Mah Sing eyes bigger affordable housing stake

PETALING JAYA: Mah Sing Group Bhd’s landbanking strategy of locking in large tracts of township land is sharpening the developer’s competitive edge to carve a bigger market share in the affordable housing sector.

Following the Government’s market cooling measures that also involved the tightening of bank lending guidelines, the mid-end property market looks likely to make up the bulk of new house purchases going forward.

Mah Sing group managing director cum group chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum (pic) said that for 2014, 81% of the company’s target residential launches would comprise mainly mass to mid-segment products priced at RM700,000 and below.

The company has a remaining landbank of 2,818 acres worth a gross development value (GDV) of RM26.82bil. It is targeting to improve sales by 20% from the 2013 level of RM3bil.

Mah Sing will be one of the biggest exhibitors at this year’s Starproperty Fair to be held at Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam from May 30- June 1, in Penang at Gurney Plaza from July 24-27, in Petaling Jaya at Tropicana City Mall from Oct 17-19, and also at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Nov 21-23.

“Our projects are targeted at buyers who buy for own use or for long-term rental income. Hence the take-up rate of our projects has not been much impacted,” Leong said.

Its 480 acres in Rawang will offer mostly link houses priced from RM400,000; phase one of Southville@KL South on 428 acres in Bangi will comprise mainly affordable apartments priced from RM338,000; and the 1,352 acres in Bandar Meridin East will have mostly affordably priced linked houses.

Leong said several research houses concurred that property demand might improve this year due to the impending implementation of the goods and service tax (GST) in April 2015.

“Buyers are expected to take advantage of the current accommodative interest rate regime given the experience in other countries where buyers purchased properties in anticipation of future cost-push inflation on asset prices,” he added.

Although Mah Sing has shifted its focus to mass-market products to cater to the average buyers, it is still maintaining some higher-end products in selected locations. These include One Legenda in Cheras comprising 3-storey bungalows, Aspen in Cyberjaya within a resort environment, M City in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Icon City, and Icon Residence.

Leong said key projects by Mah Sing this year included The Meridin@Medini in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, an 8.19-acre integrated development comprising the Meridin Linx SoVo, Meridin Exchange Corporate Towers, Meridin Walk Lifestyle Retail and Office Tower and a Wellness Residential Enclave, with a total GDV of RM1.1bil.

In the second and final phase of the project, there will be affordable small sized commercial units, the Meridin Suites and Meridin Sovo.

Also in Johor, the RM5bil Bandar Meridin East is a proposed 1,352 acre-integrated township within the vicinity of Masai-Pasir Gudang-Tg Langsat eastern growth corridor.

In the Klang Valley, Southville City@KL South in Bangi is expected to see strong demand for its 2½-storey linked houses with built-up of 2,650 sq ft priced from RM860,000.

Meanwhile, Star Residence, an integrated project in Subang Bestari, is a purpose built development comprising serviced apartments and shops. In the first phase, serviced apartments from 682 sq ft, indicatively priced from RM307,800, will cater to buyers working in Subang Airport and the nearby business parks.

Lakeville Residence in Taman Wahyu, Kepong, offers serviced residences with indicative built-up from 950 sq ft, 1,200 sq ft and above. The residential units have indicative price from RM668,800.

The other projects include M Residence 3 in Rawang and D’Sara Sentral in Sungai Buloh.

In Penang, Ferringhi Residence in Batu Ferringhi is preparing to launch phase two to keep up with spill over demand from phase one resort condo villas and to benefit from the proposed Teluk Bahang-Tanjung Bungah new paired road.

In Southbay City, the largest phase on 34.5 acres of the massive Southbay township will feature integrated commercial and lifestyle developments made up of a mixture of residential suites, office suites, Grade A offices, retail outlets, hotel and resort, and other recreational attractions.

Another project in Penang is The Loft, located about 1km from the second Penang bridge, consisting of two towers housing 78 serviced residences on each block. The luxury residential suites have built-up of 1,378 sq ft to 1,680 sq ft.

In Sabah, KK Convention City along the coastal highway will comprise a luxury hotel, office towers, shop offices, lifestyle retail, a business hotel and serviced residences.

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