“Bangi also has an extensive industrial and commercial development component necessary for job creation.” Datuk Othman Omar, Former PKNS general manager

BANGI: LOCATED 38km south of Kuala Lumpur, Bangi is a small town on the southern district of Hulu Langat, Selangor.

Situated between the towns of Kajang and Putrajaya, it is getting increasingly popular with property hunters.

More than 20 years ago, Bangi was surrounded by oil palm estates. Today, it is one of the most sought-after locations by investors looking for valuable properties to add to their investment portfolio.

Most of the plantation land has been converted to townships that comprise a wide range of properties to cater for growing demand in the market.

The surrounding townships of Kajang, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Nilai and Seremban make up a catchment area of about 1.2 million people. Many of them are upgrading and looking for bigger properties with a reasonable price tag.

Property experts said generally, the last 10 years had been a continuous boom period for Bangi and urban areas nationwide.

The integrated new township of Bandar Baru Bangi, in particular, has been progressing rapidly since it reached its critical mass 15 years ago with all the major amenities and infrastructure in place.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was already operating in full swing then.

Foreign direct investments (FDIs) poured in with the setting up of many foreign-owned factories and local companies filled up the industrial estates. All these started to create demand for more houses.

The last 10 years saw firms like the Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS) complete major developments, including joint ventures and privatisation projects. For PKNS, the Bangi integrated township, which it started over 30 years ago, is 99 per cent complete and its massive land-bank, here, has almost been depleted.

New institutions of higher learning like Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (KUIS), Infrastructure University KL (IUKL) and German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) also emerged and started operations.

Subsequently, other developers like I&P Group, IOI Properties, UEM Sunrise Bhd, Protasco Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd joined the bandwagon.

Success factors

Bangi’s close proximity to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya where residential properties are a lot more expensive is among the reasons for its popularity, in addition to its slightly more affordable units.

Moving forward, although the current property market is quite soft, I&P and the new players in Bangi like UEM Sunrise (which is developing Serene Heights Bangi), IOI Properties (Bandar Puteri Bangi), SP Setia (Setia Ecohill) and Protasco are set to benefit.

Former PKNS general manager Datuk Othman Omar, who was instrumental in the transformation of the company, pointed out that one of the main success factors for Bangi was that it was a fully integrated township with the right product mix and served by amenities close by.

Othman said the township master plan also provided for large buffer zones, recreational green areas, lakes and parks.

Bangi was also complemented by the required infrastructure support, making it highly sustainable economically, logistically and environmentally, he told Property.

He said Bangi also had an extensive industrial and commercial development component necessary for job creation.

Academic institutions like UKM, KUIS, IUKL, GMI and other colleges and training centres also attracted the more affluent population, he said.

“Lecturers, academic staff and students by and large constitute a major part of the initial Bangi population. Ten years ago, if you threw 10 stones, it’s very likely that a few would hit on someone from these institutions.

“This was later quickly followed by many more technical, administrative staff and factory workers from the many local and foreign factories in Bangi.

“We used to joke that Bangi residents are richer than their Shah Alam counterparts as they are willing to pay more for a similar type house here, plus property prices in Bangi appreciate a lot faster than in Shah Alam,” said Othman.

Connectivity

Being a part of the Greater Klang Valley, Bangi is linked directly and indirectly via Kajang to Kuala Lumpur through a network of roads and highways that include PLUS, ELITE, SILK, LEKAS, Kuala Lumpur-Seremban, Cheras-Kajang and the North South Expressway (NSE).

It is also linked via KTM commuter trains, and soon, the new mass rapid transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK Line).

Property analysts are anticipating further growth for Bangi in the coming years as public transport service improves in neighbouring Kajang, where there is a station for the MRT SBK Line.

They expect demand for residential properties to accelerate in the whole of Greater Kuala Lumpur, with prices on an uptrend.

The SBK Line is scheduled to be fully operational by the middle of this year.

It will not only significantly increase the current inadequate rail network in Greater Kuala Lumpur, but also serve to integrate the existing rail networks and expectantly alleviate the severe traffic congestion in the metropolitan area.

The SBK Line will have five interchange

stations that will be integrated into existing

rail networks such as the KTM Komuter and

the Kelana Jaya and Ampang light rail transit lines.