About 230 supertall buildings to be completed in 2018
The number of skyscrapers with heights of at least 200m tall is set to increase by 60% this year, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing recent data from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTUBH). About 230 towers at such elevations are slated to finish construction in 2018. China alone will account for 130 supertall buildings to be completed this year, up 70% from 2017. The new additions will bring the count of ultra high-rise buildings in the world to more than 1,500 at the end of the year. Non-China countries are expected to account for almost 40 ultra high-rise buildings due for completion in Asia this year. Around 30 skyscrapers are slated to be finished in the Middle East alone. The stalled Jeddah Tower project in Saudi Arabia has resumed construction. The $1.5 billion development will rise 1,000 metres high, breaking the current height record held by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. (Property Report)

UEM Sunrise to hand over Mont Kiara project by June 2019
UEM Sunrise Bhd expects to hand over the keys to buyers of its Residensi Sefina Mont’Kiara condominium development in Mont Kiara, which has a GDV of RM307 million, by June next year. Launched in May 2015, Residensi Sefina is one of UEM Sunrise’s high-rise developments priced between RM1.06 million and RM1.52 million. All the units have been fully taken up. Sitting on 3.06 acres (1.24ha) of land, it features a 35-storey building housing 245 condominium units. The project consists of a man-made sandy island beach for volleyball activities and will feature a Star Deck that resembles the deck of a cruise ship. The Star Deck will include a 50m lap pool, sauna, reading pavilion, yoga deck, multipurpose hall and gymnasium. (The Edge Markets)

High-end condo sales expected to slow this year
With the current freeze on new approvals for luxury residential properties, developers are focusing on launching more affordable units and clearing completed unsold stock, said property consultancies Edmund Tie & Co (SEA) Pte Ltd and Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd. Thus, sales and new launches of high-end strata residential projects are expected to be subdued in 2018, said both firms in a report. More than 6,000 high-end condos will be completed throughout 2018, posing more challenges to the growing inventory of unsold homes. The demand for high-end homes was further curbed due to policy changes. Effective Jan 1, 2018, stamp duty for homes costing more than RM1 million increased from 3% to 4% to discourage property speculation. (The Edge Markets)

PPB buys out LTAT stake in developer Hillcrest
PPB Group Bhd has agreed to acquire the Armed Forces Fund Board’s (LTAT) entire 16.8% stake in property developer Hillcrest Gardens Sdn Bhd for RM59mil cash. The group said the premium is deemed “reasonable” after considering the location as well as the prospects and development potential of the lands owned by Hillcrest. Hillcrest owns 147.78 acres of freehold land in Taman Seri Gombak and Taman Puchong Utama. The proposed acquisition of the shares from LTAT, PPB said, would enable the company to expand its investments in property-based activities and to continue diversifying its source of earnings. (The Star Online)

Tropicana divests RM3bil assets within 5 years
Tropicana Corp Bhd has divested 12 assets in the Klang Valley and Johor worth almost RM3 billion in the past five years, and more deals can be expected from the company. In 2014, Tropicana had identified non-core and investment property assets as well as some raw land bank in the Klang Valley and Johor worth RM2 billion, for divestment up to 2016. The developer had already divested RM1 billion worth of assets prior to that. The company now has around 359ha landbank left (down from 833ha previously), with a combined GDV of about RM42.1 billion (compared to RM70 billion earlier). The market is curious whether Tropicana will continue to dispose of its assets, including investment properties and land because of hard times, and to downsize their borrowings. (NST Online)