Titiwangsa in an area that we have recently started buying bungalow land to develop into ultra high end bungalows.
The area has a number of unique selling points that make it, in my view, one of KL's top residential areas.
i) It has its own beautiful lake, park, golf course and equestrian. KL doesn't have many parks, golf courses, equestrians or lakes and so this is one serious selling point.
These facilities give the entire area a low density feeling and to the residents that use the park regularly for a jog or walk, I can't imagine many of them wanting to ever move out.
There is also a sports centre at one side of the park.
If you're into healthy living but need to be near the city what more could you ask for?
Bangsar is Bangsar are the memorable words of a property agent I met around seven or eight years ago, when I first started looking at property in Malaysia.
What she meant was that Bangsar is unique. And it is. There is nothing in Malaysia that is similar to Bangsar.
Bangsar is certainly one of KL's most prime areas. But a foreigner would likely be a little disappointed when seeing the area because there are a lot of run down properties. Bangsar certainly has plenty of very ordinary parts with some areas of badly maintained single storey terrace houses.
But it's the mix that makes Bangsar. On hand you have some pretty run down terrace houses and condominiums, on the other you have exclusive new or renovated bungalows. Next to residential areas you have conveniently located shopping centres such as BSC or Bangsar Village I & II.
Bangsar's location is superb. It is right next to Mid Valley Shopping Centre, less than 15 minutes away from the KLCC, and close to Mont Kiara, as well as good access to the best parts of Petaling Jaya. It also benefits from having its own LRT station. Bangsar is also most somewhat self-contained with three supermarkets, three indoor shopping centers, an active night scene, and plenty of other commercial areas including offices. But the main arterial road in Bangsar, Jalan Maarof, is often congested.
I expect prices to continue to rise over the years for two principal reasons. First is that the area cannot expand into other areas, and the number of properties will not increase significantly- that means limited supply while demand will only increase. Second is that the area is constantly being redeveloped - the recent facelift of BSC, the completion of Bangsar Village II, the converted high-end restaurants on Jalan Ara, and the many bungalow and semi-d renovations are examples of developments which enhance Bangsar. Prices are already expensive which makes redevelopment worthwhile.
Bungalow land prices are around 10%-15% below the levels of Damansara Heights, and that relative difference has been constant for at least a decade. However, most buyers prefer to buy in Damansara Heights. The difference in price of only around 10%-15% is because there are very few bungalows in Bangsar compared to the larger Damansara Heights.
Bangsar targets a younger crowd than Damansara Heights. While Damansara Heights might be considered a little dead for some, Bangsar is alive and kicking, especially the Telawi areas. Also Bangsar has traditionally been a favourite for wealthy Indians and a lot of expats prefer it to Damansara Heights because of the convenience Bangsar offers.
Bangsar houses make better buy-to-let investments than Damansara Heights houses due to the slightly greater rental yields. Best go for small bungalow houses with swimming pools to achieve the highest rental yield.
The best bungalow areas are the Kemaris areas as well as Jalan Mambu. We recently sold a house in Jalan Mambu, and we always found it easy to find tenants because it was right next to BSC.
Condominiums in Bangsar, in my view, aren't as attractive an investment as condominiums in Damansara Heights. While rental returns may be higher, Bangsar will likely continue to see more new supply of condominiums than Damansara Heights will see due to the DBKL being more relaxed when it comes high or medium rise building in Bangsar. Supply issue aside, your condominium that you bought today will not be as attractive as the new one down the road which won't help.
Bangsar is a fantastic mix of almost everything, including parts that make it one of KL's top residential areas (as well as some parts that make it nothing more than ordinary). It's strategically located and as many a property agent has told me "you can't go wrong if you buy in Bangsar". Given the demand, I'd say there is an element of truth to that.
My name is Asim Qureshi and I'm CEO of AIQ Developments, a niche development company that makes some of the finest homes in Kuala Lumpur.
I'm going to write a series of articles where I list some of the best areas of Kuala Lumpur, and give reasons why I like the areas, and also give the negatives of the area.
An easy one to start with is Damansara Heights. That's the area we've done most of our developments to date.
Damansara Heights is perhaps the most exclusive residential area in KL, and thus also Malaysia. It's home to many senior politicians, regional CEO's of multinational companies, plenty of wealthy businessmen, as well many less well off people who have had their home in Damansara Heights for decades.
Damansara Heights is often somewhat of a disappointment to my European and American friends. When I tell them that this is the place to live in Kuala Lumpur, many are a little surprised because they can't believe how ordinary it looks. That's partly because many houses are run down.They can't believe that most semi-d's in Damansara Heights, in pretty average condition, would fetch over US$1m.
Damansara Heights biggest strength is its location. Less than 15 minutes from the KLCC, it is also right next to Bangsar, Mont Kiara and also has easy access to Petaling Jaya including amenities such as the Curve, Ikea, 1 Utama, etc...
It is sandwiched between all the important parts of KL and PJ, and because it's sandwiched it means it can't grow in size. That means supply is not increasing. There are a few thousand homes in Damsansara Heights today, there won't be many more in 50 years time. But demand is increasing every year as Malaysians are getting richer, and KL's population increasing. That is the simple reason why prices keep rising every single year - not much new supply and plenty of more demand.
You will hardly ever be stuck in a traffic jam within Damansara Heights, and that's a pretty important positive of the area. I can't think of too many areas in KL where you can say the same thing.
The residents association has done a great job of limiting crime as well as bringing the residents together to form a community. I know many of them and they're an amazing team of really committed people.
In terms of long-term investment, Damansara Heights is absolutely great. Not only do we have the limited supply vs ever increasing demand meaning higher and higher prices, but the area is being gradually redeveloped. Each old house that is bought will 2 years later be a beautiful new or renovated home enhancing the entire street. In 10 years time Damansara Heights will thus be an even nicer area than it is today.
In terms of what to buy the smaller houses make the most sense from a rental yield perspective as do houses with swimming pools. The only way to get a fairly good rental yield (over 4%) is by targeting the expat crowd. Most buyers who are looking for their own stay are looking for larger units to redevelop into their dream homes.
There are a few condo developments in the area too. Rental yields are around 6% for well-maintained blocks, which is lower than many other areas, but the limited supply of future condominiums means that you can expect higher capital appreciation of your condominium unit.
The area is a great a solid defensive investment play. Malaysia could be going through a major recession but owners in Damansara Heights are seldom desperate sellers because most owners do not have much debt on their houses.
I expect prices in Damansara Heights will rise quite sharply in the next few years, if Malaysia's economic recovery continues, despite the fact prices are already so high. Supply is extremely limited with owners demanding significantly higher prices than a few years ago. Most owners expect prices to rise and so they are not in any rush to sell.
So what are the negatives of this area? Well, it's a little dead for some people. The nearest supermarket is in Bangsar or Mont Kiara. There isn't much or anything to do in the area itself. There isn't even a park in the area or even nearby which is a real shame. And there are lots of old houses, including plenty of abandoned ones, so it doesn't feel nearly as nice as newer areas such as newer areas such as Country Heights Damansara or Tropicana. And the area is not gated which is becoming increasingly important for many people as Malaysia's crime problem continues to get worse.
In summary Damansara Heights is perhaps the most sought after area in KL. It doesn't feel as expensive as it is because many of the houses are old. Its main strengths are its location and the limited supply. Properties in the area are great defensive investment, and rental yields are strongest for smaller properties with swimming pools. Prices are high, but I expect them to rise quite sharply if Malaysia's economic recovery continues.
By AMS Consulting YOUR MORTGAGE HUB
Top 10 Reason To Refinance Your Property
1. S Save interest rate charged- Generally, a new financier will offer lower rates from existing financier, therefore borrower able to save interest.
2. r Reduce monthly instalment- New financier offer lower interest rate, the monthly instalments will be reduced accordingly.
3. S Shorten loan tenure- A borrowers initially may be applying loan tenure for 30 years, after he or she financially is more stable, he or she may decide to commit high monthly repayment which also directly will shorten the loan tenure e.g. 25 years or 20 years.
4. a Cash out home equity- Usually a property value will be appreciated through years, when the property value increase and the loan outstanding reduce, it will create an home equity for owner (borrower) . When owner (borrower) refinance the property the home equity will be cashed out.
5. e Debt consolidation- Understandably nowadays consumers are taking more than one borrowing , e.g. car loan, personal loan, credit card outstanding, term loan for business, study loan, over draft etc. Borrower may take opportunity to cash out the home equity and pay off the rest of loan or borrowing to consolidate the debt.
6. R Reduce home loan account- Borrower may have more than one home loan account, he or she can refinance to cash out one of the properties’ home equity to pay off the rest of the home loan account.
7. S Switching from variable rates to fixed rates or vice versa- Fixed rates and variable rates have very different features: variable rates are fluctuating according to BLR which is announced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). Whereas fixed rate, the rates is constant even BLR is fluctuating. It is common that, fixed rates are much higher than the variable rates at the time a borrower sign acceptance of the offer.
8. S Switching from conventional loan to islamic loan or vice versa- Basically Islamic and conventional financing have no far differences. The major difference is the way or concept of Islamic financing is Syariah compliance. Some Muslim borrowers may change package to adhere to Islamic borrowing concepts.
9. S Change financier- Some borrowers may be experiencing unsatisfied quality of service provided by existing financier. So they refinance is to put their loan account to new financier.
10. Cancel MRTA- MRTA made it compulsory by most of the bank in the first time of borrowing of borrowers’ house. Borrower may refinance to other financier so that they allow to cancel the MRTA to get life insurance which is in long term provide better benefits and coverage.
Thanks and regards
Voon Yeow Toong
Senior Manager, Business Development
AMS Consulting (001891772-V)
YOUR MORTGAGE HUB
The base landing rate (BLR) is going to increase 0.25% to 0.75% in this year which was announced by Bank Negara on January 2010. Do we know how much going to increase on the interest and tenure of our loan if we pay the same repayment amount? What if we can manage the repayment amount by 99% accuracy and able to reduce 50% of the interest, what will you do on the next step?
There are some homes in Damansara Heights located close to high tension wires. The views of home owners are divided with some saying it affects the health in a negative way while others enjoy the benefit of extra land from the TNB land reserve. What are your views? Are there scientific proof that staying near high tension wires affect our health in a negative way?
firstname.lastname@example.org on 00:00, Jan 12, 2010
Tagged in: Tips, Rent, Property Investment, Price, LeverageMany investors are not exactly aware of the fact that there is a ballistic trajectory to the potential return of property in relation to its price.
Rental return in general tends to improve in the beginning phases as the really cheap ones either have no facilities or comfort and mostly fetch peanuts for rent, or old and tired and cost a lot in service charges and maintenance in relation to its rent to produce a healthy final rental yield (this is a really rough curve, so don't think the angle represents a relative portion of the property market).
Now afterwards, the plateau is basically the "sweet spot" where rental yield to property price is maximized, in KL we're talking above 6%. This represents your medium to premium condominium apartments and homes.
The sinking portion of the curve is when you get to high value properties, such as major KLCC condominiums and bungalows. The rental yield in relation to price falls as that number grows, because simply the reasonable rent to charge on such high end properties is not high enough to keep such a percentage. For example, think about a RM700K 3 bedroom condo in Mont Kiara, and a RM 4 million 5 bedroom condominium in KLCC. The first is easy to rent for 4,000 per month, 48,000 annual rental, or more than 6% yield after service charges. But for the second to net 6%, it needs to rent at more than 20,000 per month, 250,000 annual rental or more. Do you believe it's possible in today's market? I didn't think so either. Now think how much rent you need to collect on a RM 10 million Damansara Heights bungalow to get to 6%? You're right, more than 50,000 per month, which is practically impossible unless it's a palace that would cost twice as much in the first place and furnished for at least another small fortune.
So do your homework to learn what is popular, in demand and gives you the biggest bang for your buck, before plunging and buying a property unit that might rent hard and still email@example.com on 00:00, Jan 8, 2010
Tagged in: Tips, Rent, Property Investment, Mistakes, Manager
Some people can jump in the property game, buy an apartment, rent it out to the first viewer, and then says: “HEY! This stuff is easy, how come not everyone is doing it.
It is true. Property investment is quite an easy process to get into, and many starters even with the least amount of homework can land a decent piece of property and generate both rental return as well as a healthy book value increase over the following few years.
However, the differentiation between racking multi-million dollar fortunes in any market, and those who fall by the side in frustration at market conditions/falling yields/rising maintenance/panicking over bank payments not being met, happens on the middle laps of this stamina race.
Property investment is like Le Mans 24 hour circuit, not a quarter mile drag. You won’t get rich by pulling a good gear change. Alternatively, if you are on a circuit and gaining half a second per lap on your competition, and the car is setup to withstand the long journey, with your team prepared with necessary spare parts and enough fuel, then the game is set from the beginning and you will cruise to take your checkered flag in confidence.Can you see the Petronas twin towers from here?" The look of disappointment comes on the faces when the agent shakes their head in negation. That question is not really asked by an eager prospect expat tenant, it's asked by eager Malaysian investors who have it in the back of their heads that this is the view that people wants.