THE suburbs of Kenny Hills and Damansara Heights may share the same adjective – prime – but the similarities end there.
Kenny Hills and Damansara Height are vastly different. Beginning with the land, land price is determined by size, according to an agent who declined to be named, .
The land size in Damansara Heights is between 5,000 to 15,000 sq ft; the average is about 7,500 sq ft.
At an average price of about RM600 per sq ft, the average land price in Damansara Heights is about RM4.5mil, minus the building.
In Kenny Hills, the average land price is about RM300 per sq ft but the average land size is about 30,000 sq ft, which translates to RM10mil.
“So, it is all a matter of averages, when you see the land price like that. The building price comes next. Building materials cost is the same, so that is a constant, whether you build in Kenny Hills or in Damansara Heights, on flat land or others. So we have to talk about the variables.
“No two pieces of land, even in the same location, are the same. So there are different prices. The price of a house is determined by the buyer and seller, and this is affected by circumstances like market sentiments and Covid-19, as is the case today. “Income levels and the confidence of the buyer/seller are other factors. But these are not important. What is important is what is the average price? And how much a buyer wants the house, ” he says.
The other difference is the look and feel of both locations.
To use an analogy, figuratively, a small house in a big garden is what sets Kenny Hills apart from Damansara Heights’ big house in a small garden.
There are about 120 freehold units in Kenny Hills, which is also known as Bukit Tunku. It is different from the adjacent Taman Duta, which is mainly leasehold. There are a lot more units in Damansara Heights, so the density is higher there than in Kenny Hills. An acre may have eight units in Damansara Heights versus two in Kenny Hills.
Anything coming from a developer will not give the Kenny Hills impression because the real Kenny Hills is 30,000 sq ft or more of land with an individual house with more than 20,000 sq ft of gentle rolling greens, or a slope of green vegetation with trees that may have been there for close to 100 years or more.
This vast gentle or slopping contours, and with a single house sitting on it, is what sets it apart from all other prime suburbs in the city.
So, if a developer comes along, bulldozes all the trees, and puts up a retaining wall to maximise land use, and carves the land into little plots, the spirit and feel of Kenny Hills will go missing.
“In Damansara Heights, you can hear your neighbour. In Kenny Hills, the people don’t want to see their neighbour, ” he says.
The infrastructure like width of roads are also affected by the slopes in Kenny Hills. So, the infrastructure there is unable to handle the density that is a familiar theme in Damansara Heights. This is a natural factor of Kenny Hills.
This explains why the average land price may be RM300 per sq ft because much of the land may be on slopes. But there are some plots that are able to command a higher price because of the land terrain. So, there is a big price range in terms of land prices; the variables go up and down from the average RM300 per sq ft.
Both Kenny Hills and Damansara Heights have empty nesters. Their children may be abroad and they want a modern new lifestyle. One may need thousands of ringgit in order to maintain the garden, the trees, have security or hire some guards and other outgoings to keep the place in order.
In a nutshell, both Kenny Hills and Damansara Heights have three issues – empty nesters, security and culture. Culture is not definitive, class even less so.
Class is culture that takes years to build. You cannot have class without culture. You may have culture, but you may not have class.