Buzz over Temasek Holdings - Khazanah Nasional condominium

147 units at Afiniti Residences in Iskandar launching on Saturday

Buyers are queueing up to get a foot in the door of the first property launch to emerge from the partnership in Iskandar Malaysia between Temasek Holdings and Khazanah Nasional.

All of the 147 units at Afiniti Residences will be launched for sale at a balloting exercise on Saturday morning at the Traders Hotel at Puteri Harbour in Iskandar.

About 1,570 people have registered their interest online for the 129-year leasehold condominium, which is next to Legoland in Nusajaya, with more signing up since registration closed last week.

Ms Roslina Arbak, general manager of Pulau Indah Ventures (PIV), the 50-50 joint venture firm formed by Temasek and Khazanah, said two-thirds of those who have registered are Malaysians, while 32 per cent are Singaporeans.

The enthusiasm does not seem to have been dampened by a weekend announcement by Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin that the state will increase tax rates this year for property-owning foreigners.Ms Roslina said there has been little impact: "We have not received any calls to ask about it and nobody has withdrawn their registration."

The units range from 484 sq ft to 1,064 sq ft, with completion expected in 2015. They cost between RM850 (S$340) psf and RM1,000 psf although homes overlooking Legoland will command higher prices. The smallest unit will cost just under RM500,000.

Afiniti Residences is the first property to be launched in the Medini area and the first batch of leasehold homes to be sold in Iskandar. Previous launches have involved freehold property.

This makes it hard to compare Afiniti's prices with past launches, said Mr Chris Koh, director of property consultancy Chris International. "Teega, a (freehold) condominium at Puteri Harbour, was launched at about RM800 psf in the last quarter of last year, and that was freehold, so it would seem cheaper," he said.

"However... although it's leasehold, because Medini is being touted as the next Orchard Road, it would appeal to people who want that kind of convenience."

The entire Afiniti Medini site spans 2ha and will feature Afiniti Residences, a five-storey wellness centre with health-related offerings and services, a 310-unit serviced apartment managed by The Ascott, a four-storey corporate training centre and some shops.

PIV and Malaysian developer Eastern & Oriental are developing Avira, an 85ha site in Medini with a similar wellness theme.

Avira will feature wellness services, landed houses, serviced apartments, condominiums and commercial space. The project will be launched in the coming months.

Afiniti Medini and Avira will have a total gross development value of RM3 billion.

Temasek and Khazanah's partnership arose from a historic land swop between Singapore and Malaysia over the KTM railway land.

In Singapore, the two firms formed joint venture M+S, which is developing the mega projects Marina One in Marina Bay and Duo in Ophir-Rochor.

These developments have not been launched for sale yet.

Separately, Temasek has tied up with CapitaLand and Iskandar Waterfront Holdings to develop a $3.2 billion township in Iskandar's Danga Bay.