MORE developers are going for niche up-market developments in Penang, but recent checks showed that sales of some of them have slowed down.
One hillside project is only half sold more than six months after its official launch and nearly a year since its soft launch, while a seaside project is only 60% sold two years after launching.
Despite the overall softening of the property market in the country, developers in this northern state seem “gung-ho” and continue to build homes for the rich.
Newcomers include PDC Properties Sdn Bhd’s first high-end project, the RM260 mil D’ Residence that is part of PDC’s flagship Bayan Mutiara and Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd’s The Mayfair in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah with 48 units of 5,000 sq ft luxury suites priced between RM1.92mil and RM2.1mil for typical units.
E & O Property Development Berhad has also launched its Seri Tanjung Pinang in Tanjung Tokong.
Meanwhile, it was work as usual during the recent Chinese New Year where several developers held “open houses” or property exhibitions to woo the “balik kampung crowd”.
Ivory Properties Sdn Bhd is still pushing its Penang Times Square in Jalan Datuk Keramat and held a sales exhibition at the Gurney Plaza offering a 10% discount and RM8,888 ang pow for buyers. The Belleview Group held a sales exhibition of their Slim Villas at the Island Plaza from Jan 31 to Feb 5.
In Bukit Mertajam developers like Peninsular Palms Development Sdn Bhd were giving a Gong Xi Fa Cai new year bonus package including a free 1.5hp air-conditioner for its two-storey terrace houses priced from RM178,888 in Sukun Indah. The company is also building bungalows in its Taman Saujana Permai in Bukit Mertajam.
Besides targeting the wealthier folks, these developers also hope to sell to affluent Klang Valley buyers who may want to invest in Penang, or who plan to buy a nice retirement home on the island. The other target groups include yuppies and foreigners who may want to make Penang their “second home”.
However, rising prices of land and construction materials have also seen house prices going up. Some nearly 50-year-old terrace houses in the Jalan Anson areas like Nirvana Terrace and Lebuhraya Bodhi are going for more than RM500,000 with corner units fetching even more.
Let us take a look at two of these projects that the writer visited during the Chinese New Year.
Putra Marine Resort: The apartments are quite large with sizes from 2,027 to 2,723 sq ft for standard units and 3,915 sq ft for a RM1mil duplex unit (inclusive of a balcony) on level 1 and 2 and 3,752 sq ft for a RM1.4 mil penthouse suite on the top floor. At only RM277 psf (reasonable by KL standard), the average price is RM700,000 to RM800,000.
I was told that 60% to 70% of the units had been sold since its launch two years ago. There’s a 5% discount.
As all the 126 units in the 18-storey condominium by TechWare Enterprise Sdn Bhd face the sea, residents will enjoy a nice view of either the Penang Bridge or Pulau Jerjak.
I was quite impressed with the very spacious and tastefully furnished show unit. The sales office occupies an actual duplex unit on the first two floors.
This area is booming due partly to the new coastal highway, improved infrastructure and the revival of the stalled Bayan Bay project by the CP Group (now called Queensbay) that have shifted house buyers’ interest to this area. Tesco hypermarket is five minutes' drive away.
Techware is also building a bridge just outside the project to link the coastal expressway interchange. This and other developments will enhance the area’s image and further boost property values in the adjacent areas like Taman Century.
Alila in Tanjung Bungah: A two-day “open house” and satay party was held at the Alila show village from Jan 31.
Its Garden Villas are priced between RM700,000 and over RM800,000. The undulating terrain has a good view of the Fettes Park area and the sea.
Hunza Properties group managing director Daisy Ooi said sales of the 418-unit project had been “encouraging”.
“We’ve got a lot of registrants from potential foreign buyers from UK, Hong Kong, and US. We have a very good lifestyle concept that is gated and appeals to the younger generation. It is a very challenging project and we’ve done a lot of research,” she added.