THERE was a time when purchasing a house in Rawang would raise some eyebrows. Unless you grew up there, or have relatives there, a house in Rawang may not be on your check list.
But of late, because of rising land costs and lack of large tracts of land in the Klang Valley, property developers have bought into peripheral locations of the Klang Valley. One of the locations which has received considerable attention is Rawang, about 20km north of Kuala Lumpur.
Several developers have projects there currently, among which are the Low Yat, Glomac and Guocoland groups. This list is not exhaustive as they are others who are active there but these are the names that have cropped up for now.
Last week, MAH SING GROUP BHD organised a press trip to view its show village. The developer has more than 380 acres in Rawang. It has divided this into two separate developments and branded them M Residence 1 and 2. The two pieces of land are about 1km from each other, accessible via Jalan Tasik Puteri.
It launched M Residence 1 a few years ago and sales have been brisk, according to its deputy general manager for corporate communications Lyanna Tew. To give an idea how confident it is despite the location, the group will soon be launching phase 4 of M Residence 1 which comprises 68 units of double-storey semi-detached houses, priced from RM918,000 to RM1.2mil each. They will come in 40 ft x 85 ft units.
There will be 173 double-storey super-linked units which are yet to be priced.
Development on M Residence 1 will be carried out in six phases. According to Mah Sing Properties Sdn Bhd senior manager for marketing and sales Angela Chong, the first three phases of M Residence 1 are about 90% sold.
The total land area of M Residence 1 is about 226 acres. The land, a former oil palm estate, was purchased in October 2011. Because of its land size, the developer will be building some commercial and retail elements into M Residence 1. These retail portions will front Jalan Tasik Puteri.
While it is still developing the M Residence 1 site, the developer is preparing to launch M Residence 2. Unlike years ago when developers complete a project before moving on to the next, the Mah Sing group has undertaken quite a number of projects simultaneously.
The land area for M Residence 2 is smaller, at 157 acres compared to the 226 acres in the first M Residence project, and was purchased in February 2012.
The gross development value for the first phase in M Residence 2, Alpine, is approximately RM197mil for 415 units. The official launch for M Residence 2 is expected to be in the second half of this year.
The company will be selling about 200 units first and the remaining 215 units in the latter part of the year. The size of these units are 20 ft x 65 ft.
Generally, the sizes of double-storey housing come in 22 x 75 sizes. Some may say, it's just 2ft. Actually, that 2 ft makes a lot of difference. The indicative prices are from RM460,000 to RM870,000 a unit. According to its sales staff, prices may increase by RM20,000 a unit for the remaining 215 units when they are launched subsequently.
That effectively means that in the coming months, it will be offering for sale both double-storey terraced units and semi-detached units under the M Residence brand. When the company first launched its M Residence brand, double-storey housing in M Residence 1 were priced from RM570,000. This has risen over time.
In terms of absolute price, the double-storey units in leasehold M Residence 2 are priced lower. According to Mah Sing senior manager Angela Chong, prices of double-storey terraces in freehold M Residence 1 are about RM630,000, compared with M Residence 2 units of about RM460,000. These units in the subsequent development are smaller. The units on M Residence 1 are also bigger, at 22 ft x 80 ft. Besides the land status and unit size, M Residence 1 is a guarded project where units are individually titled. It is not a strata development under the Strata Title Act while M Residence 2 is a leasehold, gated and guarded strata development. External renovations can only be done with the permission of the joint management body. Strata projects come with certain encumbrances.
Among one of the first guarded projects there was Kota Emerald, a new township of 1,000 acres which started about a decade ago in a joint venture by GuocoLand (M) Bhd and Hong Bee Land Sdn Bhd. This is a not a strata development but are individually-titled units. Even back in early 2000s, there was already concern about security. That was how the guarded concept in Kota Emerald, Rawang came about.
Other developers who are in Rawang include Glomac group and the Low Yat group. Glomac's Rawang Saujana is a leasehold 345-acre project near Country Homes Rawang. The developer is building semi-detached units, double-storey terraced housing, bungalows and shops there. As most Malaysian families opt for double-storey houses, a comparison is reasonable. Rawang Saujana's previous phase of double-storey housing was priced at about RM500,000 a unit. It will be having a new launch next month but prices are not available yet.
Low Yat's leasehold project Garden Heights is also near Mah Sing's developments. It launched double-storey houses of 18 ft x 75 ft in September 2012 priced at RM350,000 each. There are less than 10 units left of these today. The company will be launching Garden Heights 2 in June and this time it will be offering larger units of 20 ft x 75 ft at RM420,000.