GEORGE TOWN: The country’s largest property developer S P Setia Bhd (fundamental: 1.4; valuation: 1.2) is cautious about launching new developments in Malaysia’s northern region this year due to the country’s economic uncertainties.
S P Setia general manager (property, north) Ng Han Seong told reporters yesterday that the group has only one project with a gross development value (GDV) of RM600 million in Solok Slim off Jalan Hamilton here, which it would launch by year-end.
“We are adopting a cautious attitude and will be selective about launches this year, depending on the demand of the buyers. We will try to draw up projects based on what the market wants.
“It does not necessarily fall under the definition of affordable housing, [as] specified by the state. We have the ability to adjust to market conditions. There are a lot of economic uncertainties and people are facing problems obtaining loans,” he said.
“However, we are not the only developer doing this. Most have taken on that approach, judging from the slowdown in the property market,” he observed.
The Solok Slim development will feature high-rise condominiums on a 9.5-acre (3.84ha) land, Ng said, adding that the project is still in the planning stages and that he would not be able to divulge further information.
In the meantime, the group would focus on the sale and promotion of its RM320 million GDV Setia Sky Vista in Relau. The project, which saw a soft sales launch on Dec 6 last year, is seing sales of about 50% or RM153 million so far.
The project is expected to be completed in 2019 and will feature two towers — one 27-storey and the other 32-storey — with 11 layout plans to choose from for units that range in size from 910 sq ft to 1,479 sq ft.
Ng added that the group would continue promoting its properties to foreigners and locals working in the region, particularly those in Singapore, Indonesia, China, and Japan.
“We have about 15% take-up rate among foreigners for our luxurious Setia V Residence (RM550 million GDV) in Gurney Drive and the 35 Pearl Villas bungalow units (RM139 million GDV) in Sungai Ara,” he said.
Ng was speaking after announcing the group’s Chinese New Year celebration programme, which will feature a talk by feng shui consultant Datuk Joey Yap with the official sales launch of its Setia Sky Vista on Feb 28.
While the group is also looking at increasing its land bank, Ng said it would take its time to map out developments on its 15 parcels of land of some 150 acres in Penang.
Most of S P Setia’s land is located in the southern part of Penang island; the rest are in Jelutong, Sungai Nibong and Tanjung Bungah.
“We are in the midst of planning for the development of the 150-acre land bank in the next three years. We must do this ahead although development on this land will span seven to eight years,” he said.
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 13, 2015.