HIGH-RISE residential developments are sprouting up in the Sarawak state capital as more developers cash in on the good demand for apartments and condominium units amid a slow market.
The supply of condominium units is expected to jump by 50% in the next two years as some 5,000 units are currently under construction or undergoing earthworks, according to C H Williams Talhar & Wong (WTW).
Last year, more than 1,000 units were completed, and the real estate services company says the sub-segment continues to outshine other sub-segments of the residential sector.
The newly completed condominium projects are Sky Villa (576 units) along Jalan Batu Kawa, Riverine Emerald (168 units) along Jalan Petanak, D’Jewel (118 units) along Jalan Sherip Mashor, Tribeca (104 units) along Jalan Urat Mata and Uplands Serviced Suites (54 units) along Jalan Simpang Tiga.
Ongoing high-rise condominium projects include P’ Residence (276 units) along Jalan Batu Kawa, Sapphire on the Park (206 units) along Jalan Batu Lintang and The Royalle (76 units) along Jalan Stampin.
“Condominium units at these development range from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft and can command rentals between RM1,500 and RM3,000 per month, depending on the location, furnishings and unit size.
“Prices for condominium units continue to record increases of between 10% and 15% for the year (2014), with prices as high at RM700 per sq ft for units at Sapphire and Lagenda,” WTW says in its newly released 2015 Property Market Report.
Sapphire on the Park is one of two upmarket high-rise developments by Naim Holdings Bhd. The other is The Peak condominium project in Bintulu.
The report says the condominium sector is expected to enjoy good take-up rate and an increase in prices this year.
Ongoing high-rise apartment projects listed in the report include Samarahan Greens @ Samarahan (308 units) along Jalan Mohd Musa, Ryegates III (130 units) in Jalan Airport, de LOFTS @ Emporium Kuching (120 units) on Jalan Tun Jugah, The Cube @ Dogan (94 units) in Jalan Dogan and The Echelon (82 units) at Lorong Lapangan Terbang 5.
According to WTW, take-up rates of apartments generally remain steady at between 50% and 70% within a year of launch. The more affordable units priced below RM400 per sq ft such as those in the Stutong area enjoy even higher sales with some of them snapped up within a month.
According to a developer, strata-titled condominium and apartment units are popular among the younger generation, especially professionals. They like the conveniences, security features and facilities provided.
“High-rise residential units offer a more affordable alternative to first-time house buyers. Landed properties in the city have become too expensive and are beyond the reach of many wage earners,” one of the developers tells StarBiz, which confirms the WTW report that semi-detached houses in the city prime location had breached RM1.5mil in 2014 due to the increase in land and construction costs.
He says developers find it more lucrative to build high-rise residential projects because they have a higher density and have a growing demand. He says sales will be good if they are fairly priced.
In the industrial town Bintulu, diverse sizes and concepts offered help to boost the market.
The 100-unit Peak Condominium in Bintulu Paragon offer sizes ranging from 868 to 1,592 sq ft priced between RM540 and RM668 per sq ft.
The other is 80-unit Seaview Court @ Bintulu Town which offers larger units with built-up areas of 1,776 and 3,917 sq ft, priced from RM473 to RM507 per sq ft.
In Sibu in central Sarawak, WTW says several strata-titled apartment projects were launched last year. These include Waterfront Residences (104 units) at Jalan Hospital, Development @ Jalan Alan (48 units) and Salim Height Apartments at Jalan Salim.
On the landed property market, the take-up rate of new units in the primary market have slowed in the city but those in the outlying suburban areas like Matang, Batu Kawa and Jalan Muara Tuang are “more active”.
Double-storey terraced units continue to be the mainstay of the landed residential sector, followed by semi-detached houses. The consultancy expects sales to be slow, with prices moving up on a slower rate.
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