Prai property market heats up

Property prices in Seberang Prai are expected to rise by an average of 10% this year, says Fook Tone Huat, associate director of property consultants Henry Butcher (Seberang Prai) Sdn Bhd.

Fook said in an interview that the rise in prices would apply to all types of properties across the board, covering residential, office, vacant development land and industrial properties.

The price for a double-storey terraced in Bukit Mertajam is currently RM385,000, compared to RM350,000 a year ago, a rise of 10%.

An office lot in Wisma Pantai in Bagan Jermal is now selling for RM175 per sq ft, an increase of 8% since 2011, while the retail properties on the ground floor of Megamall in Butterworth are priced between RM500 per sq ft and RM600 per sq ft, which is more or less the same as two years ago, due to an oversupply situation.

“The price of industrial land is now RM25 to RM30 per sq ft, about 15% more than two years ago, an industrial semi-detached unit of 5,000sq ft built up area sells presently for RM550,000 or RM110 per sq ft, compared to RM400,000 or RM80 per sq ft in 2011, an increase of 37%.

“Vacant development land is now between RM25 to RM30 per sq ft for suburban areas of Bukit Mertajam and RM40 to RM50 per sq ft for Bukit Mertajam town and Bagan Lalang, which is about 10% more than a year ago,” Fook said.

In 2011, property prices in Seberang Prai soared by about 15%, and last year the appreciation was around 10%.

“We expect prices in Seberang Prai to increase by about 10% this year,” Fook added.

The last three years could have been the best of times for property prices in Seberang Prai.

“Previously, the annual increase in prices was in single digits, below 10%,” he said.

The new property trend in Seberang Prai is the development of condominium projects with facilities.

“New condominiums planned for this year include the RM40mil Camelia Park project in Jalan Raja Uda by Tambun Indah and Condominium Berjaya at Kampung Baru in Bukit Mertajam by Five Star Contract Sdn Bhd.

“The Camelia Park project comprises 127 condominiums of 1,200sq ft with a gross development value of RM40mil, selling at RM250 per sq ft, while the Condominium Berjaya scheme comprises 147 units with built-up areas of 1,412sq ft and 3,798 sq ft, selling at RM290 sq ft.

“There is also New Bob’s RM50mil condominium project, comprising 148 units in Permatang Pauh, which will be priced between RM300,000 to RM400,000 each,” he said.

Older condominium schemes such as the Park View Tower by PJD Eastern Land are now selling for RM230 per sq ft, compared to RM180 per sq ft in 2008.

Newer condominium schemes such as Sea View Tower and Ocean View Tower are now selling for RM280 per sq ft and RM350 per sq ft respectively, compared to RM190 per sq ft and RM300 per sq ft in 2008 and 2010.

The pricing of industrial landed properties in Seberang Prai has appreciated substantially by about 37% since 2011.

“This is due to the limited supply of landed industrial properties in strategic locations,” he said.

According to Fook, the three key reasons for the anticipated surge in property prices are the expected completion of the second link in September this year, the new investments pledged by multi-national corporations over the past two years, and the development of new high-end mixed development projects.

Boon Siew Honda, Bosch Solar Energy, Phison Eectronics Corp, Aviatron, Bose Corp, Malaysian Automotive Lighting and UOP LLC are some of the MNCs that are committed to making investments in Penang.

“Boon Siew Honda Sdn Bhd’s new RM200mil plant in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park, launched recently, is expected to open up 1,100 job vacancies, creating demand for more properties in Seberang Prai,” he said.

He added that projects such as DNP Land Sdn Bhd’s RM1bil BM Impiana township project in Alma, Bukit Mertajam, scheduled for launch in the first half of this year and Tambun Indah Land Bhd’s RM1.64bil Pearl City project are transforming the property landscape of Seberang Prai.

Residential properties in BM Impiana such as semi-detached and super-linked homes are priced from RM1mil and RM578,000 onwards, respectively.

“Tambun Indah’s project comprises the RM640mil Pearl City Business Park and over 5,000 gated-and-guarded residential properties on a 583-acre site in Simpang Ampat.

“Residential properties in the project are priced from RM368,000 and RM568,000 respectively for double-storey terraced and double-storey semi-detached units.

“The business park comprises a controlled tenant mix leisure mall with F&B and retail outlets, a karaoke and a cineplex,” said Fook.

According to the latest National Property Information Centre’s property market report, total transactions for residential properties in Penang hit around 18,316 for the first nine months of 2012, with a transacted value of RM5.2bil.

The whole of 2011 saw the state registering some 30,674 residential property transactions valued at RM7.7bil.

“The total property transactions for Penang during the nine month period of 2012 registered 24,203 with a RM9.1bil value, of which about 40% of the transactions are in Seberang Prai,” he said. - By David Tan (The Star)

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