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City & Country: Low Yat Group launches Acacia Park in Rawang

PREVIOUSLY a small tin-mining town with a few rows of shophouses, Rawang has seen significant growth in recent years. One of the pioneering property developers is Low Yat Group, which started developing the 2,670-acre township Bandar Tasik Puteri (BTP) in the late 1990s.

BTP is no stranger to buyers as Low Yat Group has focused on developing mid-range properties since it launched its first phase in 1998. Block 14 comprised 1,000 units of

1 and 11/2-storey terraced houses that were sold at RM100,000 to RM150,000.

To date, BTP has built 12,000 residential and some commercial units on 1,335 acres of the township. Currently, the development has a population of 60,000.

Low Yat Group is set to launch its latest residential project called Acacia Park this mon. It is adjacent to the Tasik Puteri Golf and Country Club. The RM500 million project sits on 16.75 acres and comprises four phases. Once fully completed, it will feature 900 units of 2-storey terraced houses.

The first phase of Acacia Park will comprise 224 units of 80ft by 18ft units with built-ups of 1,660 to 2,067 sq ft. Prices range from RM415,803 to RM681,800. It has a gross development value (GDV) of RM100 million.

Building work is slated to start in the second week of this month and be completed in 2016, says director of area property development and technical services Lee Kok Wah.

“Those who registered their interest are our previous buyers and those who came to know of Acacia Park through our website,” says Lee. “Currently, we have 85% pre-bookings for Acacia Park [received at a pre-launch preview] in mid-September. We’re also happy that the interested buyers are our target market, those who are between 30 and 45 years old, and some are also first-time homebuyers.”

Lee explains that Acacia Park will be fenced and guarded — complete with perimeter fences, CCTV and a guard house — as the land comes with individual titles. “It’s not the same as a gated concept, where you have strata titles. The fenced and guarded concept is a model that we will look at in Bandar Tasik Puteri going forward.”

Lee believes that BTP has more to offer in the future, possibly as busy as Puchong in the next 10 years, especially since many developers, such as Mah Sing Group Bhd, GuocoLand (M) Bhd and Glomac Bhd, now have their own projects in the area as well.

Moreover, accessibility is good. In clear traffic, it takes about 40 minutes to get from Rawang to the KL city centre via the North-South Expressway, the Guthrie Corridor Expressway and Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR Expressway).

But for BTP residents, this travel time will be halved in 2016, when the developer opens its new interchange that will link the township to LATAR Expressway.

The developer is also looking forward to the end-November launch of its high-end Seiring Residences within BTP. The RM250 million project sits on 40 acres and will comprise two parts, Seiring East and Seiring West. To be launched first, Seiring East will consist of 32 semi-dees and 104 linked semi-dees. The final details are still being ironed out, says Lee.

Going forward, BTP will also offer a range of products, from mid-range homes to high-end villas. “Buyers can look forward to bungalows, golf villas and an integrated development with retail complexes,” he adds.

To make BTP a bustling town, Low Yat Group is in talks to set up an international school, a hypermarket and a medical centre. “We expect to have these amenities ready and operational by 2016,” says Lee. “With all the new things coming up in BTP, I think we will see healthy capital appreciation. On average, landed homes see 30% appreciation upon completion, so we can expect the same average here.”

Outlook

Although some developers are concerned about the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Lee remains optimistic. “From the feedback that we have gathered, we still have a good market, as our target group of buyers are first-time homebuyers and genuine homeowners instead of short-term investors,” says Lee. “Even with the upcoming 6% tax, our products will still be viable for buyers as prices range from RM400,000 to RM600,000, which is considered affordable by the federal government.”

However, Lee believes the GST will impact the property market as a whole. “We will surely see a ripple effect on the market when GST is implemented but it will slowly taper off once people understand how the tax works,” he says. “The mid-range segment will still be healthy but I don’t know what kind of impact it will have on the higher-end segment. Any developers that is launching in the second half of 2014 will have already factored in the GST.”

Lee explains that the banks’ tightening of standards for loans is a challenge that all developers face, but he adds that the relief from stamp duty announced in Budget 2015 will help to boost the property market.

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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 3 - 9, 2014.

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