Property
Kepong’s landscape set to change
Laura Lee 
A scale model of UNIO at its gallery. The design of the condominium promotes natural cross ventilation and natural lighting
advertisement[x]

KEPONG is seeing more incoming supply of high-rise residential units along or within close proximity to Jalan Kepong, which has served as the main road of this matured and densely populated township in Kuala Lumpur.

Several of the developers of these upcoming developments are not newcomers to the area as they have previously built residential and commercial units here or in the nearby housing suburb of Kepong Baru.

Among them are the AikBee Group, TSI Domain Sdn Bhd and Aset Kayamas Group, which see the growing potential of this area as infrastructural developments such as the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) MRT line take shape along Jalan Kepong, which connects to other densely populated areas such as Jinjang and Kampung Batu.

Last September, TSI Domain launched its low-density transit-oriented development, Three33 Residences, which comprises a 23-storey block of 333 serviced apartments as its name suggests.

Its leasehold units are either two or three rooms with two bathrooms, and built-ups of 760 and 912 sq ft.

Although its address is in Kepong Baru, it is sited close to Jalan Kepong across from where the MRT SPP line is being constructed.

TSI Domain, which is part of the TSI Group, is also the people behind the development of 15 units of the completed three-storey terraced factories along Jalan Kepong Baru whose gross development value is about RM68 mil.

Last December, Aikbee Development (Kepong) Sdn Bhd launched its 2.32-acre (0.93ha) UNIO Residence, whose design is based on a composition of a two-block serviced apartment concept. The two 38-storey towers along the busy Kepong main road have a total of 520 units.

This leasehold project has built-ups starting from 648 to 1,579 sq ft. Expected to be completed by October 2021, prices start from RM413,600 to RM1.2 mil with ample design choices.

At its UNIO Galleria at 6½ Mile Jalan Kepong, the developer has two show units of Type A (1,468 sq ft) and C (1,139 sq ft) for viewing.

 

Uniquely UNIO

One of the unique selling points is that each unit has been designed as a pair, semi-detached or detached to enhance the privacy of its residents while at the same time promoting better natural cross ventilation and natural lighting.

Each tower has three levels of facilities, with its developer claiming to offer 60 state-of-the-art facilities. They include a gymnasium, swimming pool and the rest of the facilities located on levels 35 and 36. 

Nine levels of car parks have been allocated to each tower where the buyers will be given one to three car park lots depending on their unit size.

Besides detailed finishing and contemporary design, the developer strongly believes in feng shui to complement a good home and has consulted Datuk Joey Yap to look into UNIO’s feng shui and landform assessment. Located adjacent to one side of UNIO is a cemetery.

The project site is behind the two blocks of 22-storey Vista Mutiara totalling 500 units which were completed by its sister company, Aikbee Timbers Sdn Bhd, in 2008. With a built-up of 950 to 2,000 sq ft, these leasehold units were priced from RM140,000 during its launch.

Mujur Harta Realty real estate negotiator Jeanson Au Yong tells FocusM that a fully renovated Vista Mutiara of 1,001 sq ft comprising three rooms and two bathrooms is being sold in the sub-sale market at RM390,000 to RM400,000 and above.  

 

Rental yields

A partially furnished unit can command a monthly rental of around RM1,200 to RM1,400 depending on the amenities offered by the owner. Recently, a fully furnished unit of this size was rented out for a steal at RM1,600 a month, he said.

According to iProperty IQ, Vista Mutiara is able to fetch rental yields of 4.21%. Its latest data, traces the demand trends for the apartment based on the visits per listing since February 2014 to October last year.

It also shows that after peaking last July, the number of visits to Vista Mutiara’s listings in iProperty.com each month versus the average number of listings to all listings in Kepong has dropped sharply.

It went on to touch new lows since last September. An industry observer believes that Vista Mutiara could be facing the impact of the new property launches in Kepong and competition in the secondary market from other existing high-rise projects in the vicinity such as TSI Domain’s First Residence.

iProperty’s iDemand Heatmeter gives a popularity score of almost 79% to First Residence when pitted against other condominiums in the area over the past one year.

The high-density First Residence, which has 474 leasehold units with built-ups of 930 to 1,450 sq ft, was completed much later in 2012.

Its project manager Twin Realty Sdn Bhd marketed it as a new development with a host of sophisticated and new lifestyle offerings for the community here and offered purchasers 13 design choices to select from.

 

Soft property market

Complementing its development were two levels of 29 shops that provided conveniences to its residents. First Residence’s record of having 32 facilities on two levels of its development was only recently challenged by Aikbee Development’s latest UNIO project.

When phase one of First Residence was launched in 2009 with prices from RM233,000 to RM384,000 or around RM250 per sq ft, many investors had viewed it as steep then.

A check with brickz.my shows that its three-room units of 930 sq ft, located at Jalan Vista Mutiara 1, were transacted at RM495,000 to RM650,000 between March and May last year with its median price at RM510,000 or RM548 per sq ft (psf).

Owing to the soft property market conditions last year, brickz.my’s transaction data reveals that one 930 sq ft unit there was sold for as low as RM380,000 or RM369 psf while a 1,046 sq ft unit was going for RM423,000.

According to Au Yong, who also does the sub-sale and rental of First Residence, a three-room two-bathroom unit can fetch a monthly rental of around RM1,550. 

More high-rises sprouting up

RAHIM & Co Research’s newly-released Property Market Review 2017/18 shows a number of upcoming high-rise residential properties in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.

Although its prices start from below the RM500,000 bracket (see table), they can go up to as high as RM1.2 mil for UNIO Residence, which prefers its address to be known as KL North, and befitting its tagline, “Redefining Life in Kepong”.

Rahim & Co Research lists The Herz as among the notable developments that were fully booked during its preview launch. FocusM learns there are now 10%, or 30 units, still open for booking following bank loan rejections faced by some purchasers.

The marketing of The Herz, which is developed by Ujana Mutiara Sdn Bhd, one of the companies under Aset Kayamas Group, is handled by several real estate agencies, including Casa Realty Sdn Bhd.

Casa Realty senior project team leader Cheong John Thong says this low-density development, sited on 1.52 acres (0.61ha) of leasehold land, comprises one block of 37-storey condominium units.

It offers three built-ups of 1,073, 1,144 and 1,216 sq ft with two carpark lots per unit. Each floor will be serviced by three lifts. Level Eight will be dedicated for its 30 facilities that include an aqua gymnasium, Starlight infinity pool, jacuzzi, wading pool and herbs garden.

Cheong says the units facing southeast will get the “KLCC view” while those on the northwest will face Aeon Mall. He considers The Herz’s location at Taman Metro Prima to be quite strategic, being at the heart of Kepong.

It is also close to Jalan Kepong and the proposed MRT2’s Metro Prima and Kepong Baru stations which are under construction. The expected completion date for this project is 42 months from the date of the sales and purchase agreement.

FocusM understands that Aset Kayamas will be collaborating with the government to come up with Rumah Mampu Milik Wilayah Perseketuan (Rumawip) next to The Herz.

Sinerjuta Sdn Bhd, one of the companies under the Aset Kayamas, is involved in the development of The Henge at Taman Metropolitan Park in Kepong.



This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 274.