Timing important during economic uncertainty

While the emphasis of property projects has always been on location, timing has now become more important during this property slowdown amid the economic uncertainty, said Mutiara Goodyear Development Bhd chief executive officer Kee Cheng Teik.

He emphasised that there was no bubble in the property industry but the crucial question was which developers could survive the suppressed demand.

Cashflow management was crucial for the company and it would only implement projects it could undertake and manage well. Hence, its successful residential and commercial property projects.

“As a medium sized company, we have survived the ups and downs and the past two recessions. But things will improve and there will be opportunities,” Kee said.

Despite the temporary suppression in the purchases of housing units, Kee said there would always be pent-up demand for housing.

“People will still have to buy, and if they don’t buy this year, they will have to buy next year, or the year after. When the market improves, there will be an increase in demand for property,” he said.

Kee is positive about the property sector in Penang and the Klang Valley due to the growing population. In the pipeline is a commercial block in Sunway in Petaling Jaya, shophouses in Mutiara Gombak, a Kajang housing scheme and a joint venture on Penang island.

In Seberang Perai, Mutiara Goodyear will continue to expand its township project, which was started in 1996 covering 1,084 acres. The township is near the Second Penang Bridge.

The company is also involved in an exclusive property project near Taman Melawati in Kuala Lumpur. The Nadayu project would be on an 80-acre freehold land near the Taman Warisan heritage park.

“This is probably the last piece of land of this size which can be developed near the forest,” Kee said. As the site was on a slope, the company had pumped in about RM20mil on earthworks and infrastructure there, he added.

Kee said the first 60 acres will comprise 142 bungalows, priced from about RM4mil and it would be exclusive and guarded. The GDV would be RM500mil.

The second phase will have superlink houses, condominiums and a boutique commercial centre. The total GDV is about RM800mil and the time frame to develop it is three to five years. - By Joseph Chin (The Star)

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