The Borneo Post
Malaysia a potential hub for SEA property market entry
KUCHING: Property companies from China are looking to make Malaysia their hub to enter the Southeast Asian market, with examples such as CCCG Overseas Real Estate Pte Ltd (CCCG), which made Kuala Lumpur the location of CCCG’s first property development in Southeast-Asia, namely CORE Residence at TRX.
According to its director Zhang Bao, the group’s focus in Southeast Asia will be on the high-end residential market, targeting investing community.
“Kuala Lumpur will be our hub for Southeast-Asia, given its strategic location, connectivity, conducive business environment for investors and established infrastructure,” he said.
CCCG is a Fortune 500 company. The company is ranked 61st in the world with a revenue of US$106.8 billion. The group and its partner WCT Holdings Berhad, through joint-venture (JV) company CORE Precious Development Sdn Bhd, are developing CORE Residence at TRX which is a high-end freehold project at Tun Razak Exchange. The JV is under CCCG Overseas Real Estate Pte Ltd.
CORE Residence at TRX is a high-end freehold property developed on a 1.65-acre land in
the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District. It features three blocks of serviced residences, with 700 units.
As the first residential project in TRX, this development is wellpositioned to be the frontier of global living for professionals and financial practitioners who will live and work in the business district of Kuala Lumpur.
To note, CORE Residence at TRX has a gross development value of RM1.4 billion.
Zhang, who is also the chairman and managing director of Core Precious Development Sdn Bhd, said the great response for CORE Residence at TRX, despite the global economic slowdown, shows Kuala Lumpur’s attractiveness as a property market – boosted by its prime location and improving market condition.
“We have a management system that is linked back to our HQ in China, which helps us to manage our business overseas efficiently.
“We will train our talents from Kuala Lumpur and extend their responsibilities into the Southeast-Asian market. Given our extensive exposure, we provide global opportunities for our workforce. The integration within the group is very high, enabling an employee to explore and gain experience in different departments through job transfers or rotations. With our fast-pace growth in project development, we are always in need of quality.”
Zhang tells The Borneo Post that they wish to duplicate their success in Kuala Lumpur to other Southeast-Asian cities.
“We will fine-tune our policies in different nations,” he explained. “We must ensure that our mechanism works in the markets we are in as any hiccups will delay our projects and affect investors’ return.
“At the initial stage, we will focus on residential, then only consider to expand into commercial developments like malls and hotels.”
When asked if CCCG plans to expand its business into Sabah and Sarawak soon, Zhang said it was under consideration.
“In the future, CCCG will consider expanding into Sabah and Sarawak. We will consider joint-venture arrangements with landowners, if opportunities arise,” he added.
“In East Malaysia, it is more suitable to build resorts or serviced apartments that can be rented out after the purchase by buyers, as places like Kota Kinabalu is a great tourist attraction.
"The typical property development for own stay may not be viable for such a market.”
He noted that about 30 per cent of local Malaysian buyers for its TRX project are from Sabah and Sarawak.
“The property projects in KL provide a better price appreciation and “exit opportunity” as compared to properties in other states or cities in Malaysia, given the high market supply and transaction volume.
"The liquidity in the KL property market is also high.”
Since the pandemic, CCCG has taken immediate measures to transform digitally and has created an end-to-end virtual purchasing process for its international buyers.
“For example, a buyer from Hong Kong can purchase a unit in CORE Residence without setting foot in KL.
The virtual purchasing platform includes high-quality visuals, virtual reality technology and live streams with agents.
Customers quickly embraced the efficiency and convenience of shopping for a new home online, through this platform.
“Although the impact of the pandemic was unavoidable, we still managed to generate significant sales, thanks to the swift action of our team in shifting the bulk of our operations digitally.
“Interest in our project remained resilient due to its prime location in the international financial district of Malaysia and attractive price per square feet. This provides the confidence and room for customers to enjoy some price appreciation post-pandemic.”
Since March 2022, CCCG has invited foreign clients to Malaysia for a visit.
CCCG will invite prospective clients or clients who have bought a unit virtually to visit the units physically to give them confidence on the development.
“With residential units being big-ticket items, some buyers still prefer to visit the show units and explore the location on site.”