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Friday, December 21, 2007

Property hotspots to watch for 'second tier' locales with lower prices soon to be focus of developers

Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Klang and Meru are set to be the next hot spots for development. According to property researcher and cartographer Ho Chin Soon, these areas located in the second tier of the Klang Valley's Locational Centre of Gravity (LCG) will see the next wave of development . Based on his theory, these locales are situated within a 25km radius from the LCG spot of Petaling Jaya.

“These areas are deemed ‘secondary’ for the time being with properties priced slightly lower than those found in the ‘prime’ locations found in the first tier (15km) of the LCG. However, the prices are expected to pick up in the next 15 to 20 years,” he told PropertyPlus. The first tier encompasses areas such as Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), Cheras, Puchong, Shah Alam and Sungai Buloh.

He said although there are risks when purchasing properties further away from the LCG, they are still manageable when buying properties located within the second tier. “However, I wouldn’t recommend buying properties further than those located in the second tier,” added the co-founder and managing director of Ho Chin Soon Research Sdn Bhd.

According to Ho, Petaling Jaya was selected as the LCG for the Klang Valley, not because of the value of properties there but due to how developed the area is in terms of infrastructure and accessibility. “PJ is centrally located in the Klang Valley and the area has seen rapid development taking place there,” he said, adding that locations in the LCG’s first tier are almost fully developed, thus pushing future developments into the second tier and beyond.

He said, that as the Klang Valley progresses, forest reserves and plantation lands are making
way for property development. “Puchong and Sungai Buloh used to be huge forest reserves but have since been cleared to construct homes. Subang Jaya was formerly oil palm plantation land, and similar types of land located in the peripherary of the LCG are expected to become property developments as well,” he said.

However, he believes that due to the mountains and limestone hills located north of Batu Caves and Taman Melawati, further development towards that part of the Klang Valley would be impossible. “Hence, it is simple logic that most, if not all, future developments would be heading to the south (Cyberjaya and Putrajaya) and west (Klang and Meru) side of the Klang Valley,” he said.

Ho (pix) said some of the developments located in the second tier of the LCG are being integrated into the first tier thanks to good accessibility. “Setia Eco Park in Shah Alam, which is located just outside the first tier, could easily be regarded as part of it due to its accessibility on the NKVE and the strong brand name of the developer,” he said.

Another development he considers to have good potential for growth is IJM’s Canal City, which currently lacks proper infrastructure and access. “Two highways are being constructed to link the development – one is the North South Central Link, which goes down to KLIA and the other goes across the Klang River, connecting it to Putra Heights,” he said.

He adds that both Putrajaya and Cyberjaya are also on the rise with more residential and commercial developments being planned. “SP Setia has also purchased a huge piece of land in the latter for a residential project, which is expected to spur more developments there,” he added.

In western part of the Klang Valley, he said constant development is happening, particularly in the Mutiara Damansara, Kota Damansara and Sungai Buloh areas. “In fact, it was reported [in The Edge Malaysia] that at least 10 developers were fighting over a 3,000-acre piece of land in Sungai Buloh, owned by the Rubber Research Institute (RRI), which signifies the potential of the area,” he said.

On the other hand, Ho said the Rawang area would not be as conducive to development as other locations in the second tier of the Klang Valley LCG due to the Bukit Lagung Reserve to its north. “It is a difficult physical barrier to overcome but there is potential with some of the Selayang (first tier) developments spilling over to Rawang,” he explained.

Ho: Klang (above) lies in the path of future development

He added that growth in the Kajang, Sungai Long and Bangi areas would also be slow, as most of the areas there have already been developed. “Island & Peninsular Bhd recently launched its Alam Sari in Bangi. Although just located outside the second tier, it has already garnered huge interest from people looking to upgrade,” he said.

On which area would remain prime in the years to come, Ho stated the area around KLCC would still be valued the highest, and together with Damansara Heights and Mont Kiara, remain the top areas for property investment in the Klang Valley. “Catching up is the KL Sentral area with Chua Ma Yu buying land there for more than RM1,000 psf, which is still relatively cheap compared to the KLCC area with prices of RM1,500 psf,” he added.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

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