SINGAPORE residents already make up a substantial chunk of property buyers in the Nusajaya urban development zone of south-west Johor, but now they are being ferried in for free to further boost their numbers.
Master developer UEM Land (UEML) is chartering buses to ferry interested individuals to its property sites in the area.
Said UEML managing director Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim: 'We actually charter buses to a collection point in Singapore and ferry these people to our property...so buyers will know what they are buying and the kind of infrastructure that we provide.'
In the past two months, UEML has held four events - two 'Super Sundays' for their hillside property Nusa Idaman and the other two for East Ledang, a residential enclave which will boast 31 themed garden spaces.
For the first Super Sunday event in March, UEML ran advertisements in Singapore on the free buses running between Jurong Point and Nusa Idaman.
Said UEML general manager for strategic marketing Zamry Ibrahim: 'We gave out cash vouchers as well for shopping. (The) response was overwhelming...about 220 Singaporeans came for the event and we collected 15 sales worth RM4.2 million (S$1.7 million).'
The second Super Sunday was held in April. This time, the company brought 175 Singaporeans in four buses and collected 20 sales worth RM6 million. A Super Sunday finale is planned for May 24.
Mr Ibrahim added that, 'going by the success of these events', UEML plans to organise more free tours covering more Nusajaya developments.
The Singapore market is of major importance to Johor developers. According to UEML, during East Ledang's phase one launch in February last year, which saw 139 units launched, it enjoyed a take-up rate of 75 per cent, with 65 per cent of the buyers being foreigners. Of these, 90 per cent were from Singapore.
Preparations are now under way for the launch of phase two.
Other developments in Nusajaya include Puteri Harbour, a waterfront and marina development that spans 278.4ha and offers a view of the Johor Strait. Additionally, Iskandar Investment is looking to build East Asia's first Legoland Park there in partnership with Merlin Entertainments.
The park's slated public opening in 2013 could be brought forward. Ms Arlida Ariff, chief executive of Iskandar Investment, yesterday told The Straits Times that, with the stimulus package, the government had told them to 'open earlier, so now it's April 2012'.Source: Straits Times, 21 May 2009