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GuocoLand to re-look Oval’s prices by June

Average RM1,500 psf price lower than some nearby properties, says CEO


MOST new developments in the Kuala Lumpur city centre area trumpet their proximity to the prestigious Petronas Twin Towers as a selling point.

The Oval – GuocoLand Malaysia’s ‘twin-elliptical residential towers’ – claim to be that, and more.

The developer says its supersized units are akin to ‘full floor homes’, and will have an unimpeded 360-degree view of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) skyline.

The two residential towers are 41-storey blocks with 70 units in each structure. Four of the eight ‘Mansionary Villas’ in the first tower have been snapped up despite their price tag of RM10 million (S$4.4 million) upwards each.

As its name suggests, the Mansionary Villas are huge by normal city apartment standards, and buyers with families especially would appreciate the 7,600 square feet of space (five-plus-one bedrooms) and the four carpark lots allocated to each unit.

Non-Malaysians have been quick to warm to the upmarket offering, accounting for 60 per cent of the 20 or more units that have already been sold.

Foreigners eyeing KLCC area apartments are not so price sensitive, observed GuocoLand chief executive Paul Poh Yang Hong.

‘I think they also like the concept and the size of the units, and appreciate the potential capital upside,’ he said.

The Oval has not been officially launched although it has had previews since January for existing clients and associates.

Mr Poh believes The Oval’s average price of RM1,500 per square foot is another plus factor, as some other nearby developments have been priced at more than RM2,000 psf. But come its official launch this May or June, ‘we will re-look prices’, Mr Poh said at a media preview yesterday.

The first tower on the 2.14-acre project is 40 per cent complete, and buyers should be able to move in by the second quarter of 2009.

GuocoLand is not the original developer of The Oval. Through a wholly owned subsidiary, it acquired the entire equity interest in Titan Debut, which owned the 140 units of service apartments in the then-Oval Apartments.

Mr Poh said that the project was acquired while it was still at an early stage of development and the new buyers managed to infuse its ideas into it.

It found a ready financial backer in Kuwait Finance House (KFH) which heads a consortium of financiers for the project, whose gross development value is estimated at RM800 million.

KFH is the lead financier for a number of other big developments in the city centre such as Pavilion KL – the city’s newest high-end shopping centre – and has emerged as the most aggressive foreign banker in real estate deals in Malaysia.

It has no equity in The Oval, however, and Mr Poh said that while GuocoLand was keeping its options for the second tower open, it would prefer selling the units in the second tower individually rather than en bloc. The launch of the next block has not been decided yet.

The Oval will be previewed in Indonesia and Singapore next month. There is only one other option of units, and these are the Sky Villas – at some 3,750 sq ft they are half the size of the Mansionary Villas, and because there are two on each floor, each comes with just a 180-degree view.

But as Mr Poh conceded, nothing is constant, especially as there are still vacant lots surrounding The Oval. Skyline views could look quite different in the future.

Source: Business Times 23 Feb 08

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