EcoWorld to launch new townships in Penang

December 8th, 2016 No comments
eco-horizon

Upcoming project – Eco Horizon at Batu Kawan

Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) is aiming for an even higher sales target for its 2017 and 2018 financial years after having met its sales target of RM4 billion in FY2016 ended Oct 31, 2016.

The developer recorded RM4.01 billion of sales in FY2016. Its Malaysian projects contributed RM3.402 billion while Eco World International’s (EWI) four projects contributed RM608 million, said EcoWorld CEO and president Datuk Chang Khim Wah at a press conference today.

Notably, the RM608 million sales is based on EcoWorld’s subscription for its 27% stake in EWI pursuant to the latter’s initial public offering in the first quarter of next year.

“In FY20017 and FY2018, we will be targeting RM4 billion of sales solely from Malaysia projects, while we expect to be entitled to a proportionate share of international sales by EWI based on our proposed 27% shareholding in EWI,” said Chang.

He expects EWI’s sales to be anchored by its existing four projects whereas the sales from Malaysia will be contributed by the existing 15 projects along with the proposed launch of two new projects: Eco Horizon in Penang Mainland and Eco Forest in Semenyih, Selangor.

Spanning 300 acres, Eco Horizon is a leasehold township development with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of about RM8 billion.

Eco Forest is another township project with a GDV of about RM3 billion. The freehold development spans 492 acres.

Both Eco Horizon and Eco Forest are poised to be launched by mid-2017, said Chang, adding that the developer is looking to enhance and improve the ongoing township developments in order to boost sales.

Read More: TheEdgeProperty.com.my

 

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Ensuring affordable homes for Penang folk

December 8th, 2016 No comments

affordable-penang

As main cities in the country continue to urbanize, the provision of affordable homes remains a major concern. Penang is no exception.

Currently with a population of 1.66 million, Penang is one of the most populous states in the country and remains a highly desired location for property growth and investment. With half its population concentrated on the 293 sq km Penang Island, the state will only get more crowded as the Department of Statistics Malaysia has forecast the population to increase to 1.86 million by 2030.

To address population growth in Penang, the state government, through the Penang Development Corporation, has made the provision of affordable housing a priority, with the launch of its affordable housing scheme in February 2013. The scheme has 14 projects in all five districts in the state, with 26,255 affordable homes on offer.

“The state government is allocating RM500 million to provide affordable housing under this scheme,” state executive councillor for housing, town and country planning Jagdeep Singh Deo says in an email interview.

He notes that the state’s current household size of 3.98 will require an additional 22,613 homes by 2020 and another 27,638 by 2030.

At present, works under the affordable housing scheme have commenced for projects in Teluk Kumbar (Daerah Barat Daya), Kampung Jawa (Seberang Perai Utara) and Phase 1 of Bandar Cassia in Batu Kawan (Seberang Perai Selatan).

Phase 1 of Bandar Cassia, which has 520 homes, will be the first project to be completed in December this year. The entire Bandar Cassia development is slated to complete in the next 10 to 15 years.

The types of affordable housing range from Type A (formerly known as low cost) to Type B (low-medium cost) and Type C (units costing RM150,000 to RM300,000).

Types A and B units have a minimum floor size of 650 sq ft and are priced at RM42,000 and RM72,500 respectively. Type C homes come with a minimum floor size of 750 sq ft, and are capped at RM300,000 on the island and RM250,000 on the mainland.

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To meet the projected 50,251 homes required by 2030, the state government has embarked on public-private partnerships. Private sector developers will contribute an equal number of affordable homes as the state government to ensure there are sufficient houses to cater for the growing population.

“With the introduction of the 100% affordable housing guidelines in August 2014, the participation of the private sector has been overwhelming. This clearly shows there is a large market for such a category of housing,” says Jagdeep.

* Complete list of affordable housing in Penang *

To date, the state government has approved applications by the private sector to build some 11,550 homes in accordance with the guidelines.

Ongoing affordable housing projects by the private sector are Tri-Pinnacle by Aspen Group, Ramah Pavilion by M Summit Group, One Foresta and I-Santorini by Ideal Property Group and Granito by BSG Group.

To encourage private sector participation, Jagdeep says the state government has agreed to reduce the compliance costs.

“The state has offered to waive the compliance component which requires 30% of homes built by the private sector to be priced less than RM72,500,” he adds.

“A reduction has also been offered on development charges. For regular housing developments, such charges are RM15 psf, whereas those stated in the guidelines are only RM5 psf,” he adds.

Jagdeep says the state government welcomes applications under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing ­(PR1MA) programme. PR1MA Corporation Malaysia had submitted several applications in December 2015 and three applications have been approved to date, namely for 2,387 homes in Tasek Gelugor, 905 in Bukit Gelugor and 1,450 in Batu Feringghi.

However, he adds that PR1MA has withdrawn its application to build 29 blocks of 23 to 27-storeys in Kuala Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau, in April this year. The blocks consist of 9,904 housing units priced up to RM510,000.

Jagdeep says that PR1MA withdrew its application on the advice of the state government as Balik Pulau has a 16-storey height limit for buildings and under the guidelines, affordable units on the island have a price limit of not more than RM300,000.

“Just like all other applications for developments, the guidelines relating to affordable housing must be complied with,” he says.

“Nonetheless, the state government will duly process such applications expeditiously and hopes that PR1MA will continue to submit them for more affordable housing projects in Penang,” he adds.

To prevent applicants from abusing the affordable housing system, Jagdeep says the state government is consolidating the procedure to take legal action against those who rent out Type A and Type B homes, which are supposed to be owner-occupied. “We now require applicants to execute a statutory declaration that gives us the right to repossess the unit if it is rented out.”

Jagdeep, who also chairs the nine-member selection process enhancement committee, says the stringent vetting process will ensure only those who are truly eligible will be selected.

Besides submitting their central credit reference information system (CCRIS) record, applicants are also required to attend several sessions with the credit counselling and debt management agency (AKPK) to iron out issues related to housing loans.

Additionally, owners of Types A and B homes are not allowed to sell their properties for 10 years. Owners of Type C housing costing RM150,000 to RM300,000 ­cannot sell them for five years.

The state government is also addressing the problem of high loan rejection rates. “Getting a loan is the biggest hurdle,” Jagdeep says.

“For example, one of the projects in Bandar Cassia has 520 homes. We submitted 800 eligible names, but only 200 signed the sales and purchase agreement because the rest were unable to obtain a bank loan.

“Bank Negara Malaysia needs to address this problem. If we do not solve it, then the homes built will be a waste because the people are unable to buy them. As a result, Malaysians cannot fulfil their dreams of owning their first home,” he says.

Nonetheless, Jagdeep says the state government has discussed the problem with Bank Negara and stakeholders.

“The recent announcement of a reduction in bank loan interest is a positive step forward.”

“We hope this would result in more loans being approved, particularly for first-time home buyers.”

“The state government will continue to engage with Bank Negara to consider introducing better loan packages, for instance disbursing 100% loans; extending the repayment period, reintroducing the developer interest bearing scheme [DIBS] for first-time home buyers, and introducing accelerated and flexible tiered repayment,” he adds.

To assist developers participating in the 100% affordable housing scheme in the current soft economic environment, the state government has allowed 30% of the affordable housing units to be sold on the open market.

But the buyers must be Penang voters, and they are only allowed to purchase one unit.

“Thus, developers can achieve at least 60% sales. This in turn will ensure that eligible applicants have a roof over their heads,” Jagdeep says.

Read More: TheEdgeProperty.com.my

 

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Rainbow Skywalk set to open at Komtar

December 7th, 2016 No comments

rainbow-skywalkOnly a lucky few have ever been to the top of Komtar since it was completed over three decades ago.

Now, 68 floors and at almost a quarter of a kilometre from the ground, it has the highest skywalk in the country.

The Rainbow Skywalk is a semi-circle glass path that juts several metres out of the building, and it is not for the faint-hearted.

“We’ve seen many people who cannot shake off that acrophobic dizziness when they step onto the glass. Some will not even try.

“But many love it. You can lie down and take a selfie with the little buildings below as your background. It is a rare opportunity,” said Only World Group (OWG) chief operating officer Datuk Jean Koh.

The glass was heat-treated, temper-proofed, laminated and is the same glass flooring used in America’s Grand Canyon Skywalk. Universiti Sains Malaysia ran a barrage of vibration, wind and pendulum tests on it.

From the ground, you can see the Rainbow Skywalk if you are standing near the junction of Penang Road, Macalister Road and Datuk Keramat Road.

The old roof used to be a helipad when the monolith was 65 floors. OWG topped it up with three more floors, did away with the helipad and transformed the roof into an attraction.

“Komtar is the pride of Penangites. It was once the tallest building in South-East Asia. When we first went up, the view took our breath away and we instantly started thinking of how we can get people to enjoy their trip to the top,” she said yesterday.

Video taken by Penang Property Talk in August 2016

OWG, a listed company that specialises in F&B and leisure attractions, won a 45-year lease on five levels of Komtar in 2012 and is on a mission to revitalise the building.

The company began with 5,574sq m in the complex and they are now using about 28,000sq m of floor space to turn Komtar into a leisure destination for Malaysians and tou­rists alike.

The official opening is on Dec 18, with many more delights being constructed on the roof, but OWG chief executive officer Datuk Seri Richard Koh is keeping the details secret.

“The best pleasures in the world have to be surprises. If I tell you everything, you will know what to expect when you get to the top.

“But, I will tell you that besides the skywalk, you will have the chance to sit on the luckiest chair in the world up there,” he added.

Read Source: TheStar.com.my

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23 Green Terraces @ Ghee Hiang Gardens (Phase 2)

December 6th, 2016 1 comment

23-green-terraces

23 Green Terraces, the second phase of Ghee Hiang Gardens at Greenlane, Penang. This is a freehold residential development by Six Eleven Assets Group, comprises 23 three-storey family homes with indicative price from RM2,988,000 onwards.

This development is less than 1km away from Udini roundabout, just a mere minutes drive to Central Park Condominium. Each unit comes with spacious built-up and balconies.

Phase 1: 27 Green Terraces @ Ghee Hiang Gardens

Property Project : 23 Green Terraces @ Ghee Hiang Gardens
Location : Gelugor, Penang
Property Type : 3-Storey Terrace
Tenure : Freehold
Land Area: 22′ x 88′ (Type A), 22′ x 92′ (Type B)
Total Units : 10 (Type A), 13 (Type B)
Indicative Price : RM2,988,000 onwards
Developer : Six Eleven Assets Group

Marketing Agents:
  • 012-439 8359 (Ivan Tan)

Register your interest here

Location Map:

 

 

Aspen Group investing in next gen technology

December 6th, 2016 No comments

aspen-ibm

AG Innovation Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of property development and real estate investment company Aspen Group) is collaborating with IBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd to create the first comprehensive cloud infrastructure and technology services platform in Malaysia. The cloud innovation platform, hosted in Penang, is designed to serve local and international users.

The collaboration involves the purchase and subscription of IBM Blue Box, Bluemix, application development, technical services and consultancy for Aspen Group to create cognitive and next generation solutions and services globally.

The collaboration was sealed today by Aspen Group’s chief executive officer Datuk M. Murly, the company’s executive director Woo Kok Weng, IBM Malaysia managing director Chong Chye Neo and IBM Cloud for IBM Malaysia’s general manager Arshad Munir Sharif. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Aspen Group’s chairman and executive director Datuk Seri Nazir Ariff Mushir Ariff witnessed the event.

Aspen Group said it will invest RM10 million in this next generation technology to aggregate expertise and skills to usher the adoption of cognitive apps among Penangites and Malaysians.

In a joint statement, Aspen Group and IBM Malaysia said the availability of the cloud innovation platform would also spur a culture of innovation among students and enthusiasts. “The strategic collaboration would also enable a vibrant and agile eco-system that will provide a platform for multinationals, local businesses, start-ups and residents to scale their participation in the digital economy.” the statement said.

“The economics of cloud computing,” Murly noted, “can potentially change the game for many businesses. “We envisage new forms of business models would emerge by providing the platform for innovation to happen. “I believe this will trigger a massive wave of innovation from techno-preneurs,” he added.

Meanwhile, another Aspen Group subsidiary Aspen Vision All Sdn Bhd, today signed a collaboration agreement with the Jardine Schindler Group to boost smart digital urban mobility solutions in Aspen’s developments. The agreement was signed by Jardine Schindler Group’s chief executive officer Jujudhan Jena, Antah Schindler Sdn Bhd managing director Ashok Ramachandran, Murly and Woo.

Witnessing the signing of the second signing event today were Lim, Nazir and Antah Schindler Sdn Bhd New Installation director Chan Siu Shing.

Read More: NST Online

 

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