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  #1  
Old 03-03-2007, 10:42 AM
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adiyon84 adiyon84 is offline
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City & Country: Luxury condos in Ipoh
By SreerAma Banoo
Email us your feedback at fd@bizedge.com


What is touted as Ipoh’s most spacious and luxurious condominium project is about to be unveiled in the second phase of Damaipuri Condominium, developed by Orrington Enterprise Sdn Bhd.

The 182 units boast built-ups from 1,900 to 2,300 sq ft and a price tag of about RM200 psf. This means that the biggest unit could cost close to half a million ringgit. While condo units at this size and price would raise no eyebrows by Kuala Lumpur standards, it’s an altogether different story in Ipoh.

There is no lack of development land in Ipoh. Furthermore, Ipoh-based consultants opine that condo living is still a relatively new phenomenon in Ipoh where housing property shoppers go for landed units.

Orrington Enterprise managing director Joseph Chin, however, is unfazed by all this. Not only is the Ipoh-based developer buoyed by
the response to the first phase of Damaipuri Condominium — 90 per cent of the 184 units have been sold since its launch in 1999 — he is also encouraged by the fact that the units snapped up first were the larger ones with built-ups of about 1,500 sq ft. These units were tagged at RM190 psf.

This explains the decision to have bigger units for Phase 2 instead of the earlier planned 1,200 to 1,500 sq ft type similar to the first phase.
Phase 2 of Damaipuri Condominium is expected to be launched in early February. While the developer has tagged the 1,915 sq ft unit at RM378,000 onward, the actual tag for the 2,336 sq ft type was not determined at press time. It is expected, however, to be around RM200 psf. All the 14 larger units will be housed in a single tower block with only one unit per floor.

Chia Yong Fu of Twins Realty — the real estate company which is the exclusive marketing agent for the freehold development — shares Orrington Enterprise Chin’s confidence. The first phase has laid, Chia points out, a sound foundation for the coming launch. He reads from the rousing response to the earlier launch that there is a sufficient market in Ipoh for condos, and that larger units are in demand.

Twins Realty principal Wincent Saw concurs, noting that purchasing power for condos at the RM200 psf level exists in Ipoh. “Most locals are rich,” he says, drawing attention to the fact that in another condo development he marketed, 60 per cent of the buyers paid cash. In the first phase of Damaipuri Condominium, only 60 per cent of the buyers sought end-financing.

While buying power may exist, Saw acknowledges that sales for the first phase of Damaipuri Condominium only picked up when the buildings were ready. Ipoh residents, apparently, are “more conservative”. “This time around, the developer offers a track record,” says Saw of the second phase.

Plus points

The six-acre Damaipuri Condominium is located within Chateau Garden, a developed residential enclave. The development boasts easy access to Ipoh’s recreational, financial, business and leisure facilities. The Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is said to be a 10-minute drive away and there is easy access to the North-South Expressway (southern exit).

In the vicinity are two retail centres — the Great World Shopping Complex and The Store Supermarket. Nearby also are two medical centres: the Kinta Medical Centre and Ipoh Specialist Centre.

The clubhouse within the development is also said to be the largest among all of Ipoh’s condo developments, offering amenities like tennis courts, squash courts, indoor badminton courts, a putting green, a children’s playground, a swimming pool and an outdoor jacuzzi.

On the design of the units, Twins Realty’s Saw says the thrust has been to maximise space. “It’s a practical layout with a large balcony for each of the units,” he says. The units come with a choice of 3+1 or 4+1 bedrooms.

Besides this, he says that thanks to the developer’s roots as a construction company, prospective buyers can be assured of the quality of the finished product. Damaipuri Condominium is Orrington Enterprise’s maiden high-end development project and the developer is keen to make its mark.

Aside from Damaipuri Condominium, the company developed Juta Villa in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, in the mid-1990s. The project comprised apartments, 2-storey terraced houses and shop units.

Condo living catching up?

Ipoh-based property consultants contacted by City & Country are watchful of the development. Colliers, Jordan Lee & Jaafar executive director Thoo Sing Choon acknowledges the advantage the development has in its proximity to the city centre. Although the larger built-up is seen as a plus, he feels that in general, condo living has yet to catch up with Ipoh folk.

He says that with the availability of landed property, prospective house buyers may not want to spend close to half a million ringgit on a strata development. “Take a townhouse at Meru Valley Resort, for example. Here, there is also a clubhouse, golf course and security, but a 25ft by 80ft unit costs only about RM250,000. Although it may be further away from the city centre, there are amenities and one need not pay service charge,” he says. Thoo, whose firm is the valuation consultants for Meru Valley Resort, contends that prospective buyers would rather go for this development or others similar to it.

Even with all the amenities and facilities provided, he agrees that condo living has yet to catch up with Ipoh folk. Another consultant concurs that the preference is for landed property, but the same consultant also notes a new trend for condo living in the young and those educated overseas.
This consultant also sees a potential market in those who work in Kuala Lumpur or Penang, and whose families live in Ipoh. “They would want their families to live in a safe place,” he adds of the security offered in a condominium development.

Twins Realty’s Chia agrees that condo living is not popular in Ipoh and the dearth of condo developments attests to this. Besides Damaipuri Condominium, other notable strata developments include Prima Condominium and The Club Condominium — the latter being about a decade old.

According to the National Property Information Centre’s Residential Property Stock Report for the third quarter of last year, existing stock of condo/apartment units in the Kinta District was 1,132 units. The report noted that only 127 units are under construction while 213 units have been given the nod by the authorities.

During the 1998 recession, prices of strata units in Ipoh dipped by 10 per cent but the market has since stabilised, says Chia. He quotes current monthly rents in condos as about RM2,000 to RM2,500 a month for units at Prima Condominium and The Club Condominium.
Chia links the not-so-hot condo living situation in Ipoh to the limited size of existing units. Hence his confidence that Damaipuri Condominium will go down well.

Saw does not think that the need to pay a service charge in a strata development would be a deterrent. Prospective buyers, he says, will not mind paying the services charge (15 sen for the first two years) as they would save on expenses such as grass-cutting and gardening and even club membership fees that would arise if they were to live in a landed unit and wished to enjoy club activities.

Aggressive marketing needed

Just how confident is the developer of Damaipuri Condominium? Orrington Enterprise’s Chin expects half of the 56 units in the first block to be sold during the Chinese New Year. Hence the timing of the launch during the festive season — many Ipoh folk living and working in Kuala Lumpur or Penang will be returning to Ipoh for the holidays.
Twins Realty has lined up a series of events to draw prospective buyers. They will include a children’s concert featuring local child stars, a wine appreciation night, line dancing and an Ipoh local food fair. The latter will be held in cooperation with the Kinta Hawkers Association. All events will be held at the clubhouse. There are also plans in the pipeline for roadshows in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. For more details, call (05) 243 1888.
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2007, 01:02 PM
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Chinerama Chinerama is offline
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My friend stays there. Told me the building management sucks. Started collecting sinking funds alraedy. SHouldn't that come later? Also, they don't release any accounts on how the management fee is being utilised and what are the plans for the sinking funds just take the money only. They also charge a different water bill price, ie. if Jabatan Air charges say 0.15 cents a litre they'll charge you about 30 cents a litre (not real info just example). Why they do that I don't know since they don't add value to the water. Lift got spoilt and they salvaged the parts fromt he car park lift to fix it. So the car park lift is still not fixed after months. Supposed to be gated and has 24 hour security but a few units have been burgled already. Apparently, they are not responsible for the burglary and although they should provide security they do not provide any insurance so they pushed the responsibility to the security company. Basically, the management doesn't want to be responsible for anything. When first phase was marketed it's supposed to have a putting green and underground car park. That didn't materialise. They were also informed that there'll be ample visitor car parks but then they started selling some of the visitor car parks for RM20K or so. Therefore there are very limited visitor parking there now even with only the first phase. It'll be chaos when 2nd phase opens.

I actually have more than one friend who stays there and these are the complaints that I hear all the time and all of them regretted moving there but they are stuck because they can't sell the units off without making a substantial loss.

Just thought I should warn you all if anyone is planning to purchase a unit there.
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2007, 06:38 PM
kris kris is offline
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adiyon

This thread is meant to be for pictures mainly. Your posts not really relevant under this thread, they would have been more appropriate to be put under 'Ipoh Development'.

Chine

The subject on condos in Ipoh would make an interesting thread by itself.

I agree, condo buyers are entirely at the mercy of the developers. On top of the standard S & P regulated by the Housing Ministry, buyers are required to sign a separate agreeement called 'Deed of Covenant' where all the conditions are biased towards the developers.

There is at the moment hardly any protection for the condo buyers. I understand Act on Building Maintenance and Strata Titles are being revised to protect the interests of buyers.
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2007, 09:05 PM
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RawFlesh RawFlesh is offline
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Agree with Kris & have moved it to proper category....
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WHY so SERIOUS?
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2007, 09:39 PM
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Thanks RF.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2007, 12:20 AM
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No condos for me anytime.

When I have 3-4 bags of groceries, I want to drive my car straight into my porch and walk straight into my home.
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