Malaysia has seen eight transactions on the secondary market for landed residential properties over RM10 million in 2016. Yes, you read that right — over RM10 million.
Most of these expensive homes are located in KL — in the premium addresses of Bukit Tunku (or Kenny Hills), Ampang Hilir, Taman Duta and Bukit Bandaraya. Malaysians would recognise these areas as among the most exclusive addresses in the country for high-end landed homes.
According to Savills Malaysia Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd, these luxury neighbourhoods are “long-standing high-end neighbourhoods”, most prominently known for their expatriate communities.
“Ampang Hilir caters to the expats working at the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), diplomats and embassy staff, as well as high-net-worth individuals who had long ago bought plots and built their own standalone detached homes.
“Bukit Tunku doesn’t cater to the same crowd, but one similarity in the demographic of both is the local high-net-worth individuals who built their own bungalows there, as it was known as one of the premier addresses in town,” Boyd tells TheEdgeProperty.com.
Nawawi Tie Leung Real Estate Consultants Sdn Bhd managing director Eddy Wong concurs, saying that these established top-tier residential areas in KL will continue to be favoured for their prestige and central locations. The homes in these areas are also very spacious and sizeable to commensurate with their owners’ lifestyle.
Topping the list of RM10 million deals last year was a double-storey detached home in Kenny Hills or Bukit Tunku that was sold at a whopping RM22 million. The house sits on a 5,919 sq m (63,711 sq ft) freehold plot.
This was followed by a RM15 million 3-storey leasehold semi-detached house in Ampang Hilir with a land area of 1,100 sq m.
Also attracting the affluent are houses in Tropicana Golf & Country Resort in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Last September, a 3-storey detached home on a 13,552 sq ft plot in the luxury residential enclave was transacted at RM10 million. The last time a property here made it to the RM10 million and above list was back in 2013 when a 3-storey detached home and a 2-storey detached home were sold for RM10.6 million and RM13.2 million, respectively.
The Tropicana Golf & Country Resort is a 625-acre township, anchored by the 380,000 sq ft Tropicana Clubhouse, with the 27-hole East and West championship golf courses adjacent to it.
Wong says the fact that the guarded-and-gated community is located within a golf resort makes it “very appealing” to wealthy homebuyers, aside from its accessibility to KL city centre.
“It is already one of the most desirable addresses in Klang Valley. However, if you were to compare it with Bukit Tunku or Taman Duta, Tropicana Golf & Country Resort offers a wider range of residences such as high-rise apartments and linked houses, which slightly dilutes its exclusivity,” he says.
Meanwhile, Boyd notes that Tropicana Golf & Country Resort capitalises on a lifestyle that offers a sense of escapism away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
“But this perhaps means it won’t be one of the most top-end [addresses] in the future although it has its own niche market.
“Similar developments like Gamuda Land’s Valencia also see good potential as high-end homes that are slightly more affordable than Taman Duta, Bukit Tunku and Ampang Hilir areas, due to their distance from the city and the seclusion factor,” he says.
Up, up, up in Penang
Beyond the Klang Valley, the northern state of Penang has also managed to make its way into the list with a double-storey detached home sitting on a 12,174 sq ft site in Seri Tanjung Pinang, which was sold at RM11.6 million last year.
The gated-and-guarded, well-landscaped and well-planned Seri Tanjung Pinang, which was developed by Eastern and Oriental Bhd in 2005, is the first township development in Penang with a marina and well-managed lifestyle mall to cater to the needs of its residents.
Moreover, it is located close to the famous Gurney Drive promenade and other prime shopping centres such as Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon.
“This area is perceived by the locals as one of the most liveable upmarket residential areas on Penang island. Overall, the landed home prices in this township appreciated at least 250% over the last 10 years,” says Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) Sdn Bhd asset valuation senior vice-president Shawn Ong.
He adds that a similar development to Seri Tanjung Pinang’s houses is the Water Villa of The Light Collection at The Light Waterfront development in Gelugor, Penang by IJM Land Bhd. The 3-storey water villas that come with a basement and a roof terrace carries a RM15 million price tag.
Luxury home market
According to Boyd, there is always a market for extremely high-end properties but these type of property transactions are never in high volume.
“A handful to a couple of dozen would be transacted each year, as only an elite few can afford these properties. These transactions should be considered separately from any speculation of the general residential property market and not likely to have much effect on the general public’s need for their own homes.
“This [luxury] market sector has been hit badly by the general downturn in the [property] market and the last two years have been tough. However, it has always been a cyclical market and will undoubtedly swing back,” Boyd says.
Wong is of the opinion that due to limited supply, the luxury homes segment will continue to enjoy constant demand due to the homes’ exclusivity and central locations. Hence, prices are expected to remain stable.
“Its market dynamics is quite different from the general residential property market, so any spillover effect will be limited,” he adds.
This story first appeared in TheEdgeProperty.com pullout on June 30, 2017. Download TheEdgeProperty.com pullout here for free.