Property Talk: A weekly column by S.C. Cheah
MANY house owners in Taman Tasik Semenyih are smiling these days: thanks to the University of Nottingham (UNIM) Malaysian Campus that was officially opened in September.
Houses in this placid 210-acre “lake garden” housing estate located just next to the university is currently in good demand as off-campus accommodation for the UNIM students.
It is not often that one can boast having one of Britain’s top 10 “Ivy League” universities as a neighbour but here, you have the first purpose-built campus of any British university abroad just 30km south of Kuala Lumpur city centre.
Hence, the completion of the 101-acre, RM120mil UNIM in Selangor is a boon not only to Taman Tasik Semenyih but will also benefit other housing projects in the vicinity.
Many people have praised the beautifully designed campus with a backdrop of the picturesque hills of Broga.
Students staying in off-campus accommodation at Taman Tasik Semenyih are paying RM400 each per month for a master bedroom (two students to a room) with ensuite bathroom. The rental is RM380 per student per month for a double room (two students to a room but with shared bathroom).
A company arranges the off-campus accommodation for UNIM.
Students with a lower budget can rent a three-bedroom 620 sq ft new low-rise Pangsa Rakyat apartment in Pajam for less than RM300 a month! It has three large landscaped playing fields with basketball court and gazebos and is 12 minutes drive from the campus.
UNIM public relations and communications manager Mimi Rashid said since UNIM’s hostel could house only 666 of its 1,400 students, many of the remaining students are renting rooms in Taman Tasik Semenyih.
“We have about 35% foreign students from 44 countries in our campus. Our intake will increase to 2,500 students in the future,” she added.
Bandar Tasik Semenyih Sdn Bhd, the developer of Taman Tasik Semenyih, plans to build one, two and three-bedroom, four-storey walk-up apartments designed to cater to the growing student population, many of whom are from well-to-do families.
This project is very near the lovely Semenyih Lake Country Club, an exclusive family recreation club with swimming pool, tennis court, gymnasium, and badminton court.
Following the success of its latest launch of 66 units of two-storey terraced houses (four bedrooms with 1,400 sq ft built-up), that were fully sold, the company is preparing to launch another phase comprising 198 two-storey semi-detached houses that will be built in stages.
The terraced houses launched earlier were completed with CF and handed over to buyers two months ago. They were much in demand by the first intake of UNIM students who were unable to get hostel facilities in the campus.
Bandar Tasik Semenyih managing director Lim Yan Pok said about half of the total units in this phase was rented to students, while the rest would be owner-occupied.
“As there are limited hostel rooms in the campus, the demand for off-campus accommodation is high. Many who could not find units to rent in this convenient location had to rent houses much further away from Taman Tasik Semenyih,” he said.
He said 52 units of two-storey semi-detached houses would be launched soon and would be ready by August 2006, a month before the second intake of UNIM. They would be ready to meet the demand of the new intake.
The four-bedroom semi-detached houses with 2,450 sq ft land and 2,007 sq ft gross built-up area are bigger than the earlier phase. Features include clay bricks for the entire house, large master bedroom with attached bathroom and three other spacious rooms that can comfortably accommodate two persons per room.
There will also be a spacious family area on the first floor and a large car porch that can park two cars side by side. Quality finishes include textured concrete floor finishes for car porch and driveway, and aluminium sisalation foil for heat insulation for the roof. The location of this phase is very strategic as it is within walking distance from the university.
Lim said the selling prices of these houses had not been fixed but was expected to be about RM238,000.
“There will be a show house which will be available for viewing in two months. One of them will be fitted out with quality furnishings, selected and designed by a renowned interior designer who had done numerous high-end bungalows,” he said, adding that a 2.5-acre landscaped park with football field and playground was designed for both families and students.
The company has created a new identity for the existing 58 units of two-storey shop offices by calling them the “Semenyih Walk” shopping precinct. This is expected to generate interest as various operators are now planning to open businesses to cater to the needs of students and staff of the university.
“We are happy for our buyers as we expect the capital value of their properties to appreciate since there is now a better rental market for them. Some of our terraced houses launched recently command more than 10% rental yield based on our selling prices,” Lim said.
The single and two-storey bungalows were sold at a developer’s price of RM218,000 and RM248,000 respectively in 1997.
“With this university set to grow, the demand for services will be a long-term one and there are many untapped potential for business growth,” Lim said.
Meanwhile, the opening of the Kajang Bypass and Kajang Ring Road (SILK) last year have greatly enhanced accessibility to Semenyih, which has since grown by leaps and bounds with many commercial establishments such as Tesco, Giant, Fajar and Billion opening along the highway from Kajang to Semenyih.
Hundreds of shop houses have or are being built and some are thriving or about to open. The Sin Kee Restaurant, one of the popular food outlets in Semenyih, is nearby.
The 1.5km Broga road linking Jalan Semenyih to Taman Tasik Semenyih is still winding but it is understood that there are plans to widen it into a four-lane dual carriageway.
Once completed, probably in two years, the winding Broga road stretch will be a thing of the past and development in the area is expected to accelerate.
There is also talk of many research bodies and institutions, both local and foreign, planning to come to this area.
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