Property prices in KLCC continue to rise

Property prices in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area will continue to rise, as more and more foreign investors snap up the country's comparatively cheaper high-end condominiums, said veteran international property consultant Datuk Abdul Rahim Rahman.

Abdul Rahim, who is chairman of Savills Rahim & Co, is confident that KLCC prices would increase further as land and building material prices continue to soar, mainly due to the hike in crude oil prices.

He said property prices were rising not only in Malaysia but also elsewhere.

“The bubble will not burst in the KLCC area as it attracts foreign investors. Investors are getting more and more sophisticated. When they go from city to city to invest in property, they want the best location and KLCC has it all,” he told StarBiz, adding that all the developments in the KLCC area (residential and commercial) that had been completed were well sought-after.

Abdul Rahim said there was a time when people were shocked at the high prices of condominiums in and around KLCC but when prices increased rapidly, new benchmark prices were recorded and response from investors, especially from foreigners, remained good.

He said this was because Malaysian property prices were cheaper than many countries in the region, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and even Indonesia.

Even areas on the fringe of the KLCC have shown a marked increased in prices. For example, he said, two proposed high-end residential projects in the vicinity of Jalan Madge and Jalan U-Thant in Kuala Lumpur would be priced between RM1,000 and RM1,300 per sq ft (psf).

The one at Jalan Madge, called 9Madge, was soft launched by invitation over the weekend. The low-density freehold development of only 23 units will have two- to five-bedroom units of 1,800 sq ft to 8,200 sq ft (average 3,600 sq ft). It will feature exclusive penthouses with rooftop gardens and tropical themed gardens in a gated and guarded community. It will also have state-of-the-art, four-tier security system and is 1.5km from KLCC and the Petronas Twin Towers.

The other project at Jalan Penggawa (also bearing the exclusive Taman U-Thant address) is slated for launch in August. Interestingly, South Korean companies are involved in the two projects, which goes to show the amount of interest shown by foreign developers in high-end Malaysian properties.

Abdul Rahim said secondary transactions in the Jalan Madge and Jalan U-Thant areas had risen to as much as RM1,500 psf.

His advice for investors is to buy at the right location and at the right time. “You will not go wrong if the location of your property is good,” he said, adding that there were also insufficient high-end offices in the KLCC area. “Supply (of offices) cannot meet demand. In fact, there is hardly any new Grade A office building in the KLCC area. I know one but cannot reveal it as yet,” he said.

(The latest was the en bloc sale of a 50-storey office tower called Menara Felda in the newly launched RM3.5bil Platinum Park in KLCC for RM640.7mil or about RM930 psf.)

He said a Grade A office tower in the KLCC could fetch over RM1,000 psf and there was good demand for such buildings not just from foreign companies but also foreign funds.

“The rental of Menara Uni.Asia (where his company is) in Jalan Sultan Ismail was about RM2.50 psf five years ago when we moved in, but it has since gone up to RM5 psf and it is fully occupied,” he added.

Abdul Rahim, executive chairman of Rahim & Co Chartered Surveyors Sdn Bhd which he founded in 1976, has four children – a boy and three girls. Two of his children are working with him.

He was president of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Malaysian Chapter (1982-1986), president of Asia Pacific Real Estate Federation (APREF from 1985 to 1988), and FIABCI deputy world president (1990-1992).

Abdul Rahim was also president of the Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia (1986-1987) and Association of Valuers & Property Consultants in Private Practice, Malaysia (1990-1994).

He is also active in politics, being the current Umno Pasir Mas division chairman and Kelantan Umno treasurer. - By The Star

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