Thursday, 29 June 2017

(NST) Iskandar Puteri draws Singapore's wealthy

SINGAPORE’S high net-worth individuals are shifting their investments across the border to Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, as properties have become too expensive in their homeland.

They are buying landed properties in Iskandar Puteri (formerly Nusajaya) in Iskandar Malaysia.

Among the properties is Ledang Heights, which is one of UEM Sunrise Bhd’s earliest projects in the southern corridor.

Ledang Heights is one of the prime estates which won the “Best Development Malaysia” award at the Bloomberg Asia Pacific Property Awards in 2010.

It was also acknowledged as one of Southeast Asia’s 20 Best Resort Developments in Southeast Asia i-Property Awards by Property Report.

Ledang Heights, launched more than a decade ago, offered 571 bungalow lots spread over 133ha of freehold land.

The take-up rate was a mix between Malaysians and foreigners, of whom a large number came from Singapore.

It is understood that the developer has sold all the bungalow lots.

Some Johor-based property valuers said the land price in Ledang Heights had increased fivefold since 2007 to between RM150 and RM250 per square ft (psf) today. (The price depends on the locations in the estate).

In 2007, land in Ledang Heights was sold for about RM35 psf. Five years later, it rose to around RM80 psf.

According to a valuer, land prices shot up when more than RM1 billion was invested over several years to develop infrastructure and landscaping in Iskandar Puteri, besides building new amenities and state-of-the-art facilities.

Ledang Heights now boasts of excellent connectivity, with easy access to Nusajaya Highway and the Second Link Expressway, which connects to the Tuas checkpoint in Singapore.

It is also strategically located near major shopping malls, hypermarkets, Afiat Health Park (an upcoming integrated medical hub which is home to Gleneagles Hospital and future medical and wellness projects) and EduCity, which is home to a number of international universities, colleges and schools.

The Johor government’s new administrative office in Kota Iskandar, Legoland, Puteri Habour and Pinewood Studios are also minutes away from Ledang Heights.

Ledang Heights - Prized asset

Ledang Heights is one of the most prestigious developments in Iskandar Puteri, offering luxurious and urban resort living.

This is further complemented by the Ledang Urban Retreat, a recreational lifestyle destination in UEM Sunrise’s ongoing residential development, East Ledang.

The retreat, which opened in 2010, offers a spa managed by Angsana Spa of the Banyan Tree Group, a well-equipped fitness centre, a 50m lap pool, meeting and seminar rooms, a tastefully-designed karaoke lounge and food and beverage outlets.

The future of Ledang Heights looks promising with the planned Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, which is expected to be completed in 10 years.

The HSR will draw more investors from Singapore and other parts of the world to Iskandar Malaysia.

Gerbang Nusajaya, also located in Iskandar Puteri and near Ledang Heights, will be home to the HSR station, which is the first stop of the estimated 90-minute journey from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

Exhale Group co-founder David Bochsler said the HSR would add significant value to Iskandar Puteri as it connected the area directly to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

“Although Iskandar Malaysia is a large area, freehold bungalow land with quick access to Singapore is in short supply, representing less than 0.2 per cent of the total land in the region.

“This is not likely to be replenished. It is only available in the resale market in Leisure Farm and Ledang Heights.

“This will likely propel property prices in those areas upwards in the near future,” he said.