Thursday, 12 July 2018

(NST) Mah Sing eyes more landbank

MAH Sing Group Bhd feels that investing in land is one of the sound investment strategies available for a developer, especially with improving market sentiment.

According to group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum, Mah Sing is on the lookout for land with strategic locations and favourable payment terms.

The aim is increase its landbank in Klang Valley to 75 per cent from the current 66 per cent in the next two to three years, he said.

Leong said Mah Sing is able to drive its key strategy in replenishing landbank as it is supported by a healthy balance sheet with net cash position as well as a strong financial track record with cash and bank balances of about RM840 million as at March 31 this year.

Last year, the group acquired three pieces of land ― in Sentul, Cheras and Permatang Tinggi, Penang.

With detailed planning and efficient execution, in line with its quick turnaround strategy, Mah Sing successfully launched M Vertica in Cheras, with prices starting from RM450,800, and M Centura in Sentul, selling from RM328,000 last year.

Leong said M Vertica and M Centura recorded strong take-ups of 85 and 95 per cent, respectively, during their initial launches.

Mah Sing will be handing over a few projects this year, including Lakeville Residence in Jalan Kuching, D’sara Sentral in Sungai Buloh, Savanna Executive Suites in Southville City, Bangi, as well as Greenway and Eden in Meridin East, Johor, and expects to receive about RM587 million in vacant possession billings, further boosting its 2018 cash flow.

“The growing demand for housing indicates that Mah Sing is on the right track to focus on its land expansion and development of affordable, well-planned mass market housing projects priced below RM500,000. With the improving market sentiments, we are confident that we are able to exceed our sales target of RM1.8 billion this year,” said Leong.

Mah Sing has lined up RM2.2 billion worth of project launches this year, with majority to take place in the second half.

“The current market is improving with a feel-good effect as the cost of living is reduced due to measures taken by the government, such as petrol subsidy. The government is looking at implementing delayed PTPTN repayments as well as working closely with Bank Negara Malaysia on relaxing current lending guidelines to enable more small businesses and first-time buyers to secure housing loans.

“The property market is also supported by the demand-supply gap in Malaysia, whereby there were 123,902 new households formed compared with 88,000 new houses completed per year in 2012 to 2017,” Leong said.

Property Guru’s consumer sentiments survey in 2017 indicates that consumer satisfaction has strengthened in light of an improving economy. According to the survey, more than 90 per cent of Malaysians prefer to own their own homes.