Saturday, 22 August 2015

Popular developments based on my articles' views

A simple correlation - the more views a post gets, means more people are interested in finding out more about that particular subject.

Most readers land on my page via Google - although it seems that some people actually come to my blog by typing in the title, meaning repeat readers! Awww I love you guys! muah muah!

So here are the "hottest" properties that get the most hits here:

  1. Seasons Gardens
  2. Serini Melawati
  3. 28 Boulevard Pandan
  4. Wangsa 9 Residence
  5. Picasso Residence
Astoria is not that popular despite being a new launch - could be a niche thing.

Nadayu and Arte+ also have lukewarm hits, also could be due to being niche

There you go - those are the popular developments (or the only ones!) around this Ampang/UK/Wangsa Maju area :)

love youse all

Kota Semarak

Was at Nu Sentral and saw the Kota Semarak booth there, so went to have a look - I was aware of this development some time back but I think the promotion is only just starting to rev up now - they are also just taking registration only, not deposits.

Pricing, layout and other details are available already but since I was rather in a rush that day, what I got was this:

  • Large scale development - will end up with around 1,200+ units over 4 separate buildings
  • The land area is pretty large - 27 acres, so it's pretty massive
  • Leasehold
  • Location is actually very close to town, just down Jln Semarak - heavy traffic though
  • Location has no LRT nearby
  • You'd have to travel in the opposite direction away from town to get to town - e.g. the condo is pretty much equidistant to both Sri Rampai and Ampang Park - if you're working in town, you might as well just drive (of course, parking considerations etc etc)
  • Next to the DUKE Highway with access to both directions of the highway
  • Unit sizes ranges from 800sf to about 1,200 sf
  • Cost per square foot is between RM500 to RM600 on average - of course, more at the higher floors, naturally - non-Bumi price starts from RM420,000
  • Has 4 floors of retail space so it has it's own shopping area - convenient and help alleviate some traffic as residents need not drive out for shopping
  • The nearest neighbourhoods around it are Kg Ayer Panas and Kg Rejang - sad to say, these are low income areas, so it's not a "posh" area for the price you are paying - why I say this is because you can actually get condo units in Mon't Kiara at the same cost per square foot, I kid you not.
Quick thoughts - buy or not?
  1.  It is like Seasons Garden; high density but relatively "affordable"; good buy for 1st time buyer and young families
  2. For investment, I would say it is an average-to-good choice - you'd need tenants who want to live near town BUT would likely drive; so your executive type
  3. Not suitable for people who want low density exclusivity - you won't get it here, this is essentially a vertical township
  4. May be ok for a buy and flip if you can wait 5 years
So all in all, not bad lah.. quite nice also with enough acreage to put in a park and lake (uh ... maintenance alarm bells... mosquitoes) and with such a large number of units, there can be problems with the future residents management committee with 1,000+ owners!

Ok lah, the convenience of the DUKE highway and its own mall goes a long way if one is planning to live there, it is a decent choice for households with income of around 7k to 9k.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bus Rapid Transit and property values

After the recent launch of the Sunway BRT line, there will be several more BRT lines coming up - they are cheaper and faster to build as they utilise existing roads.

So far I have only used the BRT in Bangkok - they only have 1 line so far and it has been running for some time now. Wonder why they haven't continued with more though?

I guess there are certain challenges with Bangkok with the road width in the more densely populated areas, there isn't much leeway for a BRT line to take up more road space because the original road is fairly narrow as BKK is a very old city.

Anyway, looking at the BRT plan for KL, it looks interesting - the only areas it doesn't seem to cover are the affluent neighbourhoods of Damansara Heights, Bangsar and Mont'Kiara.

Also, looks like the Government is making the hard decision to take up 2 lanes on the MRR2 from Melawati to Jln Ampang - this stretch is jammed in the morning and will be worse with only 2 lanes for traffic instead of 3. Still, it should "force" people to take the BRT into town instead of driving in.

So will this increase property values? I believe it will for some areas - I think some of the older areas along Jln Pahang (where 1 line is due to be ready in 2017) would benefit. They are currently languishing due to congestion and whatnot... perhaps there might be a renewal and gentrification as these neighbourhoods are still relatively "cheap" in relation to their proximity to the town centre.

I also think the BRT will be a rationalising factor in the rebalancing of property prices - at the moment, I believe the value of KL properties - especially those in the ring between Jln Tun Razak (the Inner Ring Road) and the MRR2 (the Middle Ring Road) - is undervalued in comparison to the properties in the outer suburbs. Granted that the outer suburbs are better planned but ultimately, if one is a white collar professional / executive, your workplace is going to be in KL. You might as well live in town for a shorter commute and with the extensive BRT (no jam, people! dedicated bus lane!), it might just get easier.

There is much value in a shorter commute - there is less stress, less time taken to travel, more productive, able to reach home faster and earlier - everyone benefits. And with that value, comes the willingness to pay for a place on that line.

The LRT and MRT benefits those in the outer suburbs, the BRT is a long-overdue solution to the original KL dwellers - so glad that it is finally happening!