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Sunday, January 6, 2008

VALUE FOR MONEY ADDRESSES - Well established areas are the favourite picks of real estate experts

WHAT would you consider to be a value for money address in the Klang Valley?

When it comes to buying or investing in a property, everyone is familiar with the well-known mantra of “location, location, location". So when PropertyPlus rounded up a few real estate experts for their take on value-for-money addresses, it was no surprise that many of them chose wellestablished areas like Petaling Jaya. The agents, who picked Petaling Jaya as their value-for-money address, said residential or commercial properties in the area are considered good investments as properties here are constantly in demand.

For real estate agents, Petaling Jaya is considered an area worth buying, particularly for residential use.

Some agents pointed to upcoming growth areas like Kota Damansara and Sungai Buloh while others preferred prime upmarket locations such as Mont’Kiara and Damansara Heights.

Despite the much higher prices for properties there today, which can easily start from RM500 psf, the experts said those who had invested in these areas earlier, especially first-time owners, are enjoying lucrative returns.

An example cited was the 345-unit Mont’Kiara Aman, sited on a 5.8-acre freehold plot within the Mont’Kiara enclave. With a gross development value of over RM300 million, it was completed in end-2005. The sizes of the standard and penthouse units start from 1,668 to 4,300 sq ft respectively.

Steadfast Realty principal Lee Wai Kong said this project provides good value for both owners and investors. “Capital values here have appreciated between 25% and 40% and there is still room for growth.

Mont’Kiara has turned out to be a choice location for local residents and with amenities such as international schools, restaurants and shops nearby, there is a growing expatriate community, too,” he added.

Although residential properties were a more popular choice among those polled, some opted for commercial properties such as the leasehold shop offices at Dataran Sunway as well as the various upcoming purpose-built office buildings in Petaling Jaya such as 3 Two Square, Jaya 33, Jaya One, PJ8 and PJ Exchange.

Read on as the real estate principals share their choice locations with us.

Bel Air Properties’ Lakhbir Singh

Where: Mid Valley City

Why: It’s a good location to invest in because it provides complete urban living in a confined,
yet intensively active area. As productivity correlates closely with distance of workplace and home, some would want to enjoy the benefits of working and staying within the vicinity.

Besides its strategic location and its proximity to Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, Mid Valley provides a whole range of amenities, from hotels, shopping centres to entertainment outlets. The roads and public transport system, including the commuter station, at its doorstep provide extra convenience and accessibility. The proximity to Bangsar adds to the value and hype about it being a vibrant place of non-stop activity.

Mid Valley City provides complete ubran living in a confi ned, yet intensively active area

Both its commercial and residential properties will be good investments as growth is likely to be spurred with the completion of its other hotels and remaining office space.

Interest: None

Trenholme Properties’ Roger Teoh

Where: Petaling Jaya

Why: It’s an area worth buying, particularly for residential use. Being a well-established location with a large population, the properties here cater to all types of buyers with a wide range of homes, from affordable to high-end ones. It also has a good mix of residential properties, from compact homes, walk-up apartments, terraced home, semidees to bungalows.

One may still own a 1-storey terraced home for less than RM300,000 like those in Section 17. More expensive homes, such as terraced houses above RM500,000, are found in newer areas like Bandar Utama.

Apart from looking at the residential properties here, one can also opt to invest in the commercial properties in PJ, such as those in the well-known SS2 area.

PJ’s property prices are able to hold well and one can expect a capital appreciation of between 3% and 5% yearly.

Interest: Teoh lives and works in PJ. He has also sold properties here.

JT Properties’ James Tan

Where: Damansara Heights

Why: Apart from the lifestyle factor, Damansara Heights is the premium residential address in KL. It’s popular among the higher income locals as well as expatriates.

However, homes here are not cheap and one needs to fork out at least RM3 million for a secondary landed property.

Moreover, there is no more new land for development in this area. Scarcity will surely push property prices up. Those who bought properties here for their own use or for investment will surely benefit.

Interest: JT Properties has previously transacted some properties here.

Steadfast Realty principal Lee Wai Kong

: Mont’Kiara Aman and Marc Service Residence, KLCC

Why: These two projects are able to provide their owners and investors good values/returns. For instance, Mont’Kiara Aman owners are still enjoying capital appreciation as its values have gone up between 25% and 40%. For investors, the returns here are equally good, between 8% and 12%. With the abundance of amenities, including international schools, shops, restaurants, Mont’Kiara has, and continues to attract, a cosmopolitan community.

Marc Service Residence's strategic location in KL city centre makes it attractive to investors

For Marc Service Residence owners, the prices have doubled from RM600 to RM1,200 psf. It may even go up to RM1,400 psf very soon. Marc Service Residence’s strategic location in the Kuala Lumpur city centre has made it the focus of investor interest. Compared with similar properties with the same quality, design and finish in some countries in the region, properties here are still relatively inexpensive and there is still ample room for growth.

Interest: None

Pacific Alliance Realty’s Kayte Teh

: Sunway Damansara, Kota Damansara

Why: This commercial area has positioned itself as Kota Damansara’s vibrant and thriving commercial hub catering to the needs of the surrounding residential areas. It also has an interesting mix of new developments that are coming up in the vicinity such as hypermarts, The
Strand as well as the Giza speciality retail centre shop offices.

The commercial properties here make viable investments as they can record capital appreciation of about 100%. When it was launched more than three years ago, the units were going for RM700,000 to RM750,000.

Today, owners are asking about RM1.8 million for their 3-storey shop offices and en bloc rentals command between RM7,000 and RM8,500 for intermediate units.

Despite the leasehold status, demand for secondary units here is on the rise but not many owners are willing to sell. The developer launched the first phase units for less than RM1 million while standard units were priced at about RM1.2 million during the launch of the second phase.

Interest: None

Edmond Tan & Co’s Edmond Tan

Where: Valencia, Sungai Buloh

Why: This project has a good environment, is very exclusive and is definitely value for money. It also has a private nine-hole golf course, a club house, swimming pool as well as beautiful

When the developer launched it about five to six years ago, it was selling the bungalows for between RM1.2 million and RM1.5 million. Prices today have appreciated to more than RM2 million and it translates to an annual capital appreciation of about 20%.

Meanwhile, the rental yields here too are equivalent to those in Bangsar and Damansara Heights. A bungalow in Valencia can fetch rentals of between RM10,000 and RM12,000 monthly and first-time owners are enjoying annual rental yields of about 10%.

Interest: None

MIP Properties’ Alan Kuan

Where: Dataran Prima Condominium, Petaling Jaya

Why: This project is ideal for those who prefer condo living. The current average asking price is around RM215 psf. It also comes with large built-ups of between 1,037 and 3,160 sq ft.

Considering its location and freehold tenure, it’s a good buy and owners/investors have been
enjoying a capital appreciation of at least 20%. Rental returns are between 4% and 5% for basic units while those that are partially or fully furnished can command between 6% and 9%.

The two-year-old Dataran Prima comprises 394 units housed in two blocks and each unit comes with two parking bays. It is near various amenities such as the Rapid KL feeder bus station, Kelana Jaya LRT station, Aman Suria shop offices, Dataran Prima offices and Sunwaymas Commercial Centre.

Interest: MIP Properties has transacted some units here.

Richland Properties’ Selvam Durasamy

Where: Petaling Jaya

Why: PJ is fast growing as an alternative commercial address and people nowadays prefer to work near their homes. PJ is also well connected with various highways and is a wellintegrated lifestyle area for work and leisure.

In the past, there were not many commercial options here but today, more developers are offering office-cum-retail space, such as those at Jaya 33, Jaya One, PJ8, 3 Two Square and PJ Exchange.

With rental rates for office space in Kuala Lumpur’s city centre going up to RM10 psf, there is abundant demand for office space in PJ as average rental rates here are between RM4 and RM5 psf. Commercial properties here can provide average rental returns from RM2.50 to RM5 psf, which translates to an average rental yield of about 7% per annum.

As a further testament to its future prospects, real estate investment trust funds are constantly seeking commercial properties in the PJ vicinity to add to their existing portfolio.

Interest: None

By theSun - Property Plus (by Loo Pik Kwan)