Saturday, January 9, 2010

Penang Island's Seri Tanjung Pinang

Considering the state of the economy, Penang properties are going through some sort of boom the past couple of years. There has been a lot of effort to attract wealthy foreigners to adopt Penang as part of the Malaysia 2nd Home initiative. Apparently, celebrities like Lau Tak Wah and Simon Yum have bought properties in Penang. Luxurious condominiums and beach front bungalows have been mushrooming but that's not the only market that is doing well.

Middle class terraced homes and mid-range down to to even low-cost apartments are selling well especially those in good locations near or in Georgetown or closer to the industrial belt in Bayan Lepas and Bukit Jambul. And in fact the middle class have somewhat moved a few notches up. 2 years ago, it would be impossible to think that a terraced house in Penang can sell at RM700k. So when E&O launched their 1st phase of terraced houses in the reclaimed piece of land in Tanjung Tokong called Seri Tanjung Pinang, sales was initially slow. Then when Penangites started to accept the concept, the sales shot up and today, these houses are available in the sub-sale market hovering around RM1 million.

A few months back when E&O launched the same terraced homes closer to the sea at minimum RM1.1million, they were snapped up within 3 hours. These units are now under construction and it seems from the pics below, despite the million price tag, they are using low quality cheap cement bricks.

Now, E&O is trying their luck to set another benchmark. The condo market. Never in the history of Penang, even with the super luxurious condos along Jalan Gurney and Tanjung Bungah has anyone tried to peddle condominiums at RM800k to RM900k for a studio or 1 bedroom unit and almost RM1million for slightly larger 2 bedroom units. They have even thrown in a 10:90 financing scheme but take up has somewhat been rather cautious. I suspect like most other E&O projects, the initial rush in bookings are actually from their own directors and staffs who are offered to profit from the project through an attractive discount (20% for St Mary's, I wonder if it's the same here).

So for this seafront Quayside resort condominium, I do not know what is the actual take up from actual buyers and investors (who are not E&O staff). Official launch is this end of January 2010.

When I visited the showroom at the Seri Tanjung Pinang site, I was attracted by the design of the corner 1+1 bedroom unit. It has a very nice view of the coast of Tanjung Bungah. But strangely most buyers have opted for the inside corner facing the other block and also some side view of Penang city and Gurney Drive. This corner seems to be almost sold out.

The nearest competitor to Quayside is probably the Infinity (picture below), now almost completed at Tanjung Bungah. Apparently there are still units available but I did not have enough time to visit the showroom. Unlike Quayside, the Infinity actually offers a beach front. However, the location is towards the end of Tanjung Bungah, it's close proximity to a mosque and the dirty condition of the beach and water may be pulling its value down. Nevertheless, prices start from RM1million but the units have bigger layouts compared to Quayside.

Seri Tanjung Pinang is marketed as the next location to be in Penang after Tanjung Bungah, Batu Feringgi, Gurney Drive and Bukit Jambul's expatriates enclave.

The concept is certainly attractive, gated communities with club house and marina facilities (pic above), an international school and a Tesco will be built on this piece of land beside the Quayside (picture below).

The entire plot of land that Seri Tanjung Pinang is sitting on is actually reclaimed land (picture below). Many Penangites and environmentalists are unforgiving, blaming the reclamation on the heavy silting of the sea off Gurney Drive and the stronger than usual currents off the North-Eastern Penang Coast. The reclamation will however not stop there. There is a grand plan which when it takes off will see new islands hosting luxurious residential and office buildings complete with a golf course taking shape off the coast of Seri Tanjung Pinang. Current Purchasers may be well assured that any future tsunami coming their direction will be fended off by these islands but hopefully the islands themselves do not turn out to be an environmental catastrophe for Penang.

The planned Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) which is currently shelved, if materialized will take commuters right to the entrance of Seri Tanjung Pinang. Along the way, the PORR will pass the door steps of the luxurious condos along Gurney Drive, turning an idylic seafront into a raging expressway. The seafront of Gurney Drive will be no longer. The land will be reclaimed and turned into a park, until the next development takes place with more condos and buildings, effectively killing off Gurney Drive as competitor to Seri Tanjung Pinang.

Perhaps another big disappointment of Seri Tanjung Pinang is the vicinity. Much like Sierramas in Sungai Buloh where everything is nice and spanky inside but once you go outside, the scenery is chaotic, dusty and dirty. Opposite the entrance of Seri Tanjung Pinang is the old Malay Kampung which is currently in a state of controversy, being played into the hands of politics. The unfriendly Federal ruling party in the Federal government is scheming a plan to raze down the Kampung for development by their crony company UDA. Like the mainly Indian Kampung Buah Pala village earlier, this is expected to create animosity against the State government and racial tension in Penang as part of ther Federal government's effort to undermine their opposition.

(*Penang is ruled by the Federal Opposition party)

(To be continued - updated after results of Quayside launch this weekend)


jeremy tan said...

So, what's the latest updates on this luxurious condo resort project? How was the uptake rate, was it successful?

sinleong said...

On the day of the launch not many units moved. If any, it was so insignificant. There is a news report that apparently 50% units have been sold. This is not good considering that most of the units were taken up by staffs and directors at a huge discount. The Quayside project is not showing any indications of being hot cake property

Anonymous said...

it is 75% sold now.

last checked.

Anonymous said...

i am one of d investor for both st Mary n southquay condo....i am not staff of E&O...i felt these 2 projects r pricey but just try d luck....investing always needs to take risk :)

sinleong said...

Philippines properties for sale said...
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Arrielle P


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