Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Launch - Swiss Garden Residences

Over the weekend, we saw the launching of Swiss Garden Residences. It is a 2 tower freehold serviced apartment located behind the current Swiss Garden Hotel in Jalan Pudu. Apparently, it will be managed by Swiss Garden and there are limited units available for a lease back program where Swiss Garden will guarantee a 7% return for 5 years. The price of these units are about 10% higher than others and mostly located in Tower A and on lower floors in Tower B.

From the model pictures shown above and below, it can be seen that this project is going to add some prestige to the otherwise drab Pudu area. Some might believe that it is going to carry on the success of the Casa Mutiara serviced apartment located just behind the project.

However, priced at around RM800psf average, this is no Casa Mutiara. The success of Casa Mutiara is due to the lack of choice rentals for a budget below RM2000. From the launch price of Swiss Garden, it does not seem likely that anyone is going to be able to get anything here for less than RM2000/month. The 550sf 1 bedroom units start from RM333k which is just above RM600psf. It is certainly setting a benchmark for the Pudu area. How the neighbouring Plaza Rakyat project and the Pudu jail redevelopment will influence this area remains to be seen. I also feel this project is a bit ambitious and confident to be launched during this trying times.

The interior is not really that interesting except for the sunken shower (above). The ID effort on the show room is certainly impressive which resulted in one very heated discussion between one (not so) prospective buyer and the sales manager. The buyer, an elderly man was peeved off when he was told that all the nice features in the showroom were not inclusive in the purchase price only when asked.

Anyway, without going into the petty, my personal opinion is that there is going to be an oversupply of 1-bedroom units in this area. Swiss Garden's 1-bedroom apartments will have to compete with Casa Mutiara, Times Square and the newly launched Taragon. I have a feeling that UDA is going to put a lot of small units in their Pudu redevelopment too. Swiss Garden Residences only have very limited 2 bedroom units i.e. only 2 units per floor. The unit below is facing KL tower (morning sun) and the other 2-bedroom unit is on the opposite corner (afternoon sun). The unit on the afternoon sun corner will likely be facing a construction site in the future.

On the 2nd day of launch, Tower A is sold out. In Tower B, it appears like the 2-bedroom units facing morning sun has the majority take-up although mostly on lower floors (see the middle blue column). The lower floors are cheaper, which explains. But I wonder if the buyers know that their view will be blocked by the back of Swiss Garden hotel when choosing the lower floors. It is also interesting to see that the 1-bedroom units are not that well taken up, although cheaper (from RM600psf) vs the 2 bedroom units (from RM800psf). And there is no interest at all for the Penthouses.

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