The Thompson team not long ago held a Chinese New Year Garden Party for the residents, bankers and press agents, bringing together the people living in the completed bungalows for a few hours of fun, food, conversation and live band performance.
The aim was to introduce the residents to each other and create a sense of camaraderie between neighbours. It is beneficial to have neighbours looking out for one another and for residents to know each other.
The Garden Party was well attended by 120 people comprising mainly residents with some Taiko staff. A fireworks show was the highlight of the evening and a relaxing time was had by all at the party which was held at the Clubhouse and Open Space and sponsored by contractors and suppliers of the development.
Demand for business suites in Ipoh is on the rise. Since the launch of Majestic Tower in November 2012 almost 80 per cent of such units have been booked. Buoyed by this development, Majestic Ipoh Sdn Bhd launched its second block, Imperial Tower, on Sunday, January 13.
The project, known as “The Majestic”, consists of two 21-storey towers, with a total of 333 units of business suites and 703 parking bays over six levels. There will also be 12 commercial lots on the ground floor reserved for food and beverage businesses. Located along Jalan Dato’ Tahwil Azar, The Majestic is now the focal point of Ipoh city.
The objective is to provide modern-concept living to Ipohites with a wide range of amenities, facilities and services such as Jacuzzi, infinity pool and gymnasium for the convenience of residents. Closed-circuit TV monitoring is provided as an added security measure. The management of the buildings will be handed over to a professional firm, to be appointed in due time.
Mindful of sentiments attached to the Majestic Theatre, the site where this project partially sits, the name “Majestic” is retained. The developer had commissioned Atelier Alan Teh Architect from Penang to incorporate the art déco of the theatre in The Majestic.
Dato’ Poo Tak Kiau, Managing Director of Majestic Ipoh Sdn Bhd, feels that Ipohites have to accept the fact that development brings changes. “We’ve to move with time,” he remarked.
The Majestic will bring life to the heart of Ipoh, a reality many are waiting for.
For more information on The Majestic, log on to www.majesticipoh.com.
Kinta EcoCity, the pioneer developer in Ipoh, marked its 10th Anniversary in 2012 by organising an open concert as an act of reciprocation for constant support from buyers and cultivating future prospects.
Kinta EcoCity’s success on trusted customer service and reliability with its promise of “Building Homes, Developing Communities” will be further enhanced in 2013 with more emphasis not only on building homes but also be the agent in developing communities despite different cultures and values in Malaysia.
An estimated 2000 people turned up for the concert event. The drum troupe, from Menglembu High School Ipoh, started off the event, followed by a Chinese classical singer, YouDi. Both performances gave a warm opening that kept audience attention engaged.
Later, the popular Astro pair singers, Geraldine Gan and Chou Jie Ying, intensified the crowd enthusiasm even more. Some took the opportunity to hand them flowers as tokens of appreciation. The event reached its climax when Amy, the legendary rock singer from the band Search, performed. His performance was coupled with light humour keeping the audience responsive throughout. The crowd sang along especially during his songs ‘Tiada Lagi’ and ‘Isabella’.
Known derogatorily as a “piss stop city”, Ipoh is rapidly developing over the past three years to the delight of property developers, owners and investors. New residential developments are fetching over a million ringgit per unit, something unheard of just a few years ago. Surprisingly, for a city with ample land, condominiums are much sought after too. The property market in Ipoh is more vibrant than what many thought.
Views From Developers
Sunrise Palace Sdn Bhd recently launched Clearwater Bay Resort (Phase 2B) in Bandar Lahat Mines, Lahat with 26 units of 2½-storey Zero Bungalows. Standard lots are priced from RM1,088,880, and so far, twenty units have been booked. Although not a new developer in Ipoh, this is the company’s first million-ringgit residential development. According to company director Rodney Lee, the reason they decided to venture into the uncharted high-end residential market is because there is a demand for such properties. The majority of buyers of these million-ringgit Zero Bungalows are from Ipoh, while the rest are from Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands, Sitiawan and Penang.
When asked about the profile of buyers, Lee revealed that they are business people purchasing them for investment purposes. According to him, it is a good sign for property investors, as Ipoh property prices continue to rise. The reason properties here are selling “like hot cakes” is because properties in more developed cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru are too highly priced. The unobstructed view of the nearby lake of Clearwater Bay Resort’s 2½-storey Zero Bungalows is a major selling point.
Taiko-Straits Developments Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Taiko Properties Sdn Bhd., is the developer of The Thompson Bungalows, along Jalan Tun Dr Ismail (formerly Thompson Road), which is right in the centre of Ipoh. Thirty eight out of the 47 available units (almost 81 per cent) are already sold, despite its hefty price tag of RM2.95 million and above.
Eunice Foo, manager of Taiko-Straits Developments Sdn Bhd, said that their buyers are mainly from Ipoh. They chose The Thompson Bungalows in order to upgrade their lifestyle. Others are foreigners from Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland and England, who bought them as holiday homes. A Japanese expatriate bought one for his family and was pleasantly surprised when the value of his property rose by almost RM500,000 within eight months!
The major selling points of The Thompson Bungalows are their strategic location and freehold land status. The other is its coveted neighbourhood. The name, “Thompson” too has an intrinsic advantage.
One of the early high-end gated-community developers in Ipoh, Megayear Corporation Sdn Bhd, sold out all 15 of its million-ringgit bungalows in Taman Tawas Idaman. Company director Rave Lim decided to venture into the high-end market upon acquiring the company from his father, because he wanted to bring the concept of upscale living to Ipohites. It is not a surprise that all 15 buyers are from Ipoh. They like the contemporary concept and the security that Tasek Square Residence offer. The value of houses has since appreciated by 20%.
Riding on the success of The Enclave, Anjung Hijau Sdn Bhd owned by KAB Group who also owns the IMPIANA group of hotels, launched Enclave 11 a few months ago. Sales have been brisk with almost 50 per cent of its units sold.
According to Francis Chung, IMPIANA Group’s Executive Director Corporate Strategies and Hotel Operations, who also oversees the Sales and Marketing activities of Anjung Hijau Sdn Bhd, The Enclave is located at the best prime address in Ipoh – Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah or better known as “Tiger Lane”. It is the “Bangsar of Ipoh”.
Chung said that upgrading to The Enclave is a natural progression for any property buyers looking for a premier address. Besides, Anjung Hijau is one of the first developers to introduce modern and innovative designs that were previously only found in the Klang Valley.
Peter Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Superboom Projects Sdn Bhd, the developer of The Haven Lakeside Residences, stressed that Ipoh property market is playing catch up with more developed cities in Malaysia and there is still plenty of room for appreciation. With its laid back lifestyle and fresh air, Ipoh is a very attractive city to live in. Many people bypass Ipoh and do not appreciate what it offers; hence, the city has been underrated thus far.
Chan shared that about 50 per cent of purchasers of The Haven are from Ipoh, while 25 per cent are from outside of the city. The rest are foreigners buying as holiday homes. When asked why these buyers opted for condominium-living, he said, “They want the security and the vast range of facilities that we offer. Moreover, the natural surroundings appeal to them.” The Haven Lakeside Residences are slated to complete by the third quarter of 2013.
Thoo Sing Choon, Director of Jordan Lee and Jaafar Sdn Bhd said that not only are people buying million-ringgit homes, they are also willing to pay a huge sum of money to purchase old houses, demolish and rebuild them according to their taste and design.
A fine example is Canning Garden, an upper-middle-class residential area in Ipoh, where facilities and services are already in place. He said, “Canning Garden is in a prime location, a short distance from city centre. Compared to newer housing developments, this area is not secluded, with easy access to the North-South Expressway. Although land size is relatively small, averaging between 5000 to 6000 sq ft, houses here are currently going at a minimum rate of RM100 psf.”
Director of Landmark Valuers & Consultants, Loh Nyit Mee, identified prestige as the deciding factor for this group of buyers who are rebuilding houses in older residential areas, like Housing Trust. The others are infrastructure and accessibility.
The Principal of D.Henry Valuers Realtor, D.Henrey Arther, was of the opinion that it is a seller’s market for high-end properties in Ipoh. Buyers are willing to purchase for the location, especially if it is a gated and guarded neighbourhood within an affluent area. The reason why purchasers relocate themselves to older residential areas, according to Henrey, is because of the freehold land status and secured neighbourhood.
With improving lifestyle, it is little wonder that high-end properties in Ipoh are selling like hot cakes. Most of the buyers of such properties are from Ipoh, some worked overseas and are back to replant roots and to retire here, while a smaller number of buyers are foreigners looking for a second, or retirement home. The costs of living and housing in Ipoh are relatively cheaper compared to other major cities in Malaysia.
Buyers of Ipoh’s high-end properties are very discerning. They look for security, quality, space, sports and recreational facilities within their community. Demanding they may be, they are willing to pay good money for these conveniences in a modern-concept neighbourhood, especially one with an alluring address.
Francis Chung of IMPIANA Group stressed that Ipoh is the perfect city for retirees and young married couples. He said, “I strongly believe there is a huge potential for the property market here, especially developments that are strategically located. Ipoh is just two hours away from Kuala Lumpur by road or rail. Shopping centres and private hospitals are just within ten minutes’ drive from city centre. And there is an international school to cater to the expatriate community.”
He added, “The average price of high-end landed properties in prime locations in Ipoh is between RM400-RM480 psf, whereas it is between RM800-RM1200 psf in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.”
Bubble or Boom?
The upscale housing market in Ipoh may seem all rosy at this point in time, but is the Ipoh residential property market in a bubble or is it a normal housing boom?
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an officer with a leading bank who is in charge of housing loans does not think that there is a bubble. The increase in land value along with costs of building materials and workmanship, plus strong demand from both local and foreign buyers, contribute to the increase in prices of high-end condominiums and houses.
If at all an economic meltdown happens, purchasers would have to bear the consequences and continue servicing their housing loans. There is, however, the option to refinance or reschedule repayment.
And since the majority of buyers of upscale properties are from the moneyed class, chances of them going bust are unlikely. They buy the properties based on several factors; perceived value and the prestige the properties offer them. And having made a life-time commitment, there is little likelihood they will retract.