Where to Buy Properties in Klang Valley

I have been telling everyone that my forte is ultimately and geographically within Klang Valley. Ask me anywhere outside – let it be Ipoh, Kampar, Penang etc… I am perhaps as clueless as you are. But within Klang Valley… I reckon I can give some rather good recommendations on WHERE TO BUY if you are looking for a property.

A personal favourite is always Bangsar area. In my opinion, whether you are buying to stay or to invest, you really cant go wrong with Bangsar. Being in between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya gives Bangsar a great advantage in terms of location; and ideally, the surroundings, the people… it is a vibrant place, and a vibrant crowd. I would reckon that properties within Bangsar area… should ultimately hit RM700-900 psf for bungalow lands, and within the next 3-5 years, reach a support level of RM1,500-1,700 psf for a new high end condominium.

One Menerung, an upscale condominium development behind BSC

Another favourited location is the Old Klang Road area. Recent launches such as Saville Residence are fetching prices of RM450-500 psf – with units going for at least RM550,000 now – which to me feels like a very good entry level price for a 1,250 sf unit. In my opinion, the prices should shoot up to at least RM800-900 psf within the next 3-5 years, making this a choice investment for investors.

A dark horse location to invest in remains at Mont Kiara. As far as the expat market is concerned, I think that is rather slow though – so dont put too high hopes on the expat market for your rental yields in the area. I would put my money in Mont Kiara in the smaller units; units sized between 500-800 sf remains attractive to investors as the entry costs are still within reach, and the rental yields remain good for the smaller units. Units are going from RM900-1,000 psf for these smaller sized units – so I would think, if you can find units going at below RM800psf for the smaller units with good facilities, it is indeed a no-brainer to snap it up. Once the Bangsar area hits RM1,500psf, I think Mont Kiara properties should comfortably hover around RM1,200-1,300psf.

Cyberjaya, a future investment stronghold

Other dark horse locations include Cyberjaya, as well as places around Damansara Perdana/Mutiara Damansara area. Prices in Cyberjaya would move, but it will take quite awhile before you really experience a massive capital appreciation. Damansara Perdana/Mutiara Damansara remains a choiced location due to its easy accessibility to LDP and the vibrant community living within the area.

Source: www.ericyong77.com

Curitiba – Better Late Than Never

Recently, there were news reports that the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) has picked Brazil’s Curitiba as a model city for Kuala Lumpur to emulate.

Curitiba is a pioneer in urban solutions whose model has inspired urban planning for cities worldwide. It is also one of the richest cities and a regional hub for trade and services in Brazil.

“The reason why we choose Curitiba is because the city has a very modest background and all its programmes are inter-linked with one another,” said Norliza Hashim, MIP president 2009/2011 and chairman of international affairs committee.

Norliza added that one of the biggest challenges in town/city development is public transportation. “Kuala Lumpur, in particular, is facing significant issues with people’s mobility within the city,” she said.

We did some research and here is what we found:

Wikipedia: “Curitiba has a planned transportation system, which includes lanes on major streets devoted to a bus rapid transit system. The buses are long, split into three sections (bi-articulated), and stop at designated elevated tubes, complete with disabled access. There is only one price no matter how far you travel and you pay at the bus stop.
The system, used by 85% of Curitiba’s population, is the source of inspiration for the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia; Metrovia in Guayaquil, Ecuador; Transmetro in Guatemala City, Guatemala; as well as the Orange Line of Los Angeles, U.S. State of California, and for a future transportation system in Panama City, Panama, Cebu City, Philippines and the latest, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The city has also paid careful attention to preserving and caring for its green areas, boasting 51.5 square metres (554 sq ft) of green space per inhabitant.

Today, Curitiba is considered one of the best examples of urban planning worldwide. Curitiba was recently recommended by UNESCO as one of the city-model for the reconstruction of the cities of Afghanistan, after the U.S invaded in 2001.

Curitiba is referred to as the ecological capital of Brazil, with a network of 28 parks and wooded areas. In 2007, the city was placed third in a list of “15 Green Cities” in the world, according the U.S. magazine “Grist,” after Reykjavik in Iceland and Portland, Oregon in the United States.

As a result, according to one survey, 99% of Curitibans are happy with their hometown.

The “green exchange” employment program focuses on social inclusion, benefiting both those in need and the environment. Low-income families living in shantytowns unreachable by truck bring their trash bags to neighborhood centers, where they exchange them for bus tickets and food. This means less city litter and less disease, less garbage dumped in sensitive areas such as rivers and a better life for the undernourished poor. There’s also a program for children where they can exchange recyclable garbage for school supplies, chocolate, toys and tickets for shows.”

Curitiba’s model, inexpensive, speedy transit service is used by more than 2 million people a day. There are more car owners per capita than anywhere in Brazil, and the population has doubled since 1974, yet auto traffic has declined by 30%, and atmospheric pollution is the lowest in Brazil.

Curitiba’s buses carry 50 times more passengers than they did 20 years ago, but people spend only about 10 percent of their yearly income on transport. As a result, despite the second highest per capita car ownership rate in Brazil (one car for every three people), Curitiba’s gasoline use per capita is 30 percent below that of eight comparable Brazilian cities. Other results include negligible emissions levels, little congestion, and an extremely pleasant living environment…

Big Question: For the last 20 years, the people of Klang Valley have complained incessantly of the traffic jams and pollution and apparently people from the Transport Ministry have gone on study tours overseas to get ideas on how to improve KL. So, why have they not discovered Curitiba much earlier? We do have the Internet as well. Why is it that this idea must come from someone outside of the Ministry?

Kuala Lumpur is not Curitiba, but there are plenty of Kuala Lumpur properties you may want to have a look!

Research: Klang Valley’s Lifestyle & Commercial Development 2010-2013

‘Patchay’ is a young auditor attached with one of the global Big 4 auditing firms in Kuala Lumpur. He is impressed with innovative ideas being used in buildings and in enriching communities. He is also an independent urban development commentator on Skyscrapercity.Com, a global urbanity online platform. The author can be contacted at patchayik@yahoo.com or you can view his website at Patchay.com.

Below is the result of his research into the current urban development in the Klang Valley. Although it is intended to be comprehensive, some developments may have been overlooked. Feedback is appreciated in order for a more comprehensive update for the next instalment.

Download the Complete Patchay’s Urban Research Paper – H2, 2010 (PDF format, 202kb) PDF format