A MATTER OF TIME: NST RED spoke to Datuk Ir. Jamaludin Osman, Group Managing Director of I&P Group Sdn Berhad and See Kok Loong, Principal of Metro Homes on the property market in Klang
1. What are the new growth areas in and around Klang?
Jamaludin Osman (JO): As the Klang proper is already fully built, the new growth areas are now spilling over outwards — to the south towards Banting and to the north towards Meru/Kapar.
See: The new growth areas are now at the Meru and Banting side as most of the areas near to the town centre have been developed by big-time developers like SP Setia Berhad Group at the Shah Alam side, WCT Berhad at the Bukit Tinggi side, Bandar Botanic by Gamuda Berhad and Sime Darby Berhad at the Bukit Raja side.
We are waiting to see the IJM Corporation Berhad takeover of Talam/Europlus project towards Banting and Kota Kemuning areas.
2. What do you think will drive property prices in Klang five or 10 years down the road? What are the top five most important factors?
JO: In Malaysia, particularly the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the driving factors of property prices are basically uniform regardless of location. To us, the top five most important factors in Klang in order of importance are as follows:
* Facilities & amenities — including schools, colleges etc.
* Shopping conveniences
* Concept of the development
* Reputation of the developer.
See: Prices are expected to continue to go up in the next five to 10 years as you get good infrastructure like the connection from Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS) to Federal Highway, Gamuda doing the KESAS etc. Landed properties would continue to be in demand and people from Subang Jaya and Shah Alam would be moving out to this area for newer and bigger properties.
Top five most important factors:
1) Land price is high and land is scarce
2) Big and well-developed township
3) Newer design and bigger built-up of house
4) Gated and guarded concept together with security concern
5) Amenities and infrastructure.
3. People say property prices move slowly in Klang. Is that the case and why is this so?
JO: In comparison to Kuala Lumpur, this statement is true. It is due to its geographical distance away from major growth areas like the city of Kuala Lumpur and its outskirts. For instance, Petaling Jaya, Ampang and Ulu Klang which are located closer to Kuala Lumpur will feel the spill-over effects first should the prices in Kuala Lumpur escalate. In the case of Klang, properties prices will eventually feel the effect but at a slower pace.
See: Yes, initially as we have too many projects at the same period of time but eventually the prices would go up. Look at Setia Alam houses which have doubled up in price over the last six to seven years.
4. What are the popular residential and commercial areas in Klang?
JO: As Klang is a well-established town and most areas around the ‘old Klang’ have been built, the area of concentration now revolves around the KESAS which is pretty new and still have landbanks yet to be developed. It includes Bandar Bukit Tinggi I, II and III (Note: BBT III is known as Bandar Brooklands) and Bandar Bukit Raja.
See: Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Bandar Botanic and Bandar Bukit Raja.
5. Do you think Klang will ever ‘boom’ in terms of its property market?
JO: Yes, it will. However, it has to wait until other areas which are closer to Kuala Lumpur are fully built first, resulting in fewer choices in the Klang Valley. People then have no choice but to go to Klang which at that point of time will be the ‘last closest’ area to the country’s capital city.
See: Yes, it will as it would need to reach a critical mass; Bukit Tinggi is a good example.
6. How have your projects in Klang been doing so far in terms of sales and price appreciation?
JO: In our Bayuemas township in Klang, sales and price appreciation have been experiencing a steady positive growth since its first launch in 2006.
7. Do you think in 10 years’ time the corridor from KL centre all the way up to Klang will be saturated with property developments and industrial parks?
JO: No doubt, it will be.
See: Industrial parks would be limited as the country is not so much into industrial and manufacturing activities due to lack of cheap human capital and the costs cannot compete with China (although this used to be the case). Now, Vietnam and soon Myanmar will be the next manufacturing centres.
The other reason is that we lack a huge local market and also raw materials resulting in the entire manufacturing supply chain not big here.
Property development would be mainly for residential and commercial focusing on services like forwarding business and other supporting services.
8. At one point, some people were saying that Klang is ridden with crime especially in certain areas. How true is it today?
JO: The location, unfortunately, is traditionally associated with a notorious background. However, with a more well-planned and orderly project, this situation can be managed and reversed.
See: Yes, certain areas. I believe the police force would have to strengthen the staff force to reduce and improve the situation. If you notice carefully, the successful development in Klang would come together with security elements provided by the developer.
9. What are the most popular types of properties being sought after in Klang?
JO: It is the terraced houses.
See: Landed houses like link houses and semi-dees followed by shop offices.
10. Are people buying mostly for own occupation or for investment? Are the buyers mostly local Klangites or from outside of Klang?
JO: For house buyers, the purchase is mostly for own occupation. The local Klangite buyers are mostly the younger Klangite generation who want to remain close to the older family members, say, elderly parents, and they actually have not moved out of Klang. Secondly, the buyers also come from outside of Klang. This group consists of those who would want to live in a spacious landed property, say, a double-storey terraced house rather than an apartment which is smaller in size, but cannot afford the prices charged for similar properties in the bigger growth areas like Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya.
See: Mostly for own occupation and investment, yes, but less in percentage as compared to PJ and KL. Buyers are mainly local Klangites and ourtside of Klang mainly from Subang, Shah Alam and a small percentage from PJ.
11. Any upcoming projects in Klang?
JO: As our current projects and township landbanks in Kuala Lumpur and its outskirts are fast progressing, we will have to introduce another project which is located in Meru. It has proximity to Klang Sentral bus terminal. This land is situated in the new Meru–Shah Alam growth corridor which is projected to be a vibrant growth hub in north Klang in a few years’ time.
Presently, the site is accessible from Kuala Lumpur via North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE)–Meru Link–jalan Meru or via NKVE–Shapadu Highway– Jalan Meru. We are targeting to launch double-storey terraced houses as our maiden launch and all are welcome to register at our website at www.madabouthomes.my.