Shaun's Review: SO Sofitel Oxley Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

9 min read

Looking for an international investment property overseas?
Here is my review of the SO Sofitel Oxley Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Project Background

SO Sofitel Oxley Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a freehold residential condominium project by Singapore stock exchange listed developer Oxley. T.O.P-ing in 2023, the SO Sofitel Oxley Towers is a 3 tower mixed development with a retail podium at the base. One tower is an office tower, one tower holds the Jumeriah Hotel and Residences and the tallest remaining tower at 78 stories holds the SO Sofitel Hotel and Residences resulting in 2 world-class hotels in 1 development. 

SO Sofitel Oxley Towers KLCC will have 590 serviced residential units for sale spread over the 22nd to 77th floor, with unit sizes ranging from 566 Sqft – 1,699 Sqft and prices starting from SGD$46x,000 or RM$1.4x mil.

Buying Malaysia Properties

Foreign ownership of property in Malaysia is liberal (foreigners can even own 100% of the property) as long as minimum requirements are met. 

Foreigners can only own any type of properties:

  1. Valued at least more than RM$600,000 in most states.
Foreigners cannot own any type of properties:
  1. Defined as low and medium cost residential units by state authority
  2. Properties standing on Malay Reserved land
  3. Properties distributed to Bumiputera interest in any property development project as determined by state authority

Foreigners can own a bungalow, terrace house, condominium, flat, landed property, studio unit, commercial property, industrial property, agricultural land (except Malay Reserved Land) and industrial land (except Malay Reserved Land). 

Facilities and Finishings

The SO Sofitel Oxley Towers KLCC interiors will be fully furnished to SO Sofitel standards and using :

  • Ducted split air-conditioning to the living and dining rooms.
  • Wall-mounted air-conditioning to bedrooms
  • Marble/stone flooring in living room
  • Engineered timber in the bedrooms
  • De Dietrich kitchen fittings
  • Fridge, washer, dryer
  • Villeroy and Boch bathroom fittings
  • Kitchen cabinets, wardrobes and vanity cabinet (master bath only)
There will be an entertainment room at the 45th level. On level 46 there will be the sky garden, gym, yoga room, lounge, reading room,  screening room and multipurpose hall. At the top, Level 77, there will be the highest residential infinity pool in Malaysia, cabanas, jacuzzi, BBQ pits, kid’s playground and kid’s pool.

The marble and timber flooring and stylish interiors will give the units a very classy hotel feel and the infinity pool on the 77th floor hopefully will give views like those from the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool in Singapore. As part of the “Just say SO” services, the mixo lounge resident DJ can spin your favourite songs on request. Room service and housekeeping are also available and just a call away.

Location

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and also the largest city in Malaysia. In 2019, Kuala Lumpur ranked 6th in Mastercard’s list of “Global Destination Cities Index 2019” with 13.79 million visitors, just behind Singapore’s 5th placing with 14.67 million visitors. The SO Sofitel Oxley Towers is in Kuala Lumpur’s dynamic high-rise City Centre, known for upscale fashion malls, luxury hotels and expansive views of the futuristic Petronas Twin Towers. Overlooked by skyscrapers, the green expanse of the Kuala Lumpur City Center Park offers walking paths and musical fountains. Dining options range from stylish bistros offering Asian and European fare, to elegant rooftop bars serving innovative cocktails.

The SO Sofitel Oxley Towers KLCC is just 3 minutes walk (250m) from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers according to google maps. Getting to the SO Sofitel Oxley Towers from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) via car will take around 46 min to 70 mins (59.0 km) (depending on congestion).

Developer and Hotel Background

Oxley
Oxley Holdings Limited which is a home-grown Singaporean property developer listed on the Singapore stock exchange. Oxley is principally engaged in the business of property development and property investment. Since its inception, Oxley’s accelerated growth has resulted in a burgeoning presence both locally and overseas and it now has a presence across twelve geographical markets. Oxley has a diversified portfolio comprising development and investment projects in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, Australia, Japan, and Vietnam. Oxley’s property development portfolio encompasses choice residential, commercial and industrial projects. Key elements of the Group’s choice developments include prime locations, desirable lifestyle features, and preferred designs.
 
SO Sofitel

SO Sofitel has a French approach to hospitality inspired by the French Art de vivre and is part of the Accor Hotel Group. Accor owns and operates brands that cover every segment of hospitality.

  • Luxury: (Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, …)
  • Premium (Pullman, Swissôtel, …)
  • Midscale (Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, …)
  • Economy (ibis, hotelF1, …)

Accor S.A. is headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, and is a constituent of the CAC 40 index in the Paris stock exchange.

SO Sofitel developments are a playful mix of sophistication and the dynamic style of each locale. Highly creative and fashion-led, each SO Sofitel is an avant-garde masterpiece imaginatively inspired by an iconic, signature designer. Energetic, social and bursting with individual character, SO Sofitel developments are the places to see and be seen. With SO Sofitel’s unique ‘Just Say SO’ attitude, guests can enjoy service excellence delivered with an audacious and fashionable twist.

Other Considerations

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) maintains their economic growth forecast of Malaysia’s GDP at 4.5% in 2019, so Malaysia’s economy is still growing decently.

Having the SO Sofitel Hotel and Residences, Jumeriah Hotel and Residences, offices and a retail mall podium in this mixed development is a good synergistic partnership as residents of SO Sofitel Oxley Towers will have amenities at their doorstep.

There are only about ~120 branded residences in the Asia-Pacific region, and demand for properties in this niche is increasing among luxury property buyers who view them as a step up from typical luxury properties on the market. Prices are starting from ~RM$2,300 psf which makes the total starting quantum needed at ~RM$1.4 mil. Generally, residential units that are able to fetch higher prices are often branded properties.

Selling at ~RM$3,000 psf and up, the 65 storey Four Seasons Hotel and Residences next door was completed in 2018 has 242 units that are situated from the mid to the high levels of the tower. With 1,098-square-foot, one-bedroom units to 7,039-sq-ft, five-bedroom family residences with private elevators and immense seven-bedroom, private-pool penthouse properties covering 11,894 sqft. 

The 68 storey 8 Conlay by KSK Land, further from the Petronas Twin Towers, area will be completed in 2020 and is an integrated development with a nine-storey retail podium, two high-rise residential towers (Towers A and B) containing 1,062 apartments and a hotel tower branded Kempinski Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The residential towers have 700 sqft to 1,300 sqft branded residences called “YOO8 serviced by Kempinski”. Launched at RM$2,700 psf in 2016R and reaching RM$3,200 psf in 2017, it is currently now at RM$3,350 psf in 2019.

Even further away, KL Sentral-located St Regis Kuala Lumpur launched in 2011 and completed in 2015, has 160 apartments, sized between 820 sqft – 4,253 sqft, priced upwards of RM2,500 psf in 2013.

So at ~RM$2,300, in close proximity to Petronas Twin Towers, the 78 storey high SO Sofitel is very well priced compared to its ~RM$3k+ neighbours.

However, there currently is an oversupply of primarily high-end units in 2018 and 2019. The Malaysian government has taken several steps to curtail the problems with the oversupply of real estate. In November 2017, the government decided to put a temporary ban on the construction of high-end condominiums worth more than RM$1 million (around USD$245,000) while in January 2018, the government introduced new measures and increased the stamp duty from 3% to 4% on property worth more than RM$1 million. This pushed investors and buyers to look for more affordable properties, priced below RM$1 million. New regulations were also introduced to lure younger buyers, who are often first time buyers. There were also other regulations, for example, the Malaysia People’s Housing Bill 2011 (PR1MA), designed to facilitate younger people in buying affordable housing. Various policies announced in Budget 2019, which are designed to aid first-time homebuyers, are also expected to kick-start the housing market moving into 2019 and beyond.

With new policies in place, analysts believe that the overhang will be well-managed throughout 2020.

Fees

  • Maintenance Fee ~RM$1psf/mth
  • Foreigner consent application ~RM$1,000 twice
  • Stamp Duty 4%
  • Perfection of transfer and charge of strata title ~RM$3,000
  • Fire Insurance ~RM$150 per annum for every RM$100k

TL;DR

Pros

Pros

  1. Branded residences right in the CBD, heart of the Capital city of Malaysia Kuala Lumpur and within 3 minutes (250m) walk to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
  2.  Branded serviced residences of SO Sofitel make the development stand out.
  3. Jumeriah Hotel and Residences in the same development complex gives 2 world-class hotels in one development.
  4. Highest residential infinity pool in Malaysia.
  5. Smaller quantum (Prices start from SGD$4xx,000) compared to a 1 bedroom condo in Singapore (Prices start from SGD$7xx,000).
  6. Freehold tenure.
  7. At ~RM$2,300, in close proximity to Petronas Twin Towers, the 78 storey high SO Sofitel is very well priced compared to its ~RM$3k+ branded residence neighbours.
Cons

Cons

  1. Prices start from SGD$46x,000 full cash.(Housing Loan interest in Malaysia range from 4.4% to 4.7%)
  2. Currency risk in Malaysian Ringgit.
  3. Currently, there is an oversupply of primarily high-end units in 2018 and 2019.
You can browse my international property guru website for the 200+ unique portfolio of international propertiesSingapore new launches, and resale real estate. Alternatively, you may want to contact me, Shaun Lopez, at +65 82585190 or email shaun@internationalpropertyguru.com
 
To your Success,
Shaun Lopez

Contact Shaun for Your Real Estate Enquiries​

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