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Fajarbaru eyes launching new property projects towards 2H21

KUALA LUMPUR (April 30): Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd is looking at launching new property projects towards the second half of 2021 (2H21) once market conditions improve.

In a statement today, the construction and property development outfit said it is upbeat on its property segment’s outlook in anticipation of the economic recovery complemented by the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Fajarbaru group chief executive officer Datuk Sri Eric Kuan Khian Leng said the property division remains a significant revenue generator for the group in addition to its core business in construction.

"We have property development interest not just in Malaysia but in Australia as well. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly affected the property segment, there are positive signs that market conditions will improve and we can capitalise on it as long as we adapt and innovate accordingly," he said.

Fajarbaru said it recently completed its maiden development of Rica Residence @ Sentul on schedule, and started the handover in mid-March this year. The project has a gross development value (GDV) of RM292.49 million.

The firm said the latest take-up rate of Rica Residence @ Sentul stood at 82% (including bookings).

It said the handover was originally due to kick off up to three months earlier, but was delayed due to movement control order (MCO) restrictions.

Kuan said that going ahead, the firm is in the midst of releasing the remaining developer units.

"We believe there will be a strong take-up after the MCO — the near-completion of the MRT 2 (Mass Rapid Transit Line 2) in 2022 is also a positive boost for us to do so smoothly. We target to sell off the remaining units by the end of 2021," he said.

Meanwhile in Australia, Fajarbaru's second development, Paragon Queen Street, was completed recently with a take-up rate of 93%.

It had a GDV of A$182.84 million (about RM583.74 million). The group is now on to its third development there, a project comprising 15 residential two-storey houses along Merri Creek in Northcote, Melbourne. The estimated GDV of the Northcote development is approximately A$40.2 million.

He said the construction of Northcote had not yet started, but it is scheduled for a soft launch sometime in mid-2021 and the interest had been encouraging due to the location.

"This project will increase our presence in the property market in Melbourne, Australia, and expand the group’s earning base," he said.

Going forward, he said Fajarbaru is looking into expanding its local property development into Penang and Putrajaya once the economy fully reopens.

"Projects in prime locations and high-end landed property developments will be viable, but market demand for affordable housing and family upgraders cannot be neglected," he said.

At the midday break today, Fararbaru shares were up 3.52% or 2.5 sen at 73.5 sen, valuing the stock at RM274.8 million.

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