Integrated rail network creates opportunities for property investors
Greater KL’s integrated rail network is Malaysia’s largest infrastructure project and is designed to increase the city’s liveability and connectivity. It has also raised KL profile as an attractive investment venue. Both James Tan, associate director at Raine & Horne and Ho Chin Soon, director of Ho Chin Soon Sdn Bhd, a property information company that provides data on land use and ownership to those in the real estate industry, were quick to draw our attention to rising hotspots along the Greater KL’s integrated MRT/LRT and BRT lines.
Blue Line 1
The city’s integrated rail network consists of three key MRT lines namely the MRT Blue Line1, and two other MRT lines as speculated by Ho Chin Soon – MRT Putrajaya Line 2 and the MRT Circle Line 3, as well as an extension of our current LRT lines and the Sunway BRT Line. The MRT Blue Line 1 starts from Sungai Buloh which is located to the northwest of KL, runs through the city center of KL and ends in Kajang, located to the south-east of KL stretching over 31 stations.
MRT Line 2 ( Putrajaya Line)
The MRT: Putrajaya Line 2 connects Sungei Buloh to Kepong and runs to Jinjang, Sg Mas building in Batu Lima Jalan Ipoh, then to the YTL station in Sentul before making its way to Titiwangsa, Kg Baru, KLCC, The Platinum Park before going to Tun Razak Exchange (Pasar Rakyat) before heading to Cheras South, the Alam Damai Area and very likely Seri Kembangan and Serdang before reaching Putrajaya.
MRT Line 3 (Circle Line)
The MRT Circle Line 3 covers hotspots surrounding KLCC, Jalan Bukit Bintang, the new KL financial district in Dataran Perdana, KL EcoCity, Pusat Bandar Damansara and Sentul.
Orbital movements in KL will be addressed by the provision of a Circle Line 3. Ho expects the Circle Line to start from Sentul, near YTL’s land bank, before heading to Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd’s, KL metropolis mega mixed-use development in Jalan Duta. This is to the south of KL Metropolis which then goes to Mont Kiara. Then the line may head down along the highway near the Science Centre, the equestrian club and then there will be an interchange with the MRT Blue Line. The line will pass by the University Malaya land with the possibility of a MRT station here as some parts of the land have not been developed yet.
Then the line will head near KL Eco City although it does not go through Eco City. It will pass near Mid Valley Megamall and near RTM’s-proposed Media City. It will go south along the area of the Pantai constituency, passing through Bangsar South and Kampung Kerinchi. Then the line will cut through along the Klang River to Old Klang Road where the Scots Garden is. It will stretch along Pantai Highway to Sg Besi, then head to the south of the Sg Besi military airport.
After that, the line will proceed to the east where there will an interchange with the Putrajaya line at Taman Muda. The MRT line is then expected to join the existing LRT line to Pekan Ampang and Ampang Point before heading back to Sentul.
Key areas Ho identified as property hotspots for investors along MRT Blue Line 1 are Taman Muda and Cheras South where there is an interchange between MRT Line 1 and Putrajaya Line. He also highlighted projects by IJM Land at Bangsar South, Kerinchi and Pantai.
Tan projects growth around the Sungai Buloh Station on this Line 1. Located near Malaysia’s furniture manufacturing hub, the station is expected to boost the value of the industrial properties here. Additionally he is also bullish about areas in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Balakong, Taman Koperasi, Saujana Impian as well as Kajang which he says will benefit the lower income segment of the population. For more high-end developments, Tan also pointed to condominium projects in the Semantan area, he believes will boost prices.
Tan also is very positive about Tropicana Gardens by the developer, Tropicana Corporation Berhad. Tropicana Gardens is linked to the MRT stations allowing residents to walk from their apartments and proceed straight to the station. It is strategically located in the bustling, well-established area of Persiaran Surian, Kota Damansara. The project is a luxurious integrated mixed development and is slated to turn into the latest urban hub. It will serve the residents from the nearby Tropicana Indah Resort Homes, as well as its surrounding areas. Additionally there will be a widened access road and purpose-built underground tunnel that leads to Sunway Giza and Sunway Nexis. The price of Tropicana Gardens residences can fetch a value of RM1, 200 per sq ft. which is higher than the value at KLCC area, Tan cited, as a clear example of how a proposed MRT station can push prices of properties up.
As for the MRT Putrajaya Line 2, Ho favours the YTL developments in Sentul and SP Setia’s projects near the line’s last stop, Putrajaya. The MRT Circle Line 3 covers most of the city centre’s current hotspots. According to Ho, if investors or real estate industry players have land banks at a particular MRT station on this route, they can expect prices to soar. Hotspots on the existing and to be extended LRT lines that were given prominence by Ho are projects along the Ampang LRT Line. He believes property developments surrounding Ampang Point by Mah Sing Group and Land & General Bhd will surge especially as there is going to be an MRT interchange station at Ampang. He has also highlighted Bukit Jalil as a prime investment area as it will enjoy improved connectivity.
LRT extension lines
As for the LRT extension lines, Tan is keen for investors to look at Subang Jaya. He says the extension of the line will boost prices of commercial properties in the area. LRT stations near residential areas like Taman Puching Prima and Puchong Prima will provide accessibility for those who want to travel to Bandar Puchong Jaya. The landed properties around the MRT station area especially those near the USJ 13 link are also expected to increase between 5%-10% annually over and above the annual yearly increase, he said.
BRT Sunway line
The BRT Sunway line is described by Tan as an excellent project as the BRT stations are linked to most stations. He said the infrastructure will increase the value of commercial and residential properties along the line. The proposed LRT-BRT integration at USJ 6 station and the proposed KTM-BRT integration at Setia Jaya Station, he said, will help accessibility as it is a fairly high density area.
The property investment outlook in the areas identified by the experts certainly looks positive especially as the construction of the integrated rail network is progressing at the projected pace. Many of the areas identified have already begun to show a steady rise in property prices.
Ho summed it well when he said, “This is a good opportunity for both developers and buyers to invest and foresee good returns in the near future. The average growth for KL house price is 6.17% per annum in the last 22 years. Buyers can expect a good return on investment in a mere 5 years, once all the road and rail projects are completed.”
Please note: A detailed map of the integrated rail network as briefly described above is available at the Ho Chin Soon Sdn Bhd office. Ho is a Fellow of the Institution of Surveyors Malaysia and a registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia.
Disclaimer: The opinions stated in the article above are solely of the two industry experts quoted namely James Tan of Raine & Horne and Ho Chin Soon of Ho Chin Soon Sdn Bhd and are not in any form an endorsement or recommendation by iProperty.com. Readers are encouraged to seek independent advice prior to making any investment decisions.