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So, should investors still consider Wangsa Maju and Setapak?

Despite the dropping student population, realtors still believe in the potential of Wangsa Maju and Setapak.

Oriental Real Estate Sdn Bhd team leader Alps Tan Joon Kiat says annual rental yield in the Wangsa Maju and Setapak areas was as high as 6% to 7% in 2005 to 2018 when the areas saw robust development of high-rise residential and integrated developments.

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“As supply of residential units and selling prices rose, the average rental yield shrank to 4% in 2019. But this is still considered good compared to bank fixed deposit rates,” he adds.

Propnex Realty group leader and resident manager Matt Tian expects rental demand to return once students are allowed back in campus. .

With the beginning of the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) from end-February, the market will gradually gain its growth when Malaysia achieves herd immunity.

“Property prices in Wangsa Maju and Setapak areas are considered affordable compared with other areas in Kuala Lumpur. The average selling prices for condos in these two areas range from RM300 to RM400 psf. This makes them  ideal locations for homebuyers looking for affordable choices in the KL area,” adds Tian.    

On market recovery, Reapfield Properties (HQ) Sdn Bhd senior real estate negotiator Chin Kong Foo takes a more cautious approach. “Personally, I think the market will need another 24 to 36 months to recover as the national vaccination process will take some time to complete,” he explains. 

Local residents eyeing landed homes

Not everyone in Wangsa Maju and Setapak are complaining about the current property lull. Some, says Tan, are taking the opportunity to consider upgrading to bigger and landed homes.

As landed houses in Wangsa Maju and Setapak areas are considered quite old, their prices are therefore considered affordable.

For instance, one could still find intermediate terraced houses in the Taman Bunga Raya area on the market for RM400,000 to RM500,000, Tan points out.

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my E-weekly on March 5, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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