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EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd aims to launch a new property development project in Shah Alam, Selangor, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM311 million in the second half of this year.

The property developer had completed the acquisition of 19,243 square metres of land in Cahaya SPK, Seksyen 9 for the property project on April 2, 2021.

EcoFirst group chief executive officer Datuk Tiong Kwing Hee said the company will focus on launching affordable housing units.

“While Malaysia’s property sector is still expected to face some of the challenges from the property overhang, the affordable housing segment is in a sweet spot given the strong demand, supported by first-time homebuyers who are taking advantage of the incentives offered during the Home Ownership Campaign,” he said.

Tiong said EcoFirst’s focus on developing affordable housing will help to drive the company’s recovery after pandemic-hit earnings in the third quarter of its financial year 2021 (3QFY21).

EcoFirst posted a net loss of RM4.3 million in 3QFY21, mainly due to the postponement in the launching of new developments, and lower revenue generated from the property development segment.

The company’s revenue fell by 89 per cent year-on-year to RM4.5 million in 3QFY21, mainly due to the delay in recognition of the sales of its property project, Liberty, as handing over of keys to homeowners was deferred following the implementation of movement control order (MCO).

Tiong said EcoFirst is cautiously optimistic of a recovery in earnings from this quarter onwards as it works to convert its inventories into sales and resume its property development launches.

He expects new property development launches will escalate in the second half of this year.

“We are excited with the pipeline of projects that we have planned over the next three years. Among some of these launches include phase 2 of our flagship Ampang Ukay property development. As we have seen the 100 per cent take-up rate of our phase 1 or Liberty property, we expect to see strong demand for phase 2,” Tiong said in a statement yesterday.

Phase 2, with an estimated GDV of RM1.3 billion, will be launched in the first half of next year.

EcoFirst is acquiring more land in Shah Alam, as well as Sungai Buloh and Sungai Besi.

Tiong said by stepping up its land acquisitions, will put the company in a better position to meet the market demand with its new property products that are in prime locations and priced affordably.

For the land in Sungai Besi, Tiong expects to complete the acquisition in the near future, and launch the development in the third quarter of 2021.

In Sg Buloh, Tiong said EcoFirst is drawing up the transit-oriented development (TOD) plan for the land, to obtain development approval from the local authorities.

EcoFirst had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Radiant Nature Sdn Bhd to acquire seven parcels of commercial land in Sungai Buloh for RM70 million at the beginning of this year.

 

News Source: Kathy B. / New Straits Times, 23rd April 2021.

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