Property Talk: A weekly column by S.C. Cheah
IT is amazing to find people still buying high-end properties in crammed areas all in the name of “prime” locations.
Property developers have capitalised on this “herd mentality” by snapping up land in these “hot” locations and building more high-rise condominiums and gated and guarded community projects.
This can be seen in the Mont' Kiara and Sri Hartamas areas in Kuala Lumpur that are bursting with condominiums and gated and guarded community developments like Kiara Hills, Aman Kiara, Amarin Kiara, Duta Nusantara, Duta Tropika and Hartamas Height. Besides the Plaza Mont' Kiara and many shop offices in Desa Sri Hartamas, the new commercial area of Plaza Damas and the newly opened Hartamas Shopping Centre will offer more shopping conveniences to residents.
One may recall that more than a decade ago, the Mont' Kiara area was still undeveloped and unknown. Today, not only is the area much sought after, but also the “boom” has spilled over to the other side of the North South Expressway to a rather incongruous area around Taman SPPK Segambut. Condominiums, semi-detached houses and bungalows almost surround the low-income residents there.
Welcome to this part of the fast-growing Duta-Segambut enclave where the poorer folks enjoy more open spaces than their richer neighbours.
There are nine condominium blocks, including five existing ones and two landed high-end projects, along a 400-metre stretch of road that wraps part of Taman SPPK Segambut.
If you are coming from Sri Hartamas, you are greeted by the imposing Hartamas Regency condominium by the PJ Development Holdings group. The group has another project called the Kensington Park Homes (featuring 2½-storey and three-storey park homes) further down the road.
You will then come to Plenitude Bhd's Changkat Kiara where many nice bungalows are being built in three gated and guarded community enclaves. As you turn left, you drive up a road that curves straight to a dead end where the French International School is under construction.
The first condominium along this road is Prima Duta, followed by Prima Ria, the proposed Changkat View and Menara Duta 2 condominiums. On the other side of the road is Menara Duta 2 and another condominium that is under construction beside Mesra Terrace. A tiny road leads to a show-cum-sales office of the proposed Sutramas condominium. Further up the road is Menara Duta Ria and another sales-cum-show office of the Anggun Puri condominium.
It is understood that many more condominiums have been proposed in the area. There are fears that this narrow road may not be able to cope with the thousands of vehicles pouring out from these projects when all of them come on-stream.
About a kilometre from Taman SPPK Segambut are many apartments for civil servants and the Sri Putramas condominiums that are served by wider roads leading to Jalan Kuching. In recent years, more affordable condominiums and apartments like Prima Pelangi, Prima Tiara and Mandy Villa were launched in the vicinity to tap the affluent market.
The frenzy is understandable as a double-storey link house with only a 22ft-wide facade in Desa Sri Hartamas was recently transacted at RM830,000 compared with the original developer's price of around RM400,000 a few years ago. The capital gain has spurred a rush to snap up properties in the area although sceptics suspect the “bubble” may burst one of these days. Some of them have sold their houses in Desa Sri Hartamas and, from the handsome profit, upgraded to bungalows in Changkat Kiara.
Kim Realty chief executive officer Vincent Ng is confident that prices of condominiums like Anggun Puri in this area will appreciate in value as they have better access to Kuala Lumpur city and also because they are cheaper than those in Mont' Kiara, Sri Hartamas and Damansara Perdana.
The following briefly outlines some of the projects:
l Mesra Terrace: It comprises 36 semi-detached units and four linked British-styled houses on 3.68 acres of freehold land. Each house has a lift and is broadband ready. Units measuring 3,719 sq ft to 4,986 sq ft are priced from RM1.43mil to RM1.99mil. There is a Bath House. The developer is Palam Mesra Sdn Bhd.
l Duta Ria: It comprises a 36-storey block with 252 units, including four penthouses. The Angsana three-bedroom design with 1,450 sq ft was priced from RM246,800 while the Jati 2+1 study design with 1,326 sq ft from RM212,800 when launched in June 1995. The developer is Chalpeak (M) Sdn Bhd.
· Prima Duta: The 348 units have seven functional designs of 1,474 sq ft to 2,486 sq ft. The developer is Bertam Development Sdn Bhd (a member of the Brem group).
l Changkat Kiara: There will be 11 bungalows and 84 semi-detached homes in this 13-acre hillock. The biggest semi-detached house available with 3,782 sq ft is priced at RM1.8mil. There are two bungalows and 22 semi-detached houses left unsold when I checked on the project a few weeks ago.
l Changkat View: It comprises 796 freehold units with prices from RM180,000 (RM164 psf). They have a semi-D concept with every unit being a corner unit.
l Anggun Puri: The 22-storey, 246-unit freehold condominium with car park levels is being developed by Homestead Development Sdn Bhd. Prices are from RM143,800 to RM531,557.
l Sutramas: This is a 12-storey luxury condominium by See Hoy Chan Sdn Bhd. There are 13 layout designs with the 178 freehold units priced from RM277,800 to RM1.688mil. Standard units have sizes from 1,356 to 1,970 sq ft while the penthouse units with single or duplex designs have sizes of 2,519 to 5,930 sq ft.
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