Potential buyers are seeing a surge in condominium developments of various types with most high-end projects targeting ex-pat buyers on Penang’s seafront. The Suites at Waterside serviced apartments overlooking the marina in the Seri Tanjung Pinang integrated development saw over 50 per cent of its 160 units, comprising one and two-bedroom apartments, sold at the launch and foreigners made up about 30 per cent of buyers.
Built on reclaimed land, the 240-acre headland phase of Seri Tanjung Pinang is comparable in scale to Sentosa Cove in Singapore, although with suites selling from about RM550psf (S$240psf), Seri tanjung Pinang is considerably cheaper. Units at The Suites range in size from 853-2,568sqft and in price from RM445,000-RM1.25 million. The project is set to be completed and will include a marina, a waterfront promenade and a retail marketplace.
The main areas those interested in buying a condominium in-and-around Georgetown are Pulau Tikus and Gurney Drive, both of which would be considered prime locations; particularly for those working in the centre of the city. Gelugor and Bayan Baru are also popular, although mainly for those who work in the Bayan Lepas FIZ industrial area, which is close to Penang Bridge, the airport and has easy access to Butterworth.
The global credit crunch and the sub-prime crisis in the US has prompted investors to look to new markets and Malaysia is one of many developing Asian countries that appears to be benefiting from investment dollars that would likely have gone elsewhere if not for the fears of a looming recession in the United States and western Europe. The threat of a continuing, long-term downturn stateside could mean Malaysia and Penang can expect this extra attention to last for some time yet.
Financing is available for foreign investors once potential purchasers show proof of possessing some source of income to enable repayment. For foreigners, the maximum loan normally allowed is 80 per cent and the term of loan depends on the age of the purchaser. Those looking to buy a condominium in Penang Malaysia are currently looking at a range of between US$ 66,000 and US$ 250,000.
The fortunes of the companies responsible for Penang’s most recent projects have differed widely, in line largely with their targeted market area. Those with a focus on high-end segment such as IGB Corp Bhd, Sunrise Bhd and E&O Property Development Bhd have seen significant earnings growth this year, while the ones with focus on the mass market, such as MK Land Holdings Bhd and LBS Bina Group Bhd, have seen earnings down sharply due to poor sales.