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Demand for condos in KL [26-09-2012]  
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The market for high-end condominiums and serviced residences in Kuala Lumpur is still very strong, according to CB Richard Ellis (Malaysia) executive chairman Christopher Boyd.

Boyd said high-end condominiums and serviced residences launched in the city last year had seen strong sales.

“Take-up rates range from 65%-88% as of the end of the first quarter of 2011,” he said at the “Invest in Malaysia, Invest in Kuala Lumpur” forum, organised by property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd, on Saturday.

Two other such forums, for those interested in investing in Kuala Lumpur city centre properties, were also held recently in Penang and Singapore.

One example Boyd provided was Soho@KLCC (85% take-up rate), with 300 units of between 601 and 877 sq ft, and average selling prices of RM700 to RM850 per sq ft.

Another example was M Suites serviced apartments, Ampang Hilir (70% take-up rate), with 442 units of between 502 and 1,630 sq ft, and an average selling price of RM850 per sq ft.

A recent CB Richard Ellis report said that in the first quarter of this year, the total supply of existing condominiums and serviced residences (mid-range and above, with average prices of RM350 per sq ft or higher) in Kuala Lumpur was 32,742 units, representing a 4% increase since the end of last year.

Of these, about 44% or 14,514 units were located in the Golden Triangle, central business district and Ampang areas, with 34% or 11,121 units in Mont’Kiara and Sri Hartamas.

About 38% of the supply of condominiums and serviced residences were tagged at between RM350 and RM499 per sq ft, with a further 38.6% priced at between RM500 and RM799 per sq ft.

The remainder, or 24% of the units, were priced at RM800 per sq ft onwards and categorised as luxury residential units.

Most of these luxury residential units were located in the vicinity of the Suria KLCC shopping centre.

According to Boyd, average capital values in the three main condominium markets (KLCC, Bangsar and Mont Kiara) in Kuala Lumpur had remained relatively steady since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The CB Richard Ellis report said that last year, there were 2,156 transactions for high-end condominiums in Kuala Lumpur with an average value per transaction of RM1.09mil.

Boyd said that about 76% of buyers of luxury condominiums and serviced residences in Kuala Lumpur were Malaysians.

“Less than a quarter of Kuala Lumpur luxury condominium buyers are foreigners. Also, most of the local buyers are not highly leveraged and they are not buying for speculative purposes.”

The average prime capital values for condominiums in Kuala Lumpur are among the lowest in the region (compared with Bangkok, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong) while average gross rental yields are among the highest (hovering around 5.8%).

During the forum, Eastern & Oriental Bhd head of sales (property division) Fionna Chuah said the company’s high-end projects such as Dua Residency condominiums in the Kuala Lumpur embassy enclave, and Idamansara@Damansara Heights gated and guarded landed development, had seen strong capital appreciation ranging from 50% to 60% in the last few years.

“A few years ago, prices for Dua Residency were around RM600 per sq ft. Today, it is approaching RM1,000 per sq ft. As for Idamansara, a semi-detached house sold for RM3mil can fetch RM4.5mil today.”

Chuah said another of the company’s prime projects was St Mary Residences, which is a three-tower freehold condominium development (located adjacent to the The Weld shopping mall).

The project’s developer is Mergexcel Property Development Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between Lion Group and E&O Property Development.

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