Exciting years ahead for Metro Kajang
30 years is a very long time and that is the number of years that Metro Kajang Holdings Berhad has been in the business. Incorporated as Srijang Bena Sdn Bhd in 1979, the company has since grown into a public listed company on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia. iProperty.com caught up with Metro Kajang Holdings Berhad group managing director, Datuk Eddy Chen Lok Loi, and found out that the company’s property development roadmap is filled to the brim.
Metro Kajang Holdings Berhad (Metro Kajang) is an investment holding company that has numerous businesses that are principally involved in properties under the group. Its subsidiaries are involved in property development, project management, building management services, building construction, hospitality services, general trading in building material, furniture manufacturing, livestock farming and food processing and oil palm plantation.
The property development business for Metro Kajang has been abuzz with activities and there are many more coming up this year and in 2011. In the Klang Valley alone, the group has seven ongoing projects, some of them completing soon.
The group has Saville Residence serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur with a gross development value (GDV) of RM90 million, Pelangi Sentral serviced apartments in Damansara with a GDV of RM64 million, Pelangi Semenyih Phase 7 and 8 double storey terrace houses with a GDV of RM130 million, and Pelangi Semenyih Phase 9 concept shops with a GDV of RM80 million. The projects mentioned are either completed or almost complete.
Metro Kajang Holdings Berhad group managing director Datuk Eddy Chen Lok Loi, said, “Our latest launch is Hillpark Home residential offering 341 units with a GDV of RM91 million. The project showroom is already completed.”
He added, “Coming launches are Pelangi Semenyih 2 which is a mixed development offering 1,924 units spread over 168 acres. The launch of the project is expected in May and the project’s GDV is RM365 million.
“In July this year, we will be launching the first phase of a mixed development project in Kajang 2 occupying 44 acres of a total 270 acres. The total GDV of the entire project is RM1.2 billion. Meanwhile, in Melawati, we have in advanced stages of approval 480 units of serviced apartments scheduled for launch in June. The project’s sales value is about RM148 million.”
Metro Kajang’s upcoming projects go well into 2011. In Kajang town, which is the group’s stronghold, upcoming will be Kajang Boulevard retail office and serviced apartments. The RM121 million GDV project occupies 2.91 acres, consisting of 131 retail units, 18 offices and 200 serviced apartments. There are also plans for a RM397 million GDV shopping mall in Kajang town near the group’s headquarters. Built on 5.77 acres, the project consists of a 4-storey shopping mall, 16-storey office and 15-storey city hotel. In Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur, the company has a RM232 million GDV condominium project offering 488 units.
The group’s future projects extends to the Morib area, where there are plans for 271 units of water chalets spread over 29 acres. Chen said that Metro Kajang has engaged the services of a Singaporean group to do a feasibility study.
“The first phase of the water chalets has a GDV of 95 million. We actually have about 700 acres going into the sea with reclamation,” added Chen.
Chen also suggested that some of the projects targeted for launch in 2011 may be brought forward to this year should the timing be right. He had also hinted that the company is also undergoing joint venture discussions with other developers.
Metro Kajang’s projects
Ongoing (recently completed or about to complete)
Pelangi Semenyih Phase 7, 8 and 9
May – Pelangi Semenyih 2
June – Melawati serviced apartments
July – Kayang 2 Phase 1
Mall, offices and hotel in Kajang town
Pantai Dalam condominium
Morib water chalets
There are currently no immediate plans for Metro Kajang to venture into property development overseas. Chen said that so far the group’s possible overseas foray is still in preliminary stages where there are still looking at the foreign markets.
Chen explained, “We have interests in venturing overseas markets, namely China, Australia and India. So far the group has a manufacturing plant in China but we will be studying the property market there too. We are still in the familiarisation process. For now, Malaysia is still a growth story for Metro Kajang and we see the potentials of Malaysia, China and Australia are about the same.”
Currently, about 25-30 per cent of Metro Kajang’s property development revenue comes from commercial properties while residential make up the rest.
The Metro Kajang difference
According to Chen, Metro Kajang strong belief in the delivery of quality and value-for-money products has helped win over buyers. Defining quality, he said that it means that the features, concept, service, workmanship, materials and build environment must be good.
Chen explained, “There is no turning back on quality and we emphasise on quality in our products. The company even provided more than 24 months defects liability period for certain projects.
“House buyers today are more knowledgeable and they know their right, therefore the onus is on the developer to deliver a good product that fits the taste, need and demand of customers.”
In Kajang, Metro Kajang builds quality homes that averagely range from RM250,000 to RM500,000. Chen explained that this caters to the suburban demand for affordable quality homes. Metro Kajang also build exclusive properties in selected areas ranging from RM800,000 to RM1.5 million.
Asked to measure the capital appreciation of Metro Kajang’s developments against the performance of their surrounding area, Chen said that one can expect about a 30-35 per cent increase in value in three or five years, depending on the location.
“Prices have been steadily rising in Pelangi Semenyih. About six to seven years ago, houses there started at about RM140,000. Today, the houses are going for RM230,000 and above,” added Chen.
While Metro Kajang does not currently have any projects immediately lined up for Green Building Index (GBI) certification, Chen did not discount the possibility that some of the group’s developments will go for it.“The developments that we select for GBI has to be in areas that can afford it as going green has a cost associated to it. That said, we will still have green features in our developments, even the entry-level ones.
“There is a need to further educate consumers on what does going green mean. Do not be surprised that some would still be confused with what’s carbon footprint,” said Chen.
Positive outlook for 2010
According to Chen, Malaysia was not badly affected by the sub-prime crisis. He said, “Since 1998, most of the speculators are out of the market, confining speculation to specific areas only. Speculation has been very mild and there are now more owner-occupiers. There are property investors, but some of them are actually buying for their future, for their children.”
Chen added, “Moving on, there will be a continuous growth. It will be a small growth with no big gyration as we do not have a speculative market or big foreign buyers coming in. Constant development growth will be taken care by the country’s growing population. There will be more upside than downside, thanks to our lending policy and low interest rate environment.
“The government’s push for a higher income society will help drive better products in terms of quality, features, environment and such. Property values will increase as a result of having better products offered in the market. This gives a wealth effect to everyone. When that happens, house owners will feel better because their properties are valued higher. It is a feeling of security.”