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Monday, March 3, 2008

Highway help

The Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway, scheduled for completion in 2009, is expected to positively impact property prices in many Klang Valley developments

The new Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway (LKSA) is expected to open in 2009

THE North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Damansara Puchong Highway (LDP), New Pantai Expressway (NPE), Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas), Sprint Highway and the Federal Highway are among an extensive network of highways creating travelling convenience for those living and working in the Klang Valley.

Besides reducing the daily traffic congestion on the Federal Highway and the Kesas Highway, the new Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway (LKSA), which acts as a connecting link between the two, is also expected to boost the demand and value of properties located along it.

The 14.7km highway by Project Lintasan Shah Alam Sdn Bhd has a dedicated interchange to Island & Peninsular Bhd’s (I&P) Alam Impian township and passes through developments such as Gamuda Land’s Kota Kemuning and Bukit Rimau by Malton Bhd. It is expected to be fully ready by end-2009 at a development cost of some RM700 million.

I&P managing director Datuk Jamaludin Osman told Propertyplus that the targeted year-end completion of the first phase of LKSA, which links Alam Impian to the Federal Highway, would substantially increase the value of the properties in the township. “Prices of the homes there is expected to appreciate by 15% to 30% when LKSA becomes operational in November,” he said, adding that demand for the properties is also expected to rise in tandem.

About 50% of the 115 units of 2- and 2 ½-storey linked houses and 74 units of 2-storey semidees in the 1,325- acre freehold township have been taken up since its launch in December 2006. Prices range from RM325,000 to RM623,000 for the terraces with built-ups of 2,439 sq ft onwards, while the semidees, with built-ups from 3,113 sq ft, are priced between RM552,000 and RM900,900. The group plans to launch three more phases this year.

Meanwhile, Kota Kemuning is already enjoying good accessibility with a dedicated interchange from the Kesas Highway. Residents living in the 1,820-acre freehold development can head to other parts of the Klang Valley via the Federal Highway, LDP, NKVE and North-South Central Link.

The mature township is 90% developed and just three years from full completion. Its latest 2- storey townhouses with built-ups from 1,700 sq ft are priced at RM280,000 onwards, while 2-storey semidees, priced from RM800,000, have built-ups of 3,200 sq ft and above.

Malton sales and marketing director, Tracey Lai, said the LKSA would bring better appreciation to the properties in Bukit Rimau by providing improved accessibility. “Property values are expected to increase by 15% to 20% and the take-up rate should rise as well,” she said. The average price of 2-storey linked bungalows with built-ups of either 3,125 sq ft or 3,193 sq ft is RM750,000 while a 3,800 sq ft 2- storey bungalow is worth RM1.4 million in the 384-acre freehold Bukit Rimau.

“While most homeowners want greenery, peace and security, they also want facilities and amenities right at their doorsteps. Now, it would appear they have all they need with the new accessibility,” she added.

Beyond Subang
Metro Homes Sdn Bhd director See Kok Loong said developments located along the Kesas Highway, particular those beyond Subang, would benefit most from the completion of LKSA. These include Kota Kemuning, Kemuning Utama, Bukit Rimau, Bandar Puteri Klang, Berjaya Park and Bandar Botanic.

“The LKSA will provide easy access to the Federal Highway, which is a cheaper, more direct route to the city centre compared to the Kesas Highway that links to the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2),” he said. He explained that currently, residents from those areas would have to cut through the Elite Highway from the Kesas Highway to get to the Federal Highway.

According to him, the secondary market price for 2- storey terraces in Berjaya Park and Bukit Rimau are RM220,000 and RM280,000 respectively while those Kota Kemuning and Kemuning Utam are going from RM310,000 to RM340,000. Rental rates for the houses range from RM1,000 to RM1,300 per month.

“There will not be significant changes in the [value] of the properties there in the initial stages. Nevertheless, they are expected to gradually increase with the completion of the LKSA as it will create a lot of convenience for the property buyers,” he said.

Rahim & Co (Selangor) Sdn Bhd managing director Choy Yue Kwong estimated a 10% to 20% increase in capital values for properties in the vicinity, with better appreciation in Nilai Impian, when the LKSA is completed or near completion.

“Generally, it makes sense to purchase the properties there before their completion as the values will not change significantly at this stage.

The demand and prices will only increase when the highway is completed and members of the public are able to experience its convenience,” he said, adding that developers would most likely capitalise on this factor to raise the selling price of future launches.

However, he said the ease of accessibility to a major highway alone is not enough to spell success for any housing scheme. “Bukit Beruntung too is easily accessible via the NKVE yet it is far from
being termed as successful,” he said.

He added that properties directly fronting an expressway would suffer from noise pollution, which would depress their value. “In such situations, the mitigating measure will be for the developer or concessionaire to construct a sound barrier to minimise the noise from passing traffic,” he said.

See believes Mutiara Damansara, in Petaling Jaya, is an example of a well planned development as the commercial properties there are fronting the LDP while the residential properties are located at the other end.

“Other developments doing well due to their locations near a major highway include Setia Alam, Setia Eco-Park and Alam Perdana that are connected by the Setia-Meru Link, as well as Sierramas and Valencia, which are accessible via the Sungai Buloh Interchange,” he added.

He said it is very important for any development to have a dedicated link to a highway as residents would not need to go through another development to get home. However, he added that some developers fail to deliver interchanges on time due to high commitment cost.

“If the development is not big enough, the financial burden can be very heavy and would cause problems in getting approvals from the local authority,” he said.

By theSun

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