OPPORTUNE TIME: Stronger pound and rising property prices reasons to invest in London properties
IJM Land Bhd is mulling over offers from British investors to develop land in London to tap the booming United Kingdom (UK) property market, says its chief executive officer Datuk Soam Heng Choon.
IJM Land is now the second biggest Malaysian investor in London after the SP Setia Bhd-Sime Darby Bhd joint venture, which launched the RM40 billion Battersea Power station project
early this year.
Soam said it is an opportune time to enter the London property market now because of the strengthening of the pound, which will
give the company long-term returns.
The value of properties there is also increasing, having risen by seven to eight per cent recently, he said.
“When you convert the pound into ringgit, it becomes very substantial. Since we have a set-up in London, if something good comes along, we may consider. The UK market in general is still weak, but London is different.
We are looking at several sites with the developers.”
Soam was briefing the press, here, yesterday on IJM Land’s maiden project, called Royal Mint Gardens in Central London.
“Our development may be small-scale compared with the Battersea project but we plan to enter London in a big way in the next few
“Property is a real asset investment and a hedge against inflation. Some 40 per cent of our properties are sold to repeat buyers. They are looking to invest in London properties for
their children’s education,” he said.
Royal Mint Gardens is part of a two-phase mixed development featuring a five-star hotel, apartments and townhouses on 1.08ha of land above the national rail and Docklands Light Railway lines near the Royal Mint Street.
Worth £200 million, Royal Mint Gardens will be launched next week in Kuala Lumpur.
It consists of 254 units of studio and one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments priced between £465,000 and £1.85 million (£1,000 to £1,350 per sq ft).
“The launch provides IJM Land with the perfect opportunity to introduce a brand new property asset to discerning Malaysian property investors,” Soam said.
IJM Land holds a 51 per cent stake in the mixed development, while the rest is held by UK investors.
Work on Royal Mint Gardens is expected to begin in early 2014 and slated to complete in 2017.