A & M Realty ventures into high-end market


By S.C. CHEAH

KLANG-BASED A & M Realty Bhd is on a comeback trail to spring some pleasant surprises for the Klang Valley property market. 

First, it is offering 16 semi-detached houses in its Kemuning Greenhills in Shah Alam for only RM418,000 and RM428,800 for units facing the north and south, respectively, for the coming launch of its phase 2A on May 15. 

These 32ft x 70ft houses with a Spanish design, called the Palace, are expected to be snapped up as the prices are very competitive considering that larger semi-detached units nearby are priced over RM900,000, and that construction costs are rising. 

The asking price of many 24ft x 75ft double-storey terrace houses in USJ with about the same built-up area of over 2,000 sq ft are between RM390,000 and RM450,000. 

Datuk Ng Thian Hock (right) with his son Steven Ng showing a model of the Palace semi-detached house in Kemuning Greenhills, Shah Alam.

Why is the group, listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia, selling at this affordable price? 

A & M Realty chairman and director Datuk Ng Thian Hock told StarBiz that he wanted to clear off quickly the remaining parcel of land in Kemuning Greenhills where the semi-detached houses were being built so that he could go on to other projects. 

Sixty semi-detached houses have been sold, with another 105 units to be launched. He said many of the buyers were from nearby areas like Subang Jaya and USJ who were upgrading to semi-detached houses. 

All 16 Palace units priced at RM360,800 and 10 units of the Windsor (English design), also 32ft x 70ft semi-detached houses and priced at RM370,800, in phase 1A have been sold. Phase 1B comprising 12 Palace and 22 Windsor units are about 90% sold with limited bumiputra units left. Many of these houses are nearing completion. 

Ng said one could get a semi-detached house in Kemuning Greenhills for less than half the price of some semi-detached units in the vicinity.  

“Why buy a link house where for about RM400,000 you can buy a semi-detached unit that comes with very good quality finishes?” Ng asked, adding that there was scarce freehold land in Shah Alam. 

The name Kemuning Greenhills may not ring a bell, but this freehold project launched in early 2003, is sandwiched by Bukit Rimau, Berjaya Park and Kota Kemuning, a large township with nice upmarket houses. 

One can reach Kemuning Greenhills by entering Kota Kemuning via an interchange from the Kuala Lumpur-Shah Alam (Kesas) Highway. Four schools, including the China Taipei School, surround Kemuning Greenhills. The new Bukit Rimau interchange that is under construction will provide further access from the Kesas Highway. 

Ng, 58, who spends most of his time travelling abroad, has come out of his “retirement” to introduce some of the overseas concepts for an interesting high-end development next to Kemuning Greenhills where the company has some land. He declined to elaborate except to say it would be a unique gated and guarded community and “it's going to be our signature project.” 

In any case, the only sizeable land bank it has in the area is its 200-acre 18-hole Bukit Kemuning Golf & Country Resort. This popular golf course with a clubhouse sits on prime land that has the potential of being turned into an exclusive residential enclave and one that could enhance the property values of Kemuning Greenhills, a mere stone's throw away. A major access road from the Kesas Highway is being built into Kemuning Greenhills. 

As some observers noted, the area does not need two golf courses. The other one is the 18-hole Kota Permai Golf & Country Club located within Kota Kemuning. 

Another upcoming project is a 3,000-acre joint-venture development in Pulau Carey. It will have, among others, a golf course, townhouses, marina and recreational facilities. “It will be a resort tourism project with Yaysan Selangor and will be a big hit,” said Ng. 

Ng, a very low-profile developer, has four sons and a daughter. Two of his sons are in A & M Realty. The eldest, Datuk Ambrose Leonard Ng Kwee Heng, is the managing director while another son Steven, 24, is the general manager. 

“The most important thing is that one must not be too greedy. One must also not have too high gearing. We did well even during the past recessions because we have a passion in whatever we do and we believe in giving value for money,” said Ng, who feels that property is still the best form of investment. 

“Now is the time to buy property as the market is coming back. However, one must look at the location as well as the developer's track record,” he advised. 

He is particularly proud of the company's Taman Sentosa project in Klang as it has become “very vibrant” with good access to many places. 

He said when Taman Sentosa was started in 1982 the single-storey link houses were sold for about RM44,000. Today, they are worth about RM100,000, while the double-storey link houses sold for RM80,000 are fetching about RM250,000. 

Ng said a sports complex with a unique concept would be built in Taman Sentosa. The 150 units of three-storey shop office there are also commanding good values. Its first apartment project, Villa Sentosa in Taman Sentosa launched in 2000 (two nine-storey blocks of 320 apartment units), has been fully sold and completed six months ahead of schedule. 

He said Taman Sentosa was surrounded by new developments like Bandar Botanic and Bandar Puteri Klang. “You can say Taman Sentosa was the catalyst for growth in this area.” 

A & M Realty, set up in 1978, has built and sold some 15,000 to 20,000 units of mostly medium-cost housing in Batang Berjuntai, Kapar, Meru and Klang Utara. It is also venturing into manufacturing plastic and automotive parts, distribution, and leisure and resort. 

 Stock Watch On A&M

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