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Name change to Kerinchi unlikely to move property prices

BANGSAR_SOUTH_11_LYY_TEP
KUALA LUMPUR (June 11): Property experts have dismissed concerns that the change of Bangsar South’s name back to Kampung Kerinchi will drive down prices of properties in the area.

Lembah Pantai member of parliament (MP) Fahmi Fadzil had recently requested for the name change during a meeting between the Kuala Lumpur MPs with Kuala Lumpur Mayor Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz. However, some netizens have expressed displeasure with the name change on social media, stating that it could push down the price of properties in the area.

However, Axis REIT Managers Bhd head of investments and Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents immediate past president Siva Shanker allayed fears on this matter, saying a name change will not warrant a drop in property prices.

“You can change the name to Kampung Kerinchi, but for the investment community it will remain as Bangsar South because the development is way too established. Perhaps if it wasn’t as well developed, then there could be [some price volatility],” he told The Edge Financial Daily.

Nevertheless, Siva believes that retaining the Bangsar South name is a better option, at least for the commercial and residential developments within the enclave.

“Property like anything else in the world is susceptible to branding. If there is no value to being called Bangsar South, I am sure they (the developer) would not have done it in the first place. Branding as Bangsar South gives some sort of attraction,” he said.

Savills Malaysia executive chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd concurred.

“I think if a developer owns a very large patch of land, he should be allowed to call it whatever he wants within reason. I think changing the name would be unfair to the developer who had invested so much of time and money to create Bangsar South as an upscale area to live and work” he said.

UOA Development Bhd is the main developer of Bangsar South, a 60-acre (24.28ha) fully integrated residential cum commercial enclave. The name change from Kampung Kerinchi to Bangsar South was made six years ago.

VPC Alliance (KL) Sdn Bhd managing director James Wong said the success of Bangsar South is proof of the importance of branding.

“When UOA Development purchased the large parcel of land in this area, they wanted to differentiate this new development from Kerinchi which mostly comprised of low- and medium-cost flats. Hence, the name Bangsar South came about, although it is not adjoining to Bangsar.

“The word Bangsar connotes an upper class and desirable residential and commercial development. It was clever that UOA Development managed to get the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to approve the name change to Bangsar South,” he added.

CBRE|WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen is of the view that name and branding play a small part of the property value ecosystem.

“This is only relevant mostly at the entry level, as part of the purchase consideration. The long-term investors or property owners need to look beyond this. Location, infrastructure, connectivity, and availability of services are crucial elements to support and sustain the value,” he said.

Kedah-based property developer EUPE Corp Bhd’s maiden project in Kuala Lumpur, Novum Serviced Residences is located in Bangsar South.

When contacted by The Edge Financial Daily, Eupe managing director Datuk Beh Huck Lee said the precinct of Bangsar South today has come a long way, development wise, than what Kampung Kerinchi was before.

“Kampung Kerinchi was a name many people in Kuala Lumpur associated with underdevelopment and squatters, despite its close proximity to Bangsar and the city centre.

“Today, [as Bangsar South] it is a very vibrant business hub with a good traffic network. So we need to keep looking forward, with its new name and a new image that reflects the rebirth of the area,” he said.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 11, 2018.

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