The median sale at Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is RM 1,110,000
What was once a rubber estate, Mont'Kiara has risen over the last few decades to be one of the most prosperous areas in Kuala Lumpur, with its many high-rise residential condominium and office complexes lending to its urban and elegant feel.
The brains behind the township is Datuk Alan Tong Kok Mau, the founder of Sunrise Bhd, which is now known as UEM Sunrise Bhd. He bought the first parcel of rubber estate land in the area in the early 1990s and went on to popularise condominium living in KL, starting off with Mont’Kiara Pines, which was completed in 1993.
Today, Mont’Kiara is a designated international zone with more than 20 condominium developments, exclusive bungalows and commercial and retail outlets. And after many years, Mont’Kiara is expanding northwards, closer to Segambut Dalam. For instance, developments in Segambut Dalam have begun to adopt the 'Kiara' name, such as Aston Kiara - a testament of Mont'Kiara's expansion.
With the presence of international schools and other lifestyle offerings, Mont’Kiara began to capture the attention of expatriates and cultivate a reputation as an enclave for them.
Developed with high-end concepts in mind, Mont Kiara naturally attracts the attention of the upper-class society, mainly the expatriates – who are said to populate nearly half of the neighbourhood – from over 30 countries. This comes as no surprise, as not only is the neighbourhood considered by many to be luxurious, it retains its suburban charm with its calm and picturesque scenery.
The serene atmosphere of the city is amplified by the smooth traffic as it is highly accessible by several major highways that connect Mont’Kiara to other metropolitan cities, namely Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. A mere 10 to 15 minutes’ drive to Kuala Lumpur via the Penchala Link highway, Mont'Kiara is also connected to its neighbouring cities and suburbs via SPRINT Expressway, North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Federal Highway, Kerinchi Link and DUKE highways.
Exclusive, sustainable and expatriate-friendly township
Mont’Kiara developed outwards from Mont’Kiara Pines and its proximity to established neighbourhoods, such as Damansara Heights and Sri Hartamas, and green and hilly surroundings slowly turned it into an exclusive residential area.
With its commercial component and amenities, including an international educational hub, Mont’Kiara remains popular with the expatriates.
Mont’Kiara’s homes have a median price of RM1.6 million (as of mid-2019) based on residential transactions in the area over the past five years, solidying its reputation as a high-end and upscale area that attracts expatriates working in Kuala Lumpur.
Developments in Mont’Kiara typically have large built-ups but low density with ample amenities within the compound. A good example is SENI Mont’Kiara. Its transaction price has been increasing steadily yet it has been able to retain demand.
As the influx of the expatriates results in a higher demand for the properties in and around Mont’Kiara, more and more projects for condominiums and apartments are well under way, the most notable ones being The VERVE Suites, Kiara 163, Arte Mont Kiara and many more. There is definitely a good investment opportunity in Mont‘Kiara for both locals and expats, given that the neighbourhood will continue to progress and develop rapidly and attract more working professionals and expatriates.
Amenities and Facilities
The dwellers of Mont’Kiara are also privileged to live in proximity of Bukit Kiara, one of the few remaining green lungs of Kuala Lumpur, with its lush greenery, jungle trails, beautiful hills and natural streams. Bordered by Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Damansara Heights and Mont'Kiara, this 467-acre natural beauty is said to be in the same league as New York’s Central Park. Bukit Kiara is a hot spot for nature lovers and there are plentiful activities to be had in this exquisite park, from running, jungle trekking, cycling, camping, or simply walking around the trails to admire the change of scenery after days spent in the concrete jungle.
Aside from the natural attractions, Mont Kiara is scattered with its own malls to cater to the materialistic needs of its residents, which include the area’s first mall, Plaza Mont’Kiara and 1 Mont Kiara. The most recent mall would be Kiara 163. Other malls nearby would be Solaris Mont Kiara, Masjid Wilayah and Solaris Dutamas – which houses the popular Publika Shopping Gallery.
To attend to the educational needs of the ever growing number of expatriates in Mont Kiara, there are three international schools situated around the neighbourhood, each with its own unique curriculum - The Garden International School (British curriculum), Lycee Francais de Kuala Lumpur (French curriculum) and Mont’Kiara International School (American curriculum).
Something for everybody
One of the best things about Mont’Kiara is the sheer variety of food available there. If you fancy having a steaming bowl of udon, head to Kodawari Menya Udon & Tempura in 1 Mont Kiara. Originally from Kawaga in Sanuki province, Japan — a place famous for its udon — the restaurant imports its noodles and dashi soup-base from Kawaga.
Here is something for the vegetarians — Real Food Mont Kiara, also in 1 Mont Kiara, and LN Fortunate Coffee in Solaris Mont’Kiara. Their food is packed with flavour and goodness.
For a taste of Korea, you will be spoiled for choice. Check out Sae Ma Eul BBQ and Gangnam 88 at Solaris Mont’Kiara for anything from BBQ meat to seafood pajeon (Korean pancake).
If steak is your thing, try Beato Dry Aged Beef in Solaris Dutamas and the hidden Casa Rosa, which is located in the Aspen Clubhouse within Mont’Kiara Pines. Juicy tender cuts of meat from ribeye to Waygu cooked to your liking can be found in both places.
If you fancy pizza and burgers, head to Crust in 163 Retail Park. The wood-fired dough is crispy and airy, and topped with a variety of choices. For something sinful, try the Carne pizza that has all the beef you want, or Figaro that comes with a generous topping of mozzarella and goat cheese, among others. Vegetarians fret not, there are non-meat options as well. For families with children, there is a dedicated play area where your young ones can have fun while you eat.
Also not to be missed is the newly opened Sarawak D’light Signature. The top dishes here are Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee.
For something distinctly Southeast Asian, The Majapahit at Arcoris Mont’Kiara in Jalan Kiara is the place. The restaurant serves modern fusion Southeast Asian cuisine such as Balinese fish satay, Thai red beef curry, Indonesian squid curry, coconut butter chicken and its signature dish, crispy flying fish. And a bonus for the instagrammers, the restaurant, even Arcoris itself, are insta-worthy.
If you are looking for a bit of family fun, take a spin around Solaris Dutamas on a bicycle on Wheelie Sunday. The inner roads are blocked off every Sunday from 7am to 10am for cycling. Do not have a bicycle? No problem, there are rentals available. Publika itself is a hive of activity, featuring art exhibitions, music festivals, food fiesta and traders market.
Speaking of markets, check out the Fiesta Night in Plaza Mont’Kiara on Thursdays. Operating from 3pm to 10pm, it offers anything from homemade soap to food.
For golfing, head to TPC KL and take a swing on its two 18-hole championship golf courses or if you prefer something indoors with a bit of learning, try the National Science Centre in Persiaran Bukit Kiara.
Rents to remain resilient in Mont'Kiara (The Edge, February 7, 2022)
Mont'Kiara is a favourite area among expatriates and locals, who enjoy the many food and retail offerings there, as well as find it a suitable place to live, work and educate their children. As a result, the area has an attractive rental market.
"As a neighbourhood, it has grown to be a preffered location for many, with a strong expatriate community and a good number of amenities such as shopping centres, food and beverage (F&B) outlets, international schools and social and recreational private clubs, as well as the lush greenery of Bukit Kiara and Bukit Kiara Trail," says Rahim & Co International director of research Sulaiman Saheh.
"Back in the 1990s, Sunrise Sdn Bhd along with a few other developers were catering for the upgraders and investors' market, which was fuelling the demand in Mont'Kiara due to its strategic location. This led to the boom in the condominium and serviced apartments market, which augmented the modern lifestyle changes seen in Kuala Lumpur.
"As the area is close to other established neighbourhoods like Damansara Heights and Sri Hartamas, and amid green hills on the western side, it had the makings of an exclusive residential area. As the roads surrounding the area were upgraded and its image improved because of Istana Negara located nearby, its positive status was further enhanced.
"Commercial properties in the area are seen as being more niche rather than mainstream, with office suites and boutique-like retail lots, such as those in Solaris Mont'Kiara and 1 Mont Kiara."
According to JLL Property Services (M) Sdn Bhd coutry head YY Lau, Mont'Kiara offers a wide range of high-end properties to rent. These include older projects such as Mont Kiara Palma and Mont Kiara Bayu, which were built in the mid-2000s, and the latest ones like Agile Mont Kiara and Residensi 22. There are also small office/home offices (SoHos) and serviced apartments such as Verve Suits and Arcoris SoHo, as well asa projects that offer large units in Mont Kiara Banyan, 10 Mont Kiara and 11 Mont Kiara.
The amenities include international schools like Garden International School, as well as neighbourhood malls and commercial areas with F&B options such as Publika, 163 Retail Park and Solaris.
There is also the ease of accessibility and connectivity to the surrounding areas through Penchala Link, the Federal Highway via Kerinchi Link, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim and Jalan Kuching, she says.
An affluent neighbourhood
The people who live in Mont'Kiara play a big part in attracting tenants. "As an area that has been long established and maintained as being mid-high to high-end and expartriate-friendly, one of the biggest reasons residents and tenants seek to fina place in Mont'Kiara is the experience in living in an upper-scale neighbourhood that has amenities and facilities to live, work and play. It is also a mark of personal and financial success," says Sulaiman.
Lau concurs, stating that Mont'Kiara is "a highly respectable and affluent neighbourhood with managerial professionals and high-net worth individuals." Moreover, the products here are prime developments that include luxury projects.
"Every new project tries to outdo the older ones, bringing modern, well-designed concepts with lifestyle features and amenities. This reinforces its identity as a prestigious address, one of the key points of attraction for prospective tenants," she says.
The range of properties for rent varies in terms of unit size, location and build, which play part in determining the rental rate. For larger units, rents can be in the five-figure bracket. For instance, according to Rahim & Co's data, units in Seni Mont Kiara have built-ups ranging from 2,347 to 6,706 sq ft and can fetch rents of between RM7,000 and RM18,000 a month. For smaller units, such as those at Verve Suites - according to JLL's data - where unit sizes are from 462 and 1,394 sq ft, the monthly rent can be between RM1,600 and RM5,00 a month.
"We note that the majority of the market are mid-sized units (1,800 to 2,100 sq ft). These units have maintained their asking rents due to the demand-supply balance," says Lau.
"It is observed that new projects with better amenities can fetch higher rents. The presence of unique amenities such as heated or salt pools successfully retain tenants in slightly older projects. Proximity to schools is another attraction that fetches a premium."
She adds that residential properties can fetch rental yields of 4% to 4.5%, provided that there is a tenant.
The office and commercial rental sector is also active in Mont'Kiara. "Of the newer commercial entrants, 163 Retail Park offers a wide choice of culinary eateries and international grocers suited to the needs and preference of Mont'Kiara residents, both local and foreigners. Other well-known spots are Solaris Mont'Kiara, Plaza Mont'Kiara, Gateway Kiaramas and Arcoris Business Suites," says Sulaiman.
"Compared with the rental range of between RM3 and RM5 psf per month in the area, the yield for commercial properties here range from 4.8% to 6.7%, depending on the location, type and popularity of the project."
Lau similarly observes that 163 Retail Park, developed by YNH Property Bhd, offers fresh F&B and lifestyles offerings. She also points to the Publika mall, developed by UEM Sunrise Bhd.
She highlights the 21-storey Menara 1 Dutamas that is 85%-occupied and is connected to Publika mall. Asking rents are between RM6.50 and RM7 psf. Meanwhile, Wisma Mont'Kiara is a 16-storey office building atop a 4-storey retail podium. This older building has smaller built-ups and therefore caters for a different market segment, with rents between RM4 and RM5 psf.
Other office developments include Menara 1MK, a stratified office building with about 186 units, and Plaza Mont Kiara.
"[Menara 1MK] was developed as part of a mixed-use development alongside a retail mall. This grants the building access to mall amenities such as F&B offerings, retail shops as well as some services," says Lau.
"Plaza Mont'Kiara is a stratified office building surrounded by a variety of amenities. Employees have access to mini-marts and various eateries in the surrounding area from which they can get their daily neccessities. The building comes equipped with covered and open car parks, so customers and employees do not have to look so hard for parking spots."
She addes that future supply will come from The MET Corporate Towers, whose developer has appointed JLL as the sole agency for their sale. The 30- and 42-Storey towers will be first premier-grade, strata-titled buildings in the area.
Challenges and outlook
For Sulaiman, the main challenge in the area is the traffic and he suggests that certain roads be rerouted. "Although it would be challenging, rerouting as well as the pedestrianisation of some roads, coupled with lush softscaping, could help create a more relaxed ambiance that will enhance the lifestyle offering in the area. Notably, with the huge number of high-rise residences, population density ad movement are things that need to be addressed," he says.
Lau similarly observes that while congestion is a key issue, this is exacerbated by new residential supply. "The primary challenge in the Mont'Kiara market is the continous introduction of new supply, which is gradually leading to an oversupply situation. The asking rents of older properties are observed to be dropping due to the increased competition in the market. The incoming supply has also resulted in traffic congestion during peak hours, changing the overall exclusive and peaceful vibe of the locality."
The pandemic has also put pressure on rents, resulting in a decline in demand. "With the movement restrictions during the pandemic, the demand for rental properties in Mont'Kiara took a step back. But a recovery is anticipated once the restrictions are lifted," says Sulaiman.
He adds that while vacancy rates have gone up with downward pressure on rents, there have not been many fire sales or bargain prices as property owners are financially secure and able to ride out the situation.
Lau agrees that border closures and the relocation of expatriates have affected Mont'Kiara's rental market "severely" and points out that asking rents have dropped. "While some landlords are holding the properties on account of the loan moratorium and other benefits, sale listings have increased, along with auction properties," she adds.
However, she believevs that Mont'Kiara's rental market will likely remain popular and be more resilient than other submarkets and suburban areas in KL. "As the vaccination rate increases, international borders reopen and the inflow of the expatriate population resumes, the rental market in Mont'Kiara is likely to revive, as long as the policies for the hiring of expats remain friendly."
Lau says new projects are likely to put downward pressure on rents at older properties while the upcoming MRT station in Dutamas will have positive spillover impact on demand in the long run.
Sulaiman agress that Mont'Kiara will continue to draw tenants despite the brakes pulled by the pandemic. "Mont'Kiara will continue to maintain its status as a mid-high to high-end, expat-friendly area that is fully equipped to meet the demand of single adults, families with children and even retirees."
He adds that there is confidence in Mont'Kiara recovering its vibrant and prestigious status once Covid-19 has been defeated.
A good location with plenty of amenities and facilities for its residents, Mont'Kiara's offerings continue to create a sustainable and attractive rental market.
|Project / TownShips||Type||Median Price Psf||Median Price||Filed Transactions|
|Seni Mont Kiara||Condominium/Apartment||RM 777||RM 2,426,351||270 Transactions|
|Verve Suites||Hotel/Service Apartment||RM 1,125||RM 813,459||167 Transactions|
|Residensi 22||Condominium/Apartment||RM 831||RM 1,786,134||150 Transactions|
|Tiffani Kiara||Condominium/Apartment||RM 706||RM 1,373,627||122 Transactions|
|Arcoris||Hotel/Service Apartment,Condominium/Apartment||RM 1,060||RM 976,509||119 Transactions|
|28 Mont Kiara (MK28)||Condominium/Apartment||RM 746||RM 2,012,769||111 Transactions|
|Kiaramas Ayuria||Condominium/Apartment||RM 684||RM 1,334,732||111 Transactions|
|11 Mont Kiara (MK11)||Condominium/Apartment||RM 811||RM 2,697,270||110 Transactions|
|Kiaramas Danai||Condominium/Apartment||RM 826||RM 1,804,758||90 Transactions|
|Mont Kiara Aman||Condominium/Apartment||RM 671||RM 1,481,940||89 Transactions|
Rent and Sale Prices in Mont Kiara
|Bedrooms||Sale Price||Monthly Rent||Rental Yield|
|1||RM 819,150||RM 2,609||3.82%|
|2||RM 803,946||RM 3,349||5%|
|3||RM 1,159,832||RM 4,850||5.02%|
|4||RM 1,805,246||RM 7,033||4.68%|
|5||RM 2,635,907||RM 9,929||4.52%|
Price per Square Foot
|Sector||Price Psf (Non Landed)||Price Psf (Landed)|
|Area Average||RM 681||RM 832|
|State Average||RM 475||RM 509|