Build more affordable houses in city centre, property developers told

Build more affordable houses in city centre, property developers told

KUALA LUMPUR, October 3 — The government has requested government-linked companies (GLCs) in property development such as UDA Holdings Bhd (UDA) to build more low-cost and affordable houses to accommodate the housing needs of the lower income earners living in Kuala Lumpur.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said although the government could not lend financial support to the GLCs, they must carry out their social responsibilities to balance the development in the city area.

“UDA must stay economically competitive in property development as well as sustaining its presence as a significant developer and asset management company in the rapidly growing industry.

“With the profits made, this could be transformed to help the government develop more affordable houses while at the same time purchase undeveloped land or landbank for future development,” he told reporters after officiating at the launch of Anggun Residences, a premier serviced apartment project by UDA here, today.

However, Johari noted that the land offered by the GLCS and corporations to build public housing must be located within the city centre where public transportation is available.

“This is the main issue that the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) are facing because most of the landbank given are far away from the city centre like in Semenyih, Kajang and so on.

“Therefore, we will continue to work with developers to enable us to meet the objective of helping the lower income earners to live and work comfortably here,” he added.

Asked on Budget 2016 which will be tabled on Oct 23, Johari said it was proceeding smoothly but declined to elaborate.

Meanwhile, UDA group managing director Datuk Ahmad Abu Bakar said Anggun Residences, situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city centre, has a gross development value (GDV) of RM400 million.

The 384 units of serviced apartments will offer various layout designs comprising studio, one bedroom, two bedrooms, 2+1 bedrooms and 3+1 bedrooms that come with common facilities and car parking spaces.

To be built on a 0.34-hectare (ha) land within the 1.82ha plot owned by UDA, the 29-storey freehold apartment block near Jalan Sultan Ismail is slated for completion by 2017.

“Given the difficult market situation, we however believe that this project would be successful as it is value-for-money, with built-ups from 657 to 1,535 sq ft.

“In comparison to other high-end properties within the area, Anggun Residences are priced between RM1,300 and RM1,400 per sf, which are competitive considering the development’s prime location,” said Ahmad.

The company, which has about RM600 to RM800 million worth of GDV annually, expects to be among the top 10 players in the country by 2018.