by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by BERNAMA
SCIENTEX Bhd has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Lee Pineapple Co (Pte) Ltd through its wholly owned unit Scientex Quatari Sdn Bhd to acquire eight parcels of freehold land in Pulai, Johor Baru, worth RM185 million.
Scientex CEO Lim Peng Jin said the latest land-banking exercise in Johor would allow the company to deliver more affordable homes to meet the increased demand.
“We are constantly on the lookout for suitable land-banking deals to ensure we continue building a sustainable pipeline of future launches and further expand our affordable homes’ footprint across various states in Peninsular Malaysia.
“The new lands are situated near our well-received townships: Taman Pulai Mutiara that was launched in 2016, and Taman Pulai Mutiara 2 that was launched in December 2019,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The freehold lands comprising an approximate area of 81.85ha of agricultural lands with mainly oil palm plantation and generally flat terrains will be developed into a mixed property development.
Located within the local authority area of Majlis Bandaraya Iskandar Puteri, the parcels of land are situated approximately 33km from the city centre and benefit from good connectivity via the Johor Baru-Senai Expressway, the Skudai-Pontian Highway and Jalan Kangkar Pulai.
The newly acquired land would complement the group’s existing 661 acres (267.5ha) of land in Pulai, which has a completed gross development value (GDV) of RM900 million with ongoing and future GDV of RM4.4 billion, which will be further enhanced by the new purchase.
The company noted that it is too preliminary to ascertain the total GDV, cost, expected commencement and completion dates as the proposed acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.
Lim said of the RM1.7 billion in total development value launched to date, the company has achieved strong take-up rates of 85%.
“Furthermore, the close proximity of the new lands enables us to tap into greater operational efficiencies through economies of scale, thereby enabling us to maintain affordable selling prices to cater to the masses,” he said.
Lim said despite the challenging economic climate at present, the demand for affordable housing is resilient.
“Our prospects in this space are further bolstered by recent interest-rate cuts by Bank Negara Malaysia, which should sustain homebuyers’ sentiment and promote greater homeownership.
“We intend to actively expand our repertoire of desirable, yet affordable residential properties as we aim to play a vital role in the urbanisation of our nation,” he said.
The group’s affordable homes portfolio to date has 21,531 homes in Peninsular Malaysia, with a target of 50,000 by 2028, and its property division having priced all the homes below the RM500,000 mark.
The completed affordable homes since the inception of the company’s property development segment in 1995 have totalled up to a GDV of RM6 billion.