Monday, December 17, 2012

Jewel of the south

The Star, Friday December 14, 2012


<b>Up and coming:</b> Acacia homes, TTDI Grove, is one of Naza TTDI’s latest developments in Kajang.
Up and coming: Acacia homes, TTDI Grove, is one of Naza TTDI’s latest developments in Kajang.
SATAY comes to mind at the mention of Kajang town. But this once sleepy agricultural town is abuzz with more than just a local favourite dish.
The landscape of Kajang has transformed over the past 40 years as the town plays host to a growing population of people migrating to the big city but looking for an affordable place to stay outside of Kuala Lumpur.
Back in the 1960s, the economy of Kajang was supported by the estates that opened up in the surrounding area including coffee and rubber estates. A town square made up the heart of Kajang and was where the main roads led to and town folks convened to catch up on the day’s gossip.
But as the town drew more fortune seekers, estates were turned into housing projects and highways were built to improve connectivity to Kajang.
The population of Kajang is growing fast. Some estimate that it is growing at close to 9% per annum due to migration.
According to the Department of Statistics, Kajang’s population in 2010 was estimated to be 795,522, making up about 15% of Selangor’s population of 5.4mil though the local town council (MPKj) expects Kajang’s numbers to breach 1mil people by 2013.
Touted as a Greater Kuala Lumpur hotspot, Kajang has much to offer residents and developers alike as development plans for housing and better infrastructure are afoot by various parties.
Jewel in the making
Kajang is located about 21km from Kuala Lumpur and there are several highways that have opened up within the area over the past few years much to the benefit of Kajang.
These include the Kajang SILK Highway and Persiaran Kajang-Semenyih. Other links to the area are Lebuhraya Utara Selatan, Lebuhraya Cheras-Kajang and Lebuhraya Klang Selatan.
These roads offer easy access to and from other popular hotspots such as Puchong, Bangi and neighbouring Semenyih and Cheras.
Additionally, the proposed Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT line which is expected to come up in 2017, also stirred up much interest in Kajang. Currently, there are three MRT stations slated for the area — Saujana Impian, Bandar Kajang and Jalan Reko.
Greater accessibility isn’t Kajang’s only appeal.
Affordability is a key factor that drives the residential market in Kajang as home buyers can still afford property in Kajang while working in Kuala Lumpur.
According to a property agent based in Kajang, it is still possible to get a double-storey terrace house below RM500,000 in some of the older parts of the town such as Sungai Chua.
“You can get a single-storey terrace house in that area for RM280,000 to RM300,000,” the agent added.
In comparison, agents note that it is not possible to buy into areas like Cheras with RM500,000 and below.
<b>Coming soon:</b> Camellia homes TTDI Grove Kajang.
Coming soon: Camellia homes TTDI Grove Kajang.
Property reports say that prices of property around the Klang Valley have been rising by 30% year-on-year.
However, there are a lot more new developments coming up in Kajang and most of these are in the mid- to high-end market. A property agent said it was not an easy task identifying the price trend for newer properties.
“Property prices in Kajang vary depending on the types of property. It is not easy to gauge the prices of new developments because the prices keep changing,” said the property agent.
For example, the first phase of Mutiara Goodyear Development Bhd’s gated and guarded Nadayu 92, which was launched in the middle of 2010, were priced at RM433,000 to RM1.02 million.
Note that Kajang is also an education hub of sorts with several esteemed educational institutions in the vicinity including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, the Nottingham University campus, Universiti Tenaga Malaysia, the German Malaysia Institute and the Australia International School.
Developers’ new playground
About 20 to 25 years ago, Kajang was already recognised as an ideally located town at a comfortable distance from Kuala Lumpur with affordable housing and good infrastructure.
Thanks to the strong demand for housing there, developers have also flocked to Kajang in recent years.
Last year, Ireka Corp Bhd purchased a 20.6acre site in Kajang for RM22.4mil while Dijaya Corp Bhd bought an 80ha tract for RM228mil.
Other major property developers that have claimed a stake in Kajang include UEM Land Holdings Bhd, SP Setia Bhd, Mah Sing Bhd, Naza TTDI, Sime Darby Bhd and local stalwart MKH Bhd, formerly known as Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd.
MKH Berhad managing director Datuk Eddy Chen Lok said land is becoming scarce in Kajang and prices are starting to increase tremendously.
“Also, people are expecting the MRT to be ready by 2017 so property prices are heading towards 2017 levels too,” Chen said.
For example, Chen said prices of MKH’s residential properties have appreciated more than 20% over the past five years. In fact, its two-storey terrace houses project, Hillpark Homes in Bandar Tek Kajang, saw an appreciation value of 58% in one year.
<b>New development:</b> MKH Bhd’s Sentosa Heights in Kajang.
New development: MKH Bhd’s Sentosa Heights in Kajang.
Nonetheless, Chen reiterated that Kajang is still an affordable place to live.
Chen added that residents of Cheras, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya are buying up property in Kajang as cost of properties in Cheras and Cyberjaya has risen significantly while most of the homes in Putrajaya are occupied by civil servants.
But prices in Putrajaya are also on the rise, which bode well for developers’ with projects in the vicinity of Kajang as these areas cater to the spill over demand from Putrajaya.
“We have landbanks that we purchased much earlier. So we are positioned to cater to the market demand that is spilling out of Putrajaya,” Chen said.
He added that some 90% of sales closed in its Semenyih township were done by civil servants.
Apart from serving the migratory market, developers note that there is also a big group of property upgraders in Kajang itself that makes up a substantial demand for higher end properties in Kajang.
Developers have responded to this demand well with more gated and guarded projects as these developments would help them maximise the value of their land.
“Big developers are now more willing to pay a higher price to buy land in Kajang area. They are developing bigger projects for the higher end market because these types of projects have higher appreciation value,” an agent said.
With all the development in store for the town, Chen concludes that Kajang is a jewel in the making.

No comments:

Post a Comment