It pays to be different

Property Times, April 8, 2011

By S.C Cheah

Who says the high-end condominium market is saturated and lacks buyers? It all depends on who is doing the offering and for what.

If, for example, you are YTL Land & Development Bhd (YTL Land) or Sunway City Bhd (SunCity), you can be assured the response to a new launch will be well received. Such was the case with the former’s The Capers in Sentul East, Kuala Lumpur and the latter’s La Costa in South Quay in Petaling Jaya, a fortnight ago.

You should have seen the crowd quieting up to buy The Capers when it was previewed at YTL Land’s sales office in Starhill Gallery along KL’s Jalan Bukit Bintang. Despite being priced between RM688, 519 and RM3.28 million, or an average of RM575psf-a new price benchmark for Sentul – they snapped up all the 338 units in the tower block in just two days.

The huge turnout was expected as more than 7,000 people had registered their interest, but nevertheless, YTL Land executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian said he was still pleasantly surprised.

“Many of them were attracted by the iconic architecture,” he told me.

“The design of The Capers is something that KL has not been before...we want to raise (the city’s architectural) benchmarks and contribute to her goal of becoming a world-class city through our vision of transforming Sentul."

Indeed, The Caper’s wavy iconic design is the talk of the town and blows the competition away. Being totally different in a very competitive condominium market is vital in having an edge over rivals.
If you buy to stay, the futuristic design is definitely a bragging point and, if you buy to flip, chances of people buying your unit and not another run-of-the-mill condo is also better, simply because the facade is so unusual. Being different pays.

Besides a pair of 36-storey towers that have a pool facing, The Caper will also have a five-storey lowrise blocks on the podium floor of the towers. This will accommodate 128 units, made up of four-plus-one bed-room duplex units (with 1,925sq ft) on the ground floor and three levels of two-plus-one bedroom suites. (999 sq ft). The lowrise offerings are expected to mirror the success of the tower units.

YTL Land has capped the number of units per floor in the tower at only six, which is similar to what has been designed for The Maple at Sentul West, a 318-unit condominium in Sentul West.
The Maple, the country’s first gated residential development, with an exclusive 35-acre park, is currently being resold at an average price of RM500psf – double its 2003 launch price.

The Capers is the third residential development to be launched in the Sentul East, the earlier two being The Tamarind and The Saffron.

According to Yeoh, the area has established a strong record of capital appreciation, with the Saffron, which was launched in 2006 for RM220psf now changing hands for between RM450psf and RM500psf.

Those who missed out on The Capers can try buying a unit out in The Fennel, the next condo phase that may be launched next year.

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