Aug 8 wasn't just another Saturday at the Perumahan Kinrara Bhd sales office in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, Selangor. More than 100 home buyers, some of whom had been camping there for 10 nights and 11 days, were eagerly waiting in line for the launch of Sentosa - an 80-link house development in Phases B39/B40 of the freehold township.
The queuing had started on July 29 with 20 hopeful buyers at the covered corridor outside the sales office. On Aug 7, a day before the launch, they were moved to a tent built by the developer, the I&P Group.
Compared to a week ago at the hot launch of the developer's super link homes Temasya Suria @ Glenmarie in Shah Alam, the launch in Bandar Kinrara was more subdued. There was a slight commotion about 30 minutes before the launch when some people who were not in the official queue were spotted gathering next to a signboard that stated "Queue starts here!" On the other side of the board were chairs occupied by those in the official queue.
There was an exchange of words but calm returned in time for the launch which started at 9am sharp.
The official queue comprises buyers who had already registered their interest with the developer and received non-transferrable invitations to the launch. Those who queue on their behalf would need to produce authorisation letters.
First in queue
The 80 link homes were sold in three hours. No 1 in the queue was an excited Adrian Goh, who had expected competition as he believes these are the developer's last batch of such houses coming up in Bandar Kinrara 5.
"Desiran homes [launched two months ago] in Phase B41 attracted many buyers and they queued for five days and four nights. That created awareness among buyers, and they were just guessing how long people will queue for this particular project. Everybody is waiting for someone to queue and then they will follow suit.
"To be frank, I am not the one who started the queue. On the first day, there were two guys who came and queued with invitation letters. Since they were not the recipients of the letters and they did not have authorisation documents, the management did not allow them to queue," Goh tells City & Country.
The senior real estate negotiator at TSK Realty reveals that he did not camp out the entire 10 nights at the sales office corridor. He had authorised a woman who had charged him RM300 a night to assist him.
Goh helped to put up the numbering and identification (with photographs) of those in the official queue on the chairs in the tent.
"The interest in the project lies in its pricing. Given its built-up, this development is very cheap and attractive. It is at a discount of 18% to the market. The developer will have a margin but with such quality and location, these link houses should be about RM530,000 to RM540,000... the developer is now selling at RM460,000," says Goh, who bought a corner unit for RM643,888. He intends to move into the new house which has a land size of 3,122 sq ft with 2,551 sq ft in built-up.
"I have been eyeing this area for seven years. This place is the best with its accessibility to Damansara, PJ and KL. Generally, houses in Bandar Kinrara are the smallest in Puchong despite having the same land size. The place where I'm staying in Bandar Kinrara 4 has a built-up of only 1,300 sq ft," says Goh, who has been staying in the township for 10 years.
Featuring modern contemporary designs, Sentosa is tagged from RM462,888 to RM693,888. Typical units measure 22ft by 75ft, with built-ups ranging from 2,151 to 2,551 sq ft. The 80 houses give the developer an estimated gross development value (GDV) of just under RM40 million.
When the launch started, the first four in the queue were told to approach the registration counter. The crowd cheered and clapped. The successful buyers then presented their respective downpayments of RM10,000 and other documents.
Queuing at No 17 was 43-year-old credit controller Noorisah Mohd Ismail, who joined the queue on July 30. She, too, had enlisted paid help in camping out.
"I wanted to buy Desiran, but I thought this might be better because it has some landscaping in the middle of the development. The pricing is all right, and the capital appreciation should be good if I want to sell it later," says Noorisah, who stays in Bandar Kinrara 4.
Another buyer was Luis Daniel, general manager of KRR International Corp. He revealed that he and Goh had dropped by the sales office every night to make sure that their places were intact. Currently staying in Bandar Kinrara 5, Daniel was No 39 in the queue.
Less than half an hour after the launch, the developer announced future launches in the township. "For those who didn't get to buy any house today, you can check out our future launches. In BK5, we are going to launch 2-storey semidees in Phase 7A24 next month, as well as 2-storey terraced houses in Phase 7A13 in October."
With an indicative selling price from RM1.8 million, the semidees in Phase 7A24 have a built-up of about 3,300 sq ft on a 4,500 to 13,800 sq ft lot. The 24 units front the 18-hole Kinrara Golf Course.
Meanwhile, the 103 units of 2-storey terraced homes in Phase 7A13, with an indicative selling price of RM520,000, have a land size of 22ft by 75ft.
Another project the developer plans to launch by year-end will be eight units of exclusive 2-storey semidees in Phase 5A3 also in BK5, on elevated ground. These have an indicative price of RM1.7 million onwards.
Down South, the I&P Group through its wholly-owned subsidiary Pelangi Sdn Bhd is hoping to make a big splash in the Johor property market with the launch of several new projects in the coming months.
Group managing director Datuk Jamaludin Osman said I&P has earmarked some 1,414 acres of landbank for future launches which will be rolled out soon after it clears an existing stock of 300 houses and shoplots valued at more than RM100 million.
These properties in prime locations will be put up on offer during the JB Mega Property Sales Carnival from Aug 14 to 16 at the Pelangi Leisure Mall.
This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 768, Aug 17-23, 2009.
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