Zephyr Point to be launched next month

KUALA LUMPUR: Zephyr Point, an upscale boutique development in Lorong Basong, Damansara Heights by Urban Hallmark Properties (UHP) is expected to be launched next month, said UHP's director Datuk Jeffrey Ng.

Ng added that Zephyr Point is almost complete and is now awaiting the issuance of its certificate of fitness (CF).

He was speaking at a briefing by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (REHDA) on the application of the build-then-sell (BTS) concept on a high-end project, in which Zephyr Point was used as a case study.

Zephyr Point (pictured) comprises seven units, namely three penthouses and four 3-storey villas. The project, which is built on a 1.37-acre freehold site, has an indicative gross development value of RM75 million.

The penthouses range from 10,000 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft while the 3-storey villas have built-ups ranging from 8,000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft. These units are indicatively priced at RM1,200 psf.

The units come fully furnished, and is fitted with a private home office ranging from 300 sq ft to 500 sq ft on a special dedicated floor called the Breezeway.

The residents’ function lounge and entertainment foyer is also located on this floor, overlooking a fully equipped gym and infinity pool.

UHP's next project is a mixed-use project with serviced apartments and retail space, which will be built using the regular sell-then-build (STB) concept due to the more mass-market product type and target market, said Ng, who is also REHDA past president.

Ng, however, declined to reveal further details as the plans have yet to be confirmed.

Zephyr Point, which he touts as a case study of the BTS concept, was built without relying on incentives by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MLHG) because it was either unapplicable to this project or “not attractive enough”.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung, who was also present at the briefing, said the BTS concept in property development may be the “best” model in the world, but its application in the Malaysian context has been constrained largely by lack of finances.

“You cannot afford (to practice BTS) unless you are Warren Buffet,” Chor quipped.

He said most property developers are able to only undertake the development of 20 houses at a time if they were to adopt BTS, and any more than that would “not make sense” economically.

The government had encouraged the BTS concept to cut down on abandoned housing projects, said Chor.

“No abandoned housing projects means no purchasers become victims,” he said.

However, Chor acknowledged that the BTS was not a cure for all development woes.

Ng said the BTS concept may not be an effective way to reduce the incidence of abandoned housing schemes as the problem lay in a less-than-stringent process of granting licenses to property developers, which goes on without proper background checks.

Ng said the regular STB model should continue to prevail. However, if developers are keen on adopting the BTS model, the government should provide better incentives such as tax breaks, he said.

Current incentives offered to encourage the adoption of the BTS concept include a waiver of the deposit and stamp duties to the government as well as expediting the processing of development and planning documents, which is to be completed within four months.

“I can tell you that it is more than four months,” Ng said, referring to the processing period of documents.

This would undermine the efforts of the government to produce about 150,000 new residences a year to meet domestic consumption, said the REHDA immediate past president Datuk Ng Seing Liong.

To sustain the supply of houses, the industry should stick to the STB concept, which is now serving that purpose.

“The whole supply chain may collapse,” Seing Leong said.
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