From non-descript little towns, they have grown to become the country’s leading property hotspots simply because of the geographical advantage they enjoy from lying strategically within the proximity of the country’s centre of gravity. Their centralized locations providing the vital link between the nation’s main business, administrative and technology hubs of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. KL’s south corridor now has a population of almost half million as a result of its commercial and employment opportunities. Its population growth has created an unprecedented demand for commercial and residential property.
The southern corridor’s traction has also been strengthened undeniably by its accessibility. It is well connected by a number highways namely the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), North South Expressway Central Link (Elite), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), The SILK Kajang Highway and the most recent opening of KL-Putrajaya dedicated highway, Maju Expressway. Parts of region will also be serviced by MRT with the completion of the Sungei Buloh – Kajang line and the extension of the Ampang line to Putra Heights. The convenience of travel to the southern KL continues to increase its attraction as a place to work and live in. The potential for growth has drawn almost all major players to invest in large mixed developments that offer residents and investors a wide range of real estate options.
Demand Driven Developments Thrive Even in Slowdown
iProperty recently gained some insights into the impact of the current market slowdown on properties in the townships to the south of KL via an email interview with Property expert Dr. Daniele Gambero, Co-Founder and CEO of REI Group of Companies. Dr. Gambero felt that the notion of market slowdown was caused mainly by unsubstantiated perceptions amongst the general public. He said based on facts, figures and most importantly, “demand driven developments”, buyers are still there very keen to purchase. He explained that The Southern Corridor of KL is a much diversified product range: from high rise to landed, big to small, townships to single phase developments, most of which are within very affordable psf values. He clarified that even for products between RM250 and RM320 per sq ft and for total values below RM500, 000, there is a market.
He cited two success stories of the south: Cyberjaya and Puchong. He said these two hotspots were exactly where Semenyih, Kajang, Bangi, Sungai Long, Cheras South, Nilai, Seremban are today, about a decade ago. He added that with transportation upgrades by SPAD, Prasarana as well the upcoming KL- Singapore HSR Link enhancing mobility and elevating the standard and speed of commuting, he forecasts that property values should, double within next 5 to 7 years. He strongly felt that, “affordability” was the buzzword for property buying and advised developers to build homes that were below 2,000 sq ft, as it enabled values to remain affordable (below RM600,000).
“Affordability” the buzzword of Property Buying
Data from iProperty iQ looking specifically at demand based on value property in three townships in the Southern KL, namely Kajang, Nilai and Seremban further substantiated, “affordability,” as the key factor driving buying interest. iProperty iQ data shows that the demand for double storey linked homes in Kajang is highest for those in the mid-range category of RM300k to RM500k and the slightly higher category of RM500k to RM700k. For the last 3 years the demand for homes in these categories together form around 62% of total demand. There is a shift in demand from the RM 300k to RM500k category to RM500k to RM700k in 2014 and 2015 but total demand remains above 60%
In Nilai, which is a lower priced market, demand is highest for mid-range double storey homes priced RM300k to RM500k, which peaked to 2014 to 54.89% but fell to 37.61% in 2015. However it is important to note this decrease is compensated by an increase in demand for property in the RM500k to 700k category from only 7.16% in 2013 to 24.95% in 2015. In Seremban, demand for double storey homes in both the RM300k to RM500K and the RM500k to RM700k has seen robust growth. The demand for homes in RM300k to RM500k category has seen a yearly increase of almost 20% between 2013 and 2015. While the RM500k to RM600k shows between 6% to 7% increase during this same period.
Inspirational Lifestyles at Attractive Prices in Seremban
Recognising the draw of KL’s southern boundaries and the increasing demand for inspirational lifestyles among urban professionals, Sime Darby Property Berhad has launched Chemara Hills – an exclusive guarded hilltop residential development comprising super link, semi-detached and bungalow homes. Nestled amidst lush greenery and complemented by the beautifully landscaped slopes of Bukit Chemara in Seremban, Chemara Hill is set to become the next “Bukit Tunku” or “Damansara Heights” of Seremban town.
The development promises discerning home-owners luxury residences at less than half the price of similar developments in Kuala Lumpur. Developments such as Chemara Hills continue to enhance the value of investing in Southern KL. The proposed development of Malaysia Vision Valley – an integrated economic valley in the western frontiers of Negeri Sembilan spanning 108,000 ha and encompassing Nilai, Seremban and Port Dickson – is set to propel Southern KL into a robust growth spurt in the coming years. Southern KL still has vast undeveloped landbanks in Semenyih, Kajang, Bangi, Sungai Long, Cheras South, Nilai and Seremban, which offer excellent potential and is able to sustain the interest of developers and investors, complemented by the region’s strategic location and comprehensive infrastructure.