By IZZAT RATNA
Local property developers need to adopt compact-unit development and urbanisation to gain a competitive edge against the influx of foreign players, mainly from China, in view of rising foreign direct investments (FDIs).
Property developer Titijaya Land Bhd deputy MD Lim Poh Yit told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) the rising competition from international players would actually fuel local players to grow and perform better in the market.
“Any country that has an open policy for investment will attract and create new competition from foreign players and serves as an impetus for local developers to grow further,” he said.
“One of the strategies for Titijaya to hedge against rising competition with foreign players is to work with them in exchanging expertise in order to achieve better market performance,” he told TMR on the sidelines of Titijaya’s EGM in Petaling Jaya last Friday.
Poh Yit said Titijaya is exploring opportunities to launch more compact high-rise units in the Klang Valley targeted towards the younger generation aged between 20 and 35.
“In Malaysia, a 37.16 sq m compact unit — namely a studio or a SoHo (small office, home office) — has been widely tested in the market and has received positive feedback from house buyers.
“Of course we are bringing in good interior designers to incorporate smart furniture to save space as well as provide flexibility for owners,” he added.
Poh Yit said this age group is the main target for all key sectors in the economy, as they contribute significantly to the country’s private consumption and household income. Commenting on the housing
affordability issue in Malaysia, Poh Yit said it is still manage-able due to continuous efforts and initiatives by the government to support people across all key sectors.
“We are optimistic on better booking flows on our side, which is a sign that the market should be recovering, coupled with higher housing loan approval rates. We need more time to ensure that the recovery is real,” he added.
Meanwhile, ED Charmaine Lim Puay Fung said local housing affordability issue is still manageable as the housing prices in the central business district in Kuala Lumpur (KL) is still relatively cheaper compared to neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong
“Actually in any country in the world, every young person is finding it difficult to own a home due to inflation of property prices, as well as other geopolitical and microeconomic conditions.
“Housing affordability is a global issue as there is a global hike in construction cost,” she said.
Titijaya is expected to launch approximately RM3.25 billion worth of high-rise residential projects in the third-quarter of 2017 (3Q17).
The launches include a mixture of high-rise office spaces, as well as two blocks of serviced apartments scheduled to enter the market in 3Q17 named Riveria Sentral, located on 2.75ha of leasehold land in KL Sentral with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM1.45 billion.
Subsequently, another highrise residential project expected to come on stream within the stipulated time-frame is 3rd Nvenue Residence on 2.02ha of leasehold land with a GDV of RM1.8 billion.
Titijaya’s total landbank for development stands at 117.35ha located in KL, Penang and Sabah with a total GDV of RM13 billion set to keep Titijaya busy until 2027. Its outstanding unbilled sales stand at about RM471 million to date.