SUNGAI Petani, unlike other Malaysian towns, was only slightly affected by the economic crisis in the late 90s.
During this period, the development of Sungai Petani town took place along its eastern corridor.
According to Intra Harta Consultants (North) Sdn Bhd director Tan Kok Yew, big-time developers such as Kejora Harta Bhd, OSK Properties Sdn Bhd and Eupe Corp Bhd carried out the development of residential housing schemes during the crisis.
“For example, Kejora Harta launched landed residential properties schemes comprising largely medium-cost, single and double-storey terraced houses in Bandar Aman Jaya.
“OSK carried out projects focusing on single-storey semi-detached houses in Bandar Puteri Jaya, while Eupe undertook the development of single-storey terraces and single-storey semi-detached houses in Taman Kelisa Ria,” he added.
Tan said the completion of the eastern bypass, connecting northern and southern Sungai Petani in the second half of the 1990s, was a key factor in pulling more investments into the eastern zone of the town.
He added that the location of Sungai Petani industrial park in the eastern zone also explained the investments pumped in for residential housing schemes in the area.
“The industrialisation of Sungai Petani town began in the mid-80s with the establishment of Bakar Arang industrial estate by the Kedah State Government in the southern part of the town.
“It continued into the early-1990s with the setting up of Sungai Petani industrial park in the eastern part of the town. These developments attracted developers such as Paramount Property (Utara) Sdn Bhd (formerly Patani Jaya Sdn Bhd), Eupe Corp, Oriental Interest Bhd and Keladi Maju Bhd to invest in Sungai Petani,” Tan said.
In the mid-1980s, Patani Jaya kicked off the development of Taman Patani Jaya in Sungai Petani town centre, with the launch of high-end property schemes such as double-storey terraced and double-storey semi-detached houses.
Eupe also unveiled well-known residential schemes in eastern Sungai Petani such as Taman Ria and Taman Ria Jaya respectively at the end of the 1980s and mid-1990s, comprising mixed types of landed residential properties, mainly low-cost and medium-cost terraces, as well as semi-detached and bungalow houses.
In the early 1990s, Eupe started to build industrial shop lots, shop offices and the Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Resort in Taman Ria Jaya.
“Oriental Interest started with the development of low-cost housing schemes in Taman Bandar Baru, Sungai Lallang, located in northern Sungai Petani, at the end of the 1980s.
“Then you have Keladi Maju, a low-cost property developer, kicking off at the end of the 1980s the development of low-cost properties in Taman Keladi in the eastern part of the town,” he said.
Tan said property owners in the eastern part of Sungai Petani who purchased houses in the early 90s would now find that the value of their homes had appreciated.
Henry Butcher (Kedah) director Mah Beng Fong said that after 1997, the value of landed residential properties in Sungai Petani saw a steady increase yearly.
Both Tan and Mah agree that between 1998 and 2004, the appreciation per year for double-storey terraces were between 2% and 3%, double-storey semi-detached house 4%-5%, standard size 2,500-sq-ft bungalow 3%-4%, double-storey shop house 5%-6%, and vacant residential land 6%-7% (see table).
They concur that there is no appreciation in value for industrial land for the period 1998-2004.
Mah said new areas of growth were now concentrated in the western and northern zones of Sungai Petani town.
“In the west, where the western bypass connecting the northern and southern toll interchanges is being constructed, there is the Laguna Merbok residential housing scheme by Paramount Property (Utara) Sdn Bhd, while in the north, there is the Lagenda Heights residential cum commercial project by Nice Saga Development Sdn Bhd,” he said.
According to Mah, the scenario in Sungai Petani remains a buyers' market, where there are over 70,000 units in existing housing stock, and more than 18,000 units in the pipeline.
“Currently, the population of Sungai Petani is estimated at around 350,000 and the total number of housing units required is about 70,000. As such, buyers have a great deal of choice,” he said.
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