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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rawang on the rise

PETALING JAYA: Affordability and an increasing number of job opportunities in Rawang are drawing more people to stay there, says GuocoLand (M) Bhd chief operating officer John Lou.
The developer has a joint-venture project with Hong Bee Land Sdn Bhd in the area called Emerald Rawang (pix), which comprises terraces, semi-dees, bungalows, and low-cost apartments.

“People are moving there to avoid traffic congestion in the city, while new factories in the vicinity benefit those looking to work in the area. Unlike the Klang Valley, where land is becoming scarce, there is still land available in Rawang suitable for township developments,” he said.

He said properties in Rawang are priced lower compared to other prime areas, due to its location, which is further from the city centre. “However, good infrastructure has created better links to the other parts of the Klang Valley,” he told theSun. It has easy access to Kuala Lumpur and Damansara via the North South Highway and is connected to Selayang and Batu Caves via the Middle Ring Road 2. Within Rawang itself, future accessibility and infrastructure projects include the new Rawang bus terminal scheduled for completion in June and the Rawang bypass, which will divert traffic from the town centre, expected to be ready by end of this year.

First Serendah Real Estate principal Avtar Singh believes current buyers in Rawang are obtaining property at a fair value. “Those that purchased property there 10 to 12 years ago would have seen values increasing by some 30% to 40%,” he said.

However, he added that properties bought eight to 10 years ago have yet to see significant capital appreciation.

Although there is an influx of people into the area, he feels there is no strong existing rental market. “Property rentals are still not popular in Rawang and are limited only to expatriates and those temporarily posted there,” he said. According to him, rental rates for a 2-storey bungalow in Rawang range between RM1,500 and RM2,500 a month.

He added that developments such as the gated Emerald Rawang are “a breath of fresh air” for Rawang with its innovatively designed products and the introduction of the built-then-sell concept.

The price of bungalows in the 1,029- acre freehold Emerald Rawang range from RM900,000 to RM1.6 million, with built-ups of 2,482 sq ft to 5,863 sq ft, whereas the terraces, priced from RM150,000 to RM432,000, have built-ups of between 1,472 sq ft and 1,780 sq ft. GuocoLand’s Lou said the price of the bungalows and link houses have gone up by 38% and 50% respectively since they were first launched in 2001.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

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