indepth

Selayang: Low entry gem for mid-income buyers

A day in Selayang begins as early as 3am when the Klang Valley’s largest wholesale market — Pasar Borong Selayang — jumps into frantic activity. Fresh produce are unloaded and loaded while both buyers and sellers try to catch a good deal. The market is one of Selayang’s most prominent landmarks.

Located north of Kuala Lumpur’s Kepong, west of Batu Caves and south east of Templer Park or Rawang, a major part of Selayang falls in the Gombak district of Selangor and is administered by the Selayang Municipal Council whilst the rest of Selayang is considered part of KL under the administration of KL City Hall.

Though not many would consider Selayang a property investment hot spot, the area manager of Sinland Real Estate Steve Yong believes it is a promising market, given rising demand and the steady growth of residential property prices in recent years.

Selayang may not be as exciting as its neighbours such as busy Kepong, which has the advantage of the ongoing MRT (mass rapid transit) Line 2 stations but Selayang offers something different — a greener and lower-density environment as well as less traffic,” Yong tells EdgeProp.my.

The area is surrounded by hills and mountains and close to not one, but several forest reserves such as Bukit Lagong (where the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia resides), the Templer Forest Park and the Commonwealth Forest Park. 

Meanwhile, with the opening of the KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR) in 2011, residents of Selayang can easily access the Guthrie Corridor Expressway and New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE).

“There are still plenty of affordable second-hand landed homes in Selayang while newer and more modern high-rise residences are coming up. If you want something low-density, there are also townhouses. Further at the border between Selayang and Rawang, close to the forest reserves, there are luxury bungalows and semidee homes as well.

“The main point here is, no matter what kind of properties you are looking for, Selayang almost has it all and they are fairly affordable, considering it being so near to the KL city centre, which is less than 20km away,” Yong shares.

According to EdgeProp.my data, residential property in Selayang recorded an average transacted price of RM294 psf in 2019 (till November) while housing in neighbouring areas such as Kepong and Batu Caves recorded RM326 psf and RM312 psf, respectively.  

Yong says the KL portion of Selayang, which is smaller than the Selangor side, offers mostly old and landed terraced houses, commercial properties and low- to mid-range apartments such as in Taman Wilayah Selayang, Flat Taman Selayang and Pusat Bandar Utara Selayang where the wholesale market is located.

Selayang KL’s property market has been pretty much stagnant possibly because of its aged terraced houses and apartments. Buyers here are usually those who are already staying in the neighbourhood. There are very few people looking to live in Selayang KL compared with Selayang Selangor,” Yong notes.

“As Selayang KL’s sub-sale property has less demand, house prices here are also generally 5% lower than those in Selayang Selangor. Prices also pretty much depend on the condition of a property.”

However, there are some ongoing and newly completed residential developments that have led to a small increase in the overall property prices in Selayang KL such as LakePark Residence by JL99 Group.

LakePark Residence was completed in end-2018 and had recorded steady sales at its launch which were attributed to its lake-facing view and reasonable pricing. It was launched at an average price of RM520 psf.

Meanwhile, Selayang Selangor has also seen several new launches over the past few years such as V-Residensi 5 by B&G Property Sdn Bhd, which was launched in 2018 at RM300 psf.

Slowly but surely

Compared with its more popular neighbours, Selayang’s residential properties have recorded lower transacted prices over the first 11 months of 2019 due to the overall slow market and given the fact that there are more new property choices in adjacent areas such as Kepong, for instance. However, this does not mean that the housing market in the area is not as vibrant.

“Prices of newly launched condominiums in Selayang have almost reached up to around the same level as that of Kepong and Batu Caves. We also noted that the market is fairly active and buoyant,” says Henry Butcher (M) Sdn Bhd COO Tang Chee Meng

“In fact, the more affordable prices give Selayang an edge over the other areas. However, Selayang lacks the rail connectivity such as the LRT and MRT that areas such as Kepong and Sentul have,” he adds.

Besides that disadvantage, the current overall sluggish residential property market in the country has also impacted property buying sentiments in Selayang.

“As a result, new projects have recorded slow take-up and housing prices in Selayang have either softened or become stagnant now. Nevertheless, the property market in Selayang is relatively stable and should see steady growth over the foreseeable future,” says Tang. 

Metro Rec Sdn Bhd head of agency Terence Yap concurs with Tang that the residential property market in Selayang is slowly but surely growing.

“The Selayang residential property market will gain more interest as property prices in the locality are still attractive to buyers.

“In addition, the northern corridor of the Klang Valley is being transformed by various established property developers offering lifestyle products,” Yap says.

One of the more popular residential developments in Selayang is Taman Selayang Jaya, as it is surrounded by facilities and amenities, according to Yap.

Taman Selayang Jaya is a self-sustaining housing area in the Selangor part of Selayang. It consists of terraced houses, apartments, as well as a bustling commercial centre with banks, eateries, medical centre and schools.

Last year, homes there recorded an average transacted price psf of RM483 while the overall Selayang housing average price was RM294 psf.

Sinland Real Estate’s Yong comments that Taman Selayang Jaya has always been in high demand and the property prices there have been growing steadily over the years despite an overall soft property market.

“The standard built-up of a double-storey terraced house in Taman Selayang Jaya is 22ft by 75ft. The current asking price of a basic unit is around RM650,000, which translates to about RM400 psf.

“There is more demand than supply in Taman Selayang Jaya due to its low entry point and strategic location. I think Taman Selayang Jaya could easily be the most popular second-hand product in the entire Selayang,” he shares.

Taman Selayang Jaya is a freehold development off the Kepong-Selayang Highway, which is the main toll-free highway that connects Kepong and Selayang and provides Selayang residents access to Sentul, Batu Caves and KL city centre.

Lack of catalysts

Selayang is already a mature area with a wide range of existing amenities besides the wholesale market such as Selayang Hospital, Selayang Mall, eateries, banks, schools, university and recreational facilities such as forest park and hot spring.

“But there are no catalysts for future growth. Extending the LRT or MRT line to Selayang will provide a big boost as public transportation will be greatly improved, but presently, the planned MRT network does not include Selayang. Residents in Selayang will have to make use of the MRT stations in Batu Caves and Kepong,” Tang explains.

Besides the public transport, the property consultant also points out that the access roads in the area also pose a challenge as the main roads leading to Selayang such as Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Kuching are often heavily congested although the opening of the LATAR has slightly eased the traffic flow.

Another thing Selayang has to contend with is the perception that the location caters mainly to the lower-end of the market due to the presence of the Selayang wholesale market and other haphazard light industrial activities in the area, says Metro Rec’s Yap.

Most of the workers at the Pasar Borong Selayang are foreigners. Therefore it is no surprise that they have contributed much to Selayang’s housing rental market, but at the same time, they have suppressed the area’s residential property prices, offers Yong.

However, these challenges are slowly being removed due to improvements in road accessibility and the presence of newer and more modern residential projects being developed in the locality, such as Selayang Hilltop by Metrogen Sdn Bhd, besides V-Residensi 5.

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my pullout on Feb 21, 2020. You can access back issues here.

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