individual tastes and budget. It has a family area on the first floor, something one may not often find in 20ft x 70ft homes. 

What probably attracts buyers, besides the good location, is the pricing: from only RM179,888 to RM203,888 (intermediate units) with gross built-up areas of 1,290 to 1,470 sq ft, and RM229,888 to RM450,888 for end and corner units with gross built-up areas of 1,700 to 2,240 sq ft. 

Sime UEP Properties Bhd general manager (consumer and communications) Raymond Chong said more than 300 registrants came for the balloting and about 80% were sold that day. All the bumiputra units were sold within a week. 

A developer to watch is the Coun- try Heights group. They first astounded the market with its innovative Country Heights Innovation In Pro- perty Investment (CHIPI) programme when it was introduced to buyers of its Country Heights Damansara bungalow lots with a guaranteed full re- fund of the purchase price. 

Now Country Heights Holdings Bhd managing director Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew plans to extend this reward scheme to loyal purchasers of its 650-sq ft fully furnished apartments priced from RM88,000. Buyers pay only RM8,800 upon signing the SPA and after 28 years they get back the full purchase price. 

“CHIPI benefits not only the high-end but also the mid-end property purchasers. I believe CHIPI is one of the strategies for the Country Heights group to grow. Others can follow but they may not be able to deliver. For CHIPI to work one must be very prudent and prepared to sacrifice one's (profit) margin,” he said at the opening of the group's sales and show office last month. 

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