Penang Market To Moderate In 2014

The Penang property market is expected to slow in 2014, with fewer project launches and reduced transactions, but prices are expected to remain stable.

Real Estate Housing Developers’ Association (Penang) Chairman Datuk Jerry Chan attributed the slowdown to the government’s real property gains tax (RPGT) and stricter loan conditions by banks, in view of Bank Negara’s announcement that “there will be no easy financing anymore”.

“However, this will not affect Penang property prices, which will remain stable,” he noted.

malaysia PPI 2013Source: NAPIC Malaysian House Price Index

“Logically, with the current property market situation, property prices will never come down due to the higher cost.”

Notably, land prices have skyrocketed in prime locations during the last five years along with prices of raw materials such as steel and sand, said Chan.

“There is also no property bubble, as there had been no large supply of properties coming into the north over the past five years.”

“There hasn’t been any irresponsible lendings either.”

Speaking at Rehda’s annual press conference on the property market outlook for 2014, Chan also noted that the government had played a role in increasing land prices.

“For example, when the state government compensates Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) for the cost of building the proposed RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project in Tanjung Tokong with a 110-acre land, the state government has indirectly influenced the price of land in the area.”

“The value of the 110-acre site is about RM1,200 per sq ft, when divided by the value of the project…This automatically sets a new benchmark for the price of land in Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah and other prime locations on the island,” he explained.

To date, land prices in Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah and prime locations in the northeast district stand at between RM500 and RM1,000 psf.

Over in the southwest district, land prices start from RM120 psf onwards.

Chan added that “first home buyers or people who buy affordable houses are the ones that will be affected by the recent Budget 2014 due to the higher interest rate they need to bear”.

With this, he urged the government to extend “some kind of help for first-time buyers”.

Source – PG
Food for thought: It is important to explore fundamentals when it comes to any real estate investment. One needs to look at whether the economy is having a steady growth, transformation and the demand of the properties. One should not react to market changes by going the extreme. A good way is to analyse the Housing Price INdex as attached and see if the current market situation is congruent to the chart. Invest in your Financial Education to be able to make sound decisions on your investment all the time.
To learn more about how you can invest wisely all the time, visit or send in your questions to: Awesome! :)
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Foreigners To Pay More In Johor

Foreigners looking to buy a home in Johor will face significantly higher charges from next year when the current RM10,000 (S$3,900) charge is replaced with a processing fee based on a percentage of the property’s value.

State Executive Councillor for Housing and Local Government Datuk Abdul Latiff Bandi said the move had been made to protect the interest of Johoreans and the processing fee would apply to all foreigners wanting to acquire properties in the state.

He noted that the new processing fee, which would range between four and five percent of the property value acquired, would indirectly enable the state government to regulate the sale of properties to foreigners.

“For instance, foreigners buying a property worth RM5 million (S$1.95m), they have to pay only RM10,000 (S$3,900) as processing fee currently. From next year, they have to pay based on the property value,” said Latiff after opening a seminar on Green Industry 2013 yesterday.

Proceeds from the fee will be used by the state government for programmes and projects aimed at people’s development.

“We will table the new condition in the budget sitting of the state legislative assembly, which will sit soon, for approval,” he revealed.

Khalil Adis, Associate Research Director (Iskandar Malaysia) for Ascendant Assets, said: “The new levy of between 4 to 5 per cent will have a significant impact on Singapore-based investors as it will translate to almost double of what they have to pay now. For example, for a RM500, 000 property buyers will need to pay up to RM20,000 in levy as opposed to the flat rate of RM10,000 currently.

“We expect some Singaporeans currently sitting on the sidelines to expedite the signing of their sales and purchase agreements so as to save on the new levy. Going forward, it may affect sales volume in the red hot property sector of Iskandar Malaysia during 2014, particularly in Nusajaya which is primarily driven by foreign purchasers.”

However Gerard Kho, Country Manager for PropertyGuru Malaysia, felt the new foreign property purchase tax will likely have little impact on the number of Singaporeans buying in Johor.

He said: “This move has been in the pipeline for a while. Long term property investors will not be impacted by these additional costs.”

Source – PG

Food for thought: The introduction of cooling measures in Singapore over the last few years have proven to be effective in achieving the desired market condition it intended to have. Thus, with the ever escalating prices of property prices in Singapore, it is natural for Singaporeans and many other foreign investors to turn their attention to Malaysia, particularly Johore, or the more home brand name, Iskandar.

One can see a parallel in the moves of implementing measures somehow like Singapore when they decided to implement this new change. While it may be true according to the few property experts’ opinions, it is still key to have the necessary financial education and an increased financial IQ. We can expect more of such measures coming our way if sales continue to move upwards. What would be the next move for Singaporeans and other foreigners? If there is no fundamentals in property investment then what would your next decision be? I think you know the answer. Awesome! :)

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Ascott To Open Six Serviced Apartments Over Next Few Years

Already slated to open a Somerset serviced apartments block in Puteri Harbour, Johor, The Ascott Ltd will also manage a 310-unit Somerset Medini Iskandar in the “urban wellness” integrated joint venture between Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.

It is due to open at the end of 2015.

Owned by CapitaLand, one of Singapore’s largest real estate companies, The Ascott is also due to open: Ascott Sentral Kuala Lumpur later this year, Citadines D’Pulze Cyberjaya and Somerset Puteri Harbour Iskandar next year, as well as Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya in 2016.


Already operating in Malaysia are Ascott Kuala Lumpur and Marc Service Suites near KLCC, Somerset Ampang in Menara HSC as well as Seri Bukit Ceylon Residences.

Another brand under The Ascott’s stable, besides Ascott and Somerset, is Citadines, which caters towards “independent travellers”.

Source –

Food for thought: To set the pace of opening a few new development over a span of a few years in a location spells confidence and opportunity. Many may feel that Malaysia is a developing country and thus, may not be so viable to invest in Malaysia or “put all the eggs in one basket” mindset.

If not today, then when is the question we should seriously ask ourselves. Do you want to wait till all is matured, with the MRT lines fully operational before we believe? Invest in your Financial Education and increase your Financial IQ instead of listening to noises. Learn from those who invest with success and invest in yourself before it is too late. Awesome! :)

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D’Pulze Fills Void In Cyberjaya

In recent years, a number of developers, including big property players like Mah Sing Group Bhd and S P Setia Bhd as well as new property developers like D’Pulze Ventures Sdn Bhd, have begun building in Cyberjaya.

Despite the various launches lined up throughout the year in what is touted as Malaysia’s Silicon Valley, there is a retail and hotel deficit in Cyberjaya.D’Pulze Ventures says it hopes to remedy this with its integrated development.

In 2009, when D’Pulze Ventures ventured into Cyberjaya, it conducted a market survey to determine the type of products that occupants of the cyber city needed. “When the market survey was conducted, we found that there was an inherent lack of retail [development] as well as pent-up demand for hotels in town,” COO Kan Ky-Shen tells City & Country.

In Cyberjaya, there are 40 MNCs and over 500 MSC status companies, but only one hotel, Kan points out. “The only hotel in Cyberjaya — Cyberview Resort & Spa — is usually fully booked while the other nearest hotels are located in Putrajaya.”

This means that companies in Cyberjaya, many of which are shared service centres and regional offices, are hard-pressed to find accommodation for their overseas guests or employees when they are in town. Thus, the need for an integrated development offering the necessary components, says Kan.

Integrated development
D’Pulze Ventures was established in 2009 to undertake its maiden project, D’Pulze Cyberjaya, which comprises two hotels, two blocks of serviced apartments and a mall. The development sits on 4.3 acres of freehold land with a gross development value (GDV) of RM500 million.

With a total built-up of 1.7 million sq ft, the overall development is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. There are 505 serviced apartments with sizes ranging from 558 sq ft  (studio and single bedroom) to 676 sq ft (two-bedroom). They were launched in early 2011 at RM400 to RM600 psf and were sold out. The component that stands out in D’Pulze Cyberjaya is the mall, which is slated to be the first mall in Cyberjaya when completed next year. It will have a gross floor area of 400,000 sq ft. D’Pulze Ventures has signed tenants for the mall. However, the company does not plan to reveal any information on its tenants yet.


“Instead of building apartments with retail shops, we’ll create a lifestyle-concept retail mall with good brands,” Kan says.

The two hotels, which are to be completed in June 2014, are wholly owned by the company. One hotel will be managed by Citadines and the other by Tune Hotels under Tune Group. Citadines is part of The Ascott Ltd group under Singapore’s CapitaLand. Citadines D’Pulze Cyberjaya will have 232 rooms while Tune Hotel will offer 162.


The Ascott Ltd came into the picture in 2010 when it was looking for an opportunity within Cyberjaya. According to Kan, it was a mutual agreement between the two parties. Tune Hotels came in the following year for similar reasons — it was looking to penetrate the Cyberjaya market. “The very fact that The Ascott and Tune Hotels wanted to partner us just shows the potential of the area,” says Kan.

With the hotels and the mall, the developer believes it has the right mix to create vibrancy in the area.

“We don’t want to just develop residential and commercial components in Cyberjaya. It needs to be sustainable and I believe that this retail mall will be the perfect addition,” says Kan.

“At full capacity, the development should have 3,000 or more people living in it and naturally patronising the mall. The mall’s success, we believe, will translate into capital appreciation for our apartment buyers and will ensure that our hotels are hot picks.”

With a primary catchment of not less than 450,000, Kan is confident that D’Pulze will be able to stand out in the already saturated retail market outside of Cyberjaya.

Kan’s bullishness over the project is also due to its location. D’Pulze is located along Persiaran Multimedia, right in the heart of Cyberjaya, and is surrounded by the offices of most major MNCs. It is also located directly opposite the main transport terminal.

The company acquired the land from Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, Cyberjaya’s master developer, in late 2009. Kan says the company is very happy with the location despite having paid a premium to the market price for the land at the time.

Missing link
Kan believes there is a major component missing in Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. Based on a research conducted, the catchment needs supermarkets, entertainment hubs, dining options, fashion offerings and business-class hotels.

When D’Pulze came into Cyberjaya, it was at the peak of the US subprime mortgage crisis. “Places like Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya were already saturated so we decided to go into a place whose full potential people have yet to be seen and, at the same time, know that eventually, the place would grow,” Kan adds.

He points to Selangor’s demographics. “We  have Batu Caves towards the north, and the Titiwangsa mountain ranges towards the east while in the west lies Port Klang. We felt these areas were already saturated. Hence, the population will naturally be heading towards the south.

“Puchong lies to the south, but it is already developed to the brim. So the next growth area will be Cyberjaya, which is just adjacent to it.”

According to Kan, Cyberjaya’s good accessibility plays a role in promoting the area. Four major highways lead to Cyberjaya, namely the Maju Expressway, Damansara-Puchong Highway, the North Klang Valley Expressway and the North South Expressway Central Link.

“Our investment in the branded hospitality industry and innovative retail mall is for the long term. We expect domestic consumption and demand to remain strong, especially in the southern region of Greater KL, given the population’s movement to the south as people continue to look for better planned cities like Cyberjaya,” says Kan.

Given the current uncertain market conditions, many would feel that sticking to what you know is the best business strategy. However, “it’s the eurozone and US debt crisis that made us want to go into properties”, says Kan.

“What can be more secure? Property development can work to hedge against a devaluing currency or rising interest rate. This is the main reason we wanted to move into this asset class.”

Future plans
Although D’Pulze Cyberjaya is the company’s first development, Kan has experience in joint-venture property development projects in Penang and Perth.

From the meeting room of his office in the central business district of Cyberjaya, Kan looks out the window at the rising structure that would soon be D’Pulze Cyberjaya. Also present is his entire marketing division. “We believe that having an experienced and passionate team is the key to success,” he says.

Kan is confident that the future is full of possibilities. “Penang would be a good place to work on a business hotel and another fully integrated development with a mall,” he says. “As we are a private company, there is no rush for us to develop to meet shareholders’ expectations every quarter. Because of that we have the luxury of time to plan our next move.”

Kan also says D’Pulze Ventures plans to move into property development in Australia. However, before proceeding, there are risks to consider. “First, you have the currency risk as the Australian dollar is still very high and we’ll have to be there physically to oversee the construction. Also, the labour laws are very different.”

For now though, his main focus is D’Pulze Cyberjaya.

Source – This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 906, April 16-22, 2012

Food for thought: While integrated and township concept plans are the way to go for any property investment, it is a rare opportunity to be able to invest in a hotel and enjoy the fruits of cashflow and capital appreciation.

The only way to build your property empire is to invest in your own Financial Education and increasing one’s own Financial IQ. Till then, stay tune for upcoming property opportunity. Awesome! :)

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Property Prices In Main Cities To Rise By 10% in Malaysia

Residential property prices in the main cities are expected to climb by a steady 10 per cent this year, said PPC International Sdn Bhd chief executive Siva Shanker.

He said with the new property financing guidelines imposed by Bank Negara, he is doubtful the local property market will ever echo the phenomenal 30 to 40 per cent growth like in 2010 and 2011 and less than 20 per cent in 2012.

He said property agents welcomed Bank Negara’s efforts to curb a drastic rise in property prices and growing household debt and any growth in the property sector would be slow but steady.

“There is definitely no bubble to burst in our property market,” he said at a press conference by a group of real estate agents here yesterday.

Siva said the Malaysian young demographic profile is a good indicator of the healthy growth forecast in the property sector in the coming years.

“More than half of our population are aged 25 years and below, so there will be more house purchases in the years to come,” he said.

On the appetite for living in non-landed properties, Siva said more Malaysians are choosing to stay in multifunctional buildings, which include office units and retail stores where they can live, work and play.

“As for landed properties, gated and guarded residential units are in great demand now. But developers would skip these properties as they are not expected to sell well in future,” he said.

Asked on the overhang of the office space in the Klang Valley, he said the situation is not a major concern and the “market will correct itself”.

On the outlook of the property market in Penang, another real estate agent Mark Saw said there is renewed interest and firm commitments from investors.

“With the continuing positive outlook in the economy, the Penang market will continue to attract a healthy flow of local and foreign investments,” he said.

Loo Kung Hoe from Rahim & Co, who commented on the property market in Iskandar Malaysia, said contrary to market expectations, prices in Iskandar remained stable.

“The residential market will continue to grow with more launches in the second half of 2013, especially high-rise condominiums or serviced apartments since the demand is stable,” he said.

He said industrial properties will be stable too due to the relocation of Singapore manufacturers to Iskandar following its limited supply of purpose-built office market.

Source – Malaysia Chronicle

Food for thought: While many Singaporeans and other foreigners are getting the heat from the recent cooling measures from the government and the MAS, many are turning their attention to leverage and stretch their dollar in the Malaysia property market.

It is a question of understanding the market and doing your due diligence, but nothing beats investing in your own financial education to make sound decisions. What are your criteria in your property investment? Only ask those who have succeeded. Awesome! :)

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Prices Continue To Rise Despite Cooling Measure

Despite numerous government attempts to cool the market, property prices in Singapore have continued to rise in many sectors during the second quarter of 2013.

The latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed prices for private homes in Singapore rose one percent quarter-on-quarter, having risen 0.6 percent during the previous three month period.

Non-landed private property prices in the core region declined by 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, however there was a significant 3.8 percent jump in prices outside the central region.

Rental prices for private homes were also on the rise during the second quarter – up 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter but less than the 0.8 percent rise seen during Q1.

Resale prices for Housing Development Board (HDB) properties also continued to increase during the three months ending June 2013, up 0.5 percent from the first three months of the year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told Reuters earlier this month that the property market has shown signs of stabilising, but that the government would like to see some softening of prices.

Many analysts and market watchers predicted that prices would decline following January’s significant attempts by the government to cool the market, however this latest data suggests those efforts did not have the desired impact.

Source – PG News

Food for thought: This has been the common coffee shop talk that the property market will “crash” as the media has been saying that the market is on the decline and many real estate agents saying the market “is quiet”.

What causes the market prices to still hold despite the recent cooling measures? Not many invest in their Financial Education. There is a need to increase one’s Financial IQ to understand why such a trend, so as not to react to any slight media response or hearsay. IN order to be rich and successful, do what the rich and successful do; not to follow the crowd. Awesome! :)


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Damansara Perdana The Next Golden Triange?

Damansara Perdana used to be an orang asli community until developer MKLAND Saujana Triangle Sdn Bhd bought most of it over and started developing in 1996. Since then, Damansara Perdana has flourished quickly to become one of the best selling township in Petaling Jaya with total sales now exceeding RM1.9 billion. Widely regarded as a township with many firsts, properties here have proven to have good capital appreciation and investment returns.

The 750-acres Damansara Perdana is located within the Golden Triangle of Petaling Jaya, which also consists of Bandar Utama and Mutiara Damansara. This vicinity has once consistently been voted by The Edge as the most sought-after address in the Klang Valley. Be it business, convenience, leisure or residential, this place is abundant of life with impressive accessibility via the LDP, SPRINT highway (Penchala Link), Persiaran Surian, and NKVE, renowned shopping and entertainment centres 1-Utama, IKEA, The Curve, Tesco and Cathay Cineleisure, offices, hotels, schools, and much more.

Since the handing over of Perdana Condominiums in 2002, the masterminds of this unique township and leading property developer MK Land Holdings Bhd has continuously innovated new cutting-edge lifestyle-oriented properties with good quality. Built around its theme ‘Resort-style, High-tech, High-art’, investors had a taste of the first glass-edged pool in a condo, mini golf driving range, e-lifestyle township and duplex condos with a private garden.

Impressive mixed developments have been consistently handed over on time with CF i.e. Perdana View condo and service apartments, Damansara Perdana Emerald condo and service apartments, The Place, Perdana Business Centre, and the prestigious Armanee Terrace Condominiums.

Most recently Mammoth Empire Land Sdn. Bhd. had developed a joint development project with MKLAND Holdings Bhd. to develop the Empire Damansara project, which consists of Empire City and Empire Residence. Another developer, Tujuan Gemilang Sdn. Bhd. had also developed a few projects in Damansara Perdana, namely the PJ Trade Centre and Point 92.

empire city


Damansara Perdana is part of the Golden Triangle of Petaling Jaya, one of the most exclusive suburbs situated in the Klang Valley, at Selangor, Malaysia. As one of the biggest developments in Petaling Jaya, this township is serviced by the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), and the Sprint Expressway. With the opening of the 24 million ringgit direct-connection to the SPRINT highway (Penchala Link), traveling to Kuala Lumpur City Centre is a breeze. It only takes about 7 minutes to reach Jalan Duta from here. This fast-developing township is only a mere 5 minutes to Mont’ Kiara via the SPRINT highway Penchala Link.

Damansara Perdana is surrounded by major townships such as Mutiara Damansara, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Bandar Utama, Damansara Utama and Damansara Jaya.

Source – Wikipedia

Food for thought: For any property investment, it is critical to plan and consider the point of entry and exit plan. Seize the opportunity when others can’t see it. Do not enter market when all is at its peak. Awesome! :)

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Mammoth Empire To Develop RM4b Project

KUALA LUMPUR (July 9, 2013): Mammoth Empire Holdings Sdn Bhd, the developer of Empire Subang, has teamed up with Iskandar Investment Bhd to start a RM4 billion mixed development project in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor.

Construction work on the 9.5 hectares site located next to Legoland Malaysia is targeted to begin in early 2015. The project, when completed in 2018, will feature office towers, hotels, service apartments, loft offices, retail spaces, a convention centre, a concert hall, a state-of-the-art lifestyle cinema and specialist retail shops.

“The concept for the development is still going through a fine tuning process. The exact details like how many high rise towers yet to be finalised,” group executive director Datuk Danny Cheah Joi Yong told reporters at a signing ceremony between the two companies yesterday.

Cheah said the Mammoth Empire and its joint venture partner Medini Land Sdn Bhd will invest more than RM2 billion for the development.

Mammoth Empire will own a 60% stake in the JV company – Empire Iskandar Sdn Bhd. Meanwhile, Medini Land – a unit of Iskandar Investment Bhd – the remaining 40% in the JV.

“We are confident that their signature style will bring Iskandar Malaysia a step closer to realizing its vision as a world class liveable city,” IIB president and CEO Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim said.

Among Mammoth Empire’s development in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and overseas include Empire Subang, The Ara Bangsar, The Loft and My80 Melbourne.

In a separate development. Kuala Lumpur based property developer Zikay Group has purchased a lease for a parcel of land measuring 1.32 hectares land in Medini to develop an integrated commercial development anchored on a concept of business and leisure activities in a park.

In a statement, IIB said the proposed development consists of SOHO, boutique retail, offices, hotel and serviced apartments.

Zikay Group is the second bumiputera company to invest in Iskandar Malaysia.

Zikay Group is a property development and construction company known for its construction of the Royal Selangor State Theater in Shah Alam, the landscaping works at Taman Rimba Alam in Putrajaya and its own signature development Mercu Zikay@ Kg Baru in Kuala Lumpur.

Source – The Star

Food for thought: The signing of the JV partnership marks another milestone and imprint of Mammoth’s signature to its empire. With the recent projects, Empire Damansara, Empire City and the future Empire City 2 in PJ is a clear indication of what a vision focused developer would do.

The development is indeed an investment worthwhile considering in a market as such. To understand property investment and do well, first invest in your Financial Education. Awesome! :)





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S’porean Investors Apparently Undeterred By Proposed Johor Property Tax Hike

Plans to raise property tax rates for foreign home buyers in Johor at the end of the year appear not to deter Singaporeans from buying units at the Afiniti Residences in Medini Iskandar Malaysia.

SINGAPORE: Plans to raise property tax rates for foreign home buyers in Johor at the end of the year appear not to deter Singaporeans from buying units at the Afiniti Residences in Medini Iskandar Malaysia.

It is a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings.

Singaporeans made up 25 percent of the buyers.

All 147 units were snapped up during Saturday’s launch.

Malaysians accounted for 72 percent of the buyers, while the remaining units were snapped up by Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian nationals.

The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) said it is working with the state government to provide market feedback about the proposed tax increase and is seeking assurance that it will not burden both local and foreign property owners or dampen the market.

It added that while the progress of Iskandar Malaysia is on track, it is too early to comment if the proposed tax hike will impact developments in the region.

A spokesman for IRDA said: “For the first quarter of 2013, Iskandar Malaysia registered cumulative committed investments of RM111.37 billion from 2006 until 31 March 2013, which is an increase of RM5.06 billion since the end of December 2012.

“Of the total cumulative committed investments, RM44.82 billion, or 40.2 per cent, represents investments that have been realised.”

Kevin Goh, associate director at CBRE Malaysia, said: “The central and state governments have been promoting Iskandar Malaysia. A lot of Singaporeans and big corporations have come here to invest, develop, and buy land. Within the next two to three years, Iskandar Malaysia is still a good place to invest in.”


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Afiniti Residences Project Fully Sold

Afiniti Residences in Medini Iskandar Malaysia, a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional and Temasek, has been sold out on the day of its launch.

SINGAPORE: Afiniti Residences in Medini Iskandar Malaysia, a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional and Temasek, has been sold out on the day of its launch.The developer said 25 per cent of the buyers are Singaporeans and 72 per cent of the buyers are Malaysians.

Prices started from RM500,000 for a studio apartment to less than RM1 million for a 2+study unit, or RM850 to RM1,000 per square foot.

The 147-unit received 1,570 applications as of May 31 ahead of Saturday’s balloting process.

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