Capitalise on interest in Sabah property via Mah Sing
WHEN one thinks of Sabah, the first image that comes to mind is almost always Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest mountains in South-east Asia.
Though visitors to the East Malaysian state are drawn to the plethora of natural attractions, there is an emerging side to Kota Kinabalu, the state's capital, that has property investors sitting up and taking notice.
Not your traditional property hot spot, Sabah has been attracting the attention of foreign investors in recent years with rapid growth in the tourism industry, coupled with strong contributions to the economy by the oil and gas as well as palm oil sectors.
"Developers have been jumping on the Kota Kinabalu bandwagon in recent years," said Vincent Tan, head of the Singapore office for Malaysian real-estate developer Mah Sing Group.
"The property sector will see increasing demand from niche developments, such as hotels and serviced apartments that cater to tourists, expatriates and business travellers; thematic developments such as a resort-styled estate; and an increasing supply of quality investment properties in strategic locations."
With 144 direct non-stop international flights to Kota Kinabalu International Airport daily, the airport is the second-busiest one in Malaysia, after the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
"The easy accessibility has encouraged West Malaysians and foreigners to travel to the city more frequently and, subsequently, buy properties in the area," added Mr Tan.
Mah Sing has already capitalised on the interest in the Sabah property market by launching two projects: Sutera Avenue and Kota Kinabalu Convention City (KKCC).
Acquired in March 2012, Sutera Avenue is an integrated commercial development built on 1.72ha of prime land along the coastal highway in the city's central business district.
With 180 shop office units, 32 retail shop units and 320 serviced apartments in the development, buyers were quick to snap up all of the shop office units since they were launched in August 2012 and 63 per cent of the retail shop units since their launch in January last year.
The sale of the serviced apartments in Tower 2 was launched in January, while the sale of those in Towers 1 and 3 is expected to be launched in the second half of this year.
Mah Sing's second project in Kota Kinabalu is to develop KKCC into a waterfront mixed development featuring hotels, retail outlets and residences.