In my opinion, affordable living is to have a positive quality of life in an ecosystem where people only need to travel short distances for work, groceries, sending their children to school, or to engage in social activities. A well-located neighborhood saves significant traveling cost and improves overall cost of living, even if the rent of a home is higher than those located in a poorer living condition.
1. Mature public infrastructures to sustain affordable livelihood
Mature public infrastructures allow a place to be accessible and livable for inhabitants in the long term. Available waste management, drainage system, power and clean water supply ensure periodical upkeep and provides functionality for the city.
Police stations, public hospitals and public schools located around the city ensures that security, health and education welfare are available to all inhabitants.
2. Connectivity to neighboring cities and commercial areas
An area with efficient and direct highway and road connectivity reduce commuting time and costs between work and home. Higher accessibility provides more housing options for blue collar workers to live near their workplace.
Multiple highways and road access to nearby cities alleviate traffic stress and distribute traffic load across different entry and exit points going in and out of the city.
Strategically located taxi, bus, LRT and KTM stops that connect the high-density neighborhood to popular commercial areas, reduces vehicle count on the road. High frequency of taxi and busses on the road also reduce interval waiting time for all passengers.
3. Access to broad range of eateries, neighborhood stores and supermarkets
‘Affordable housing’ allows consumers to reduce their mortgage arrears and debts, thus increases their consumptions on other avenues. Plenty of established hawker food and open air eateries such as ‘economy rice’ and hawker stalls are open to serve the needs of those living nearby, increasing commerce activities and income for the local dwellers.
The neighborhood retailers also provide a wide range of specialty goods and services from hardware, grocery stores, fresh goods, dental, clinics, optics, laundry, health and beauty care, commercial banking, bakeries and workout centers.
Familiar neighborhood supermarkets like Tesco, Giants, Mydin, Econsave, Aeon shopping malls, cinemas, grocery chains like Speedmart 99, KK Mart, and major fast food restaurant chains like Starbucks, Coffee Beans, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut are also available. Their decision to set up business in the neighborhood provides a positive indicator of increasing household count and income level that is required to keep businesses as those, profitable in the long run, and businesses creating more jobs in return.
4. Nearby work opportunities for blue collar workers
An anchor industry provides job opportunities and employment to the majority of the population, creating social safety nets and stable income for workers. The anchor industry attracts horizontal and vertical service providers to set up offices, warehouses and manufacturing plants that are nearby each other, further diversifying the local economies.
Low-cost labor and workers that were able to live within commuting distance due to available public transportation make it easy for the industry to provide competitive salary without putting their staff under wage pressure. Some of these employers may also choose to subsidize or provide living quarters to their staff so that they live very near to where their business operates to ensure that their employees are on time for their work-shift.
5. Price and size of affordable homes
People do have to consider between paying more for housing to reduce commuting time and expense, or accept a long and expensive commute to obtain a home that is more affordable. Affordable housing can also improve the supply of low-cost labor, and reduce pressure on public transportation systems as workers do not need travel far between jobs and house.
When affordable housing price is low, workers have more housing choices. When price between affordable housing areas is small, mobility for the labor market increases.
When faced with q few options for affordable homes, people may be forced to find cheaper houses by buying or renting further away from the city. The long commutes often result in higher transportation costs.
Klang, Rawang and Semenyih shares high similarity in terms of elements for affordable living. All three cities are also located within the same distance from Kuala Lumpur. The three satellite cities encompass the north, south and west of Kuala Lumpur, meanwhile the Titiwangsa Mountain Range is located at the east side.
Location of Klang, Rawang and Semenyih around Selangor, encapsulating Kuala Lumpur at the center.
Price and size of affordable homes
Following are transacted median price and size for the year 2015, in comparison for terraced houses, apartment and flat located at Klang, Rawang and Semenyih:
An ecosystem that provides affordable living has all of the elements of mature public infrastructures, along with good connectivity for logistics, to reach the bustling commercial area and nearby available work opportunities as a source of income. They are required in order for the ecosystem to grow and be sustainable for the inhabitants.
DISCLAIMER: The source of Sale data is from the Valuation and Property Services department (JPPH) which officially records a property transaction once the stamp duty for the Sales and Purchase agreement is paid while the source of rent data is from agents’ listings listed at iProperty.com. Analytics are based on the data available at the date of publication and may be subject to revision as and when more data becomes available.
This article was first published in the iProperty.com Malaysia Nov 2016 Magazine. Get your copy from selected news stands or view the magazine online for free at www.iproperty.com.my/magazine. Better yet, order a discounted subscription by putting in your details in the form below!