The upcoming MRT2 station in Kepong Baru. Image from mymrt.com.my
By Sharina Ahmad
A soft property market and economic uncertainty are making people much more cautious about investing in property. The mantra “location, location, location” has taken on an added significance in these volatile times.
Kepong has recently begun to catch the eye of investors with its strategic location, infrastructure development, excellent connectivity and ideal mix of commercial and retail space.
It is situated about 6km from the Kuala Lumpur city centre along the border of KL and Selangor.
Polygon Properties Sdn Bhd senior real estate negotiator Jenny Wong told Property Advisor that Kepong is a good place to invest as the township has matured and is self-sustaining.
“Kepong is now a developed township, complete with housing, malls, hospitals, schools, banks and sufficient infrastructure in the surrounding commercial hotspots to enable entrepreneurs to operate their businesses hassle-free.
“The government has also begun developing the infrastructure by adding a much-needed mass rapid transit (MRT) 2 spur into Kepong with four stations – Metro Prima, Kepong Baru, Jinjang and Sri Delima – to serve the population of over 450,000.”
She added that the area is seeing increased demand from a younger demographic due to Kepong’s easy accessibility to KLCC, KL Sentral, Bukit Bintang and the Tun Razak Exchange in the future.
Kepong’s special features
Wong said Kepong grants a KL address to businesses and is easily accessible by road. There is promise of future development and properties offer a reasonably low rental rate per sq ft.
“There is potential for a large capital gain when the planned public infrastructure projects are completed. The age gap between the old housing estates and newer ones is huge as well, creating strong demand for new housing that caters to more modern needs and tastes,” Wong explained.
In addition, Wong said, more attention is being paid to the sustainability and care of greenery, with city folk treasuring whatever small pockets of nature they can get.
“Kuala Lumpur does not have many natural spots and Kepong has one of the largest right next to it. Kepong Metropolitan Park is a hotspot for cyclists, joggers and for KL residents looking to relax.
“Having real estate next to a rare, limited-edition location boosts property values in the surrounding areas.”
Reapfield Properties realtor Jonathan Low told Property Advisor the demand for housing in Kepong has been steadily increasing.
“The average rental rate for a fully furnished three-bedroom unit has risen to as much as RM1,900 while selling prices have been inching closer to RM650 psf.
“These are healthy signs of strong demand … signalling that there are many opportunities.”
Low said a good comparison would be Cheras. “Since the completion of the MRT1, townships in Cheras have seen a surge in property demand and, in turn, prices.
“Condominiums in Taman Maluri, for example, are priced as high as RM1,100 psf. Almost as much as KL Sentral.”
The Department of Statistics Malaysia numbers indicate that Kepong’s demographic is made up of 46.9% Chinese, followed by Malays, (31%) and Indians (13%).
Like Old Klang Road, the township has an organic population and a moving population due to its affordability, and is therefore popular with younger Malaysians.
Security in Kepong is much better now but there is room for improvement as crime rates are still higher than those of other townships.
The local government has stationed police within the People’s Housing Projects in the townships to beef up security.
Other than that, private-sector activities, such as the gentrification by UEM Sunrise, are taking place near Kepong Metropolitan Park to improve the image of the township.
According to Property Advisor’s data, landed terraced houses in Kepong had a median price of RM507,500 last year, a 7.73% drop from 2018 at RM550,000.
The median price for condominiums and apartments declined 3.33% to RM290,000 last year, from RM300,000 in 2018.
On the other hand, the median price for flats saw a 0.67% increase to RM150,000 last year, from RM149,000 in 2018.
Notwithstanding the declines, Property Advisor’s Property Market Index for the area indicates that terraced houses, flats and condominiums/apartments have seen median price values rise by 72%, 120% and 123% respectively.
The Property Advisor Property Market Index uses 2010 as a base year with a starting index of 100.
*This article first appeared on Free Malaysia Today.