WHILE some major developers are holding back their launches in view of the challenging market conditions, SkyWorld Development Sdn Bhd aims to make its presence known to the public. It has three new launches planned this year in Kuala Lumpur, with a total gross development value (GDV) of almost RM1.4 billion.
According to SkyWorld chief officer of project Lee Chee Seng, the bold move is intended to help the company achieve its target of becoming one of the Top 10 property developers in the country by 2018. It also aims to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) by then.
“Of course, the exact timing [of the IPO] will depend on the economy, and we are talking about being one of the Top 10 in terms of qualitative and quantitative aspects such as revenue and customer feedback.
“We are looking to achieve our targets by providing product innovation and quality products. We are emphasising on quality, so we are going for accreditations, even for our Rumawip Scheme. For example, our SkyAwani development in Sentul is adopting the Qlassic (Quality Assessment System in Construction) standard. I don’t think other developers are willing to do it [for affordable housing],” says Lee.
Projects to be launched this year
The first project that SkyWorld will launch this year is serviced apartment SkyLuxe On The Park, which will use the Construction Quality Assessment System (Conquas) and will be Green Building Index certified.
This development sits on a 1.85-acre freehold parcel located within the 80-acre Bukit Jalil Recreational Park and next to the 165-acre Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Resort along Jalan Jalil Perkasa 1.
It will have two serviced apartment blocks offering 477 units — sized between 661 and 1,214 sq ft — in 1+1, 2+1, 3+1 and 3-bedroom configurations.
The units will be launched within the next two months and priced from RM605,000, for an average selling price of
RM840 psf. The development is within walking distance of the Pavilion 2 mall and Awan Besar LRT station.
It is also near various educational institutions such as Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (formerly known as APIIT), International Medical University, FTMS (Financial Training & Management Services) Global College and TPM (Technology Park Malaysia) College.
Lee says Bukit Jalil is “hot” due to its location and proximity to various highways such as Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas), Bukit Jalil Highway, Maju Expressway (MEX) and KL-Seremban Highway.
“Bukit Jalil has an average market selling price of RM900 psf onwards — that is a high-end price range,” he explains. “Mont’Kiara was the same 10 years ago — a strategic location with good accessibility and various facilities nearby. I think Bukit Jalil will become the next Mont’Kiara in three to five years’ time. Many people are still looking for property in the area despite the current market sentiment.”
SkyWorld is targeting young professionals, couples, young families and retirees for SkyLuxe On The Park, which has received more than 1,000 registrants. Based on the demographics in Bukit Jalil, Lee expects to see an even portfolio of owners and investors, and he is confident that the project will be sold out due to the location, practical design and view.
“Our project is within a park, so you can enter the park without driving out,” Lee says. “Also, our design is practical. I can say the usage is at least 90% and we maximise the view of the park, KL city centre and golf course. One of our market strategies is to price the property at a range where buyers can have future capital appreciation.”
According to K Y Kwek, senior negotiator at Hartamas Real Estate (OUG) Sdn Bhd, there is demand for property in Bukit Jalil due to its strategic location, the public transport available, accessibility and the spillover effect from the established neighbourhoods nearby.
Accessibility to various highways makes Bukit Jalil a “centralised” location, he says, adding that it only takes 15 to 20 minutes to travel from the area to Bukit Bintang on an average traffic day.
“Basically, it is not difficult to sell anything below RM750,000 in Bukit Jalil. Of course, that also means the rental yield won’t be high,” says Kwek. “The ratio between owners and investors in the area is about 70% to 30% and it is actually healthy too.”
Currently, residents there are mostly made up of small families and young couples. Kwek, who also stays in the area, says residents from well-established neighbourhoods nearby such as Taman OUG and Kuchai Lama are also buying properties in Bukit Jalil for their children due to its proximity.
Meanwhile, SkySierra is located on a 13.6-acre tract next to AEON AU2 mall. It will be unveiled by the end of the year. The first phase is a condominium project on a 4.6-acre parcel. It will offer more than 1,000 units, including dual-key units, in three blocks.
For SkyAwani 2, there will be 700 residential units and a number of commercial lots on a 2.78-acre parcel. To be launched in August, the residential units will have built-ups of 800 sq ft and be priced at RM300,000.
Formerly known as NTP World Development Sdn Bhd, SkyWorld was renamed in 2014 to reflect its aim to execute designs to perfection that will eventually take it to new heights. Currently, it has a staff strength of 90.
Even though the company was incorporated in 2006 with an authorised and paid-up capital of RM50 million, it has only launched two projects — SkyArena in Setapak and SkyAwani in Sentul.
SkyArena was launched in October 2014. It is a privatised project with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and was obtained through a tender in 2011. The 28-acre development has a GDV of RM2.5 billion.
SkyWorld has since launched two phases in SkyArena. Phase 1, serviced apartment Ascenda Residences, is almost fully sold. Last year, it launched the first block of Phase 2 — known as Bennington Residences — which is now 70% sold. The second block will be launched next year.
“Ascenda Residences is our first project, so we hope to hand it over earlier. Buyers will be very happy then. We are also adopting the Qlassic standard for this project,” says Lee. “For Bennington Residences, the foundation work is ongoing. Earthworks for the shopping mall (Phase 4) is done and we will commence the piling soon.”
SkyArena will also feature a 9.4-acre multi-storey sport complex, which will boast an Olympic-size swimming pool, sport medical centre and café as well as facilities for board diving, scuba diving, rock climbing and futsal. Currently under construction, the sport complex will be owned by DBKL and managed by SkyWorld upon completion. It will be opened to the public.
Meanwhile, SkyAwani was launched last year. The RM454 million development will offer 1,226 residential units and 60 commercial lots on 5.78 acres. The residential component was launched in March last year and has since been fully sold. The units have built-ups of 800 sq ft and are priced at RM300,000 onwards.
Lee believes that there is still demand despite the current market conditions but buyers are now more cautious and are looking for the right products and pricing. Thus, SkyWorld will pay more attention to product design and the selling price.
“A lot of developers are resubmitting their plans this year due to the market sentiment, but we are going all the way to let people see that we are coming,” he says. “I also don’t think that the property market will collapse like it did in 1985 or 1997, as the government is more prepared this time. The market is slow now but I think it will come back up in one to two years’ time.”
This article first appeared in City & Country, a pullout of The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on May 16, 2016. Subscribe here for your personal copy.