Eco World Development sees property market improving

SHAH ALAM: Eco World Development Group Bhd expects the property market to improve this year, supported by the low interest rate environment and positive buying sentiment.

“We are optimistic of achieving our RM4bil sales target this year amid a challenging market condition,” chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah said.

“The key to achieving this include having the right product in strategic areas and being innovative, apart from enhancing infrastructure and amenities for home buyers,” Chang told reporters at Eco World’s EGM yesterday. The premier lifestyle developer registered RM3.8bil in sales in the financial year ended Oct 31, 2016 and to date, has unbilled sales of RM6bil.

With 8,052.7 acres of landbank with a gross development value (GDV) of RM87.5bil, Chang noted that the group had no plans to acquire more landbank and intends to focus on growth areas it has presence in, namely, Penang, Johor and the Klang Valley.

“If we want to acquire and replenish more of our landbank, the price and location has to be right. The land must be situated closer to highways for accessibility,” Chang said, adding that Eco World was still on the lookout for opportunities.

Eco World’s undeveloped landbank currently stands at 5,500 acres with a future potential GDV of RM77.5bil.

Meanwhile, on the company’s gearing level, he noted that it was at a comfortable level.

“We are always mindful of our gearing level to sustain our balance sheet, and as a new developer we aim to strengthen our position in the market. This explains why we are moving into more valued partnerships such as with the Employees Provident Fund that will allow us to expand without over-gearing ourselves,” he added.

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