While the recent deals of Cochrane land and Connaught land sales to Sunway Property and UEM Sunrise Bhd respectively have caught the market’s attention, real estate agency Rahim & Co International Sdn Bhd CEO Siva Shanker says not many developers are looking for land in Kuala Lumpur city centre.

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“After all, even during bad times, the land price still stays on the high side due to land scarcity,” he explains, adding that many are interested with plots located within 10km radius from the city centre such as Sungai Besi or land in major business hubs in the Klang Valley.

For instance, UEM Sunrise acquired three parcels of prime land in Section 13, Petaling Jaya (PJ), Selangor on Jalan Professor Khoo Kay Kim for RM200 million back in March this year, with plans to build a RM1.3 billion mixed-use development there.

According to Public Investment Bank’s report on June 8, with the newly acquired landbank, UEM Sunrise’s total landbank in the Central Region has increased to 440.1 acres, amounting to an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM29 billion.

On the company’s asset balancing move, Public Investment Bank analyst Tan Siang Hing said in a research note that the landbank addition is consistent with the management’s strategy to rebalance its portfolio and increase its foothold in the Klang Valley, especially strategic land parcels with quick turnarounds.

“Recent moves saw the group lowering its exposure in Johor, including the disposal of its 170-acre industrial land to AME Elite for RM434 million, and the reduction of its stake in a firm developing 2,500 acres of land in Kulai, Johor for RM183 million, while adding more development land in the Central Region,” said the report.

Other than UEM Sunrise, Penang-based developer GSD Land (M) Sdn Bhd has purchased a 2.06-acre land in Section 13, PJ. The freehold plot was the former Sinalco and Kickapoo Joy Juice bottling factory site which was owned by Singapore-based National Aerated Water Co (KL) Sdn Bhd.

Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd also, in May this year, acquired a five-acre leasehold land in Setapak, KL for RM89 million in Jalan Genting Kelang. The developer plans to roll out a mixed development called M Astra, which will have a GDV of RM618 million.

Meanwhile, Axis Real Estate Investment Trust, which focuses on industrial properties, also expanded its portfolio by acquiring a 20.75-acre plot in Shah Alam, Selangor for RM120 million.

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my E-weekly on June 11, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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