City & Country: Highway boost for real estate values in Shah Alam

There is usually a correlation between real estate values and highway accessibility, as evident from numerous successful projects and schemes located along major highways. The opening of Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), for instance, saw a number of new developments such as Bandar Puteri Puchong, Bandar Bukit Puchong, Damansara Perdana and Desa Parkcity sprout like mushrooms after rain all along the highway. Property values in these places have climbed steadily over the years due to a combination of factors, including accessibility via the highway, say real estate consultants.

Similarly, the opening of the 14.7km Lebuhraya Kemuning-Shah Alam (LKSA) last month is expected to benefit real estate in Shah Alam where the new highway enhances accessibility. Now, it takes only a 10 minutes to drive from Kota Kemuning to the Selangor State Mosque, from 30 minutes previously. The three-lane dual carriageway shortens the journey between the Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) and the Federal Highway by connecting the Kesas Kota Kemuning Interchange to the Federal Highway Route 2 Interchange near Shah Alam. Of the six interchanges, toll has to be paid at Alam Impian and the other at Taman Sri Muda.

Improved accessibility
Managing director of PA International Property Consultants (KL) Jerome Hong tells City & Country that LKSA can help users save travel time and gain easier access to Kuala Lumpur city. This in turn will spur economic activity and produce indirect benefits.

“Economic activity can increase employment and commercial growth. However, the overall effects of the highway are difficult to quantify,” he says.

The industrial zones in Sections 15 and 16 in Shah Alam; residential areas of Sections 18, 19, 24 and 25; Hicom-Glenmarie; Batu Tiga; Padang Jawa; I-Bhd’s i-City; Alam Impian; Kota Kemuning by Hicom-Gamuda Development Sdn Bhd; Bukit Rimau by Malton Bhd; Kemuning Utama; Bandar Puteri Klang and Bandar Botanic are expected to benefit from the new highway. The benefits may spill over from the northern part of Shah Alam to the south.

Chan Wai Seen, director of research and consultancy with JS Valuers Property Consultants Sdn Bhd, says a steeper price growth can be expected for new and well-planned landed residential properties compared with older projects. “Most established township developments in the Klang Valley have good access to major highways. Their growing population will stimulate commercial developments in the vicinity,” he observes.

Chan singles out Island & Peninsular Sdn Bhd’s Alam Impian as the main beneficiary of LKSA.

“It is a well-planned township with direct access to LKSA. On top of that, the prevailing strong demand for landed homes augurs well for landed residences in Alam Impian. The project, which is still in the early development stage, has room for further appreciation when the township matures.”

Citing the 2-storey terraced houses in Alam Impian known as “Canting” that were sold by the developer at about RM420,000 last year, he says prices have since appreciated to about RM480,000. Based on the track record of the developer, secondary prices have the potential to breach RM600,000 when the development matures., he says.

Alam Impian is a 1,235-acre township with an estimated gross development value of RM4.95 billion. Launched and promoted as the “Township of the Arts” in 2006, it offers platforms to showcase local art, such as art installations, landscaping and street art, an art gallery and a 31-acre central town park.

So far, some 200 acres in Alam Impian have been developed.

“The values of homes in older housing estates such as Taman Sri Muda and other surrounding developments are also expected to rise, albeit at a slower rate than newer projects such as Alam Impian,” Chan says.

Of course, the highway’s impact on property values also varies according to the type of property and the distance from it. Chan notes that the prices of landed homes in the southern part of Shah Alam, including Taman Sri Muda, have appreciated by about 10% to 20% since end-2008 when it was announced that the highway will be partially opened in early 2009 at the Alam Impian interchange.

“Except for Alam Impian, there are limited large tracts of land available for development near the highway,” he says. “Also, upcoming developments will probably be positioned as niche high-end developments as opposed to ‘mass’ property developments, which are often associated with this locality,” he says.

New and ongoing developments in the vicinity of the highway include Pesona Kemuning, a residential project by AEH Capital (a subsidiary of APEX Equity Holding Bhd); Milano @ Kemuning (38 units of zero-lot bungalows by Jaya Upaya Corp Sdn Bhd); as well as Bayu Villas at Bukit Rimau.

Combination of factors
PA International’s Hong believes several factors have contributed to a rise in demand and property values in the areas with access to the LKSA.

“In addition to the prospects of a new highway offering better connectivity, other factors include the increasing demand for landed residential properties in the Klang Valley in general, and the broad-spectrum increase in values of such properties in the past few months,” he says.

“Generally, the LKSA is expected to boost demand for properties and positively impact property prices in the surrounding areas. However, the actual possible upside is dependent on many factors like property type, location, scheme, concept, developer and branding.”

According to PA International’s data, a 2-storey, 1,760 sq ft  terraced home in Alam Impian was going for RM306,900 in 2006.

Hong adds that industrial property values in Shah Alam will also rise in the immediate future thanks to the highway. With its direct link to the Federal and Kesas Highways, LKSA will reduce travel time and traffic congestion within the internal road network of the area.

Industrial land and properties within Shah Alam have thus become more appealing to investors considering their lower entry prices/costs in comparison with the more established industrial areas in Petaling Jaya. Current average values of industrial land in Shah Alam are around RM40 to RM60 psf depending on the location.

“Also, with the rapid redevelopment in PJ such as the proposed rezoning of Section 13 for commercial use, demand for industrial land and properties in Shah Alam is expected to increase as an alternative area for industrial activities considering its proximity to PJ, lower entry prices, improved accessibility and the availability of workers,” Hong says.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 811, June 21-27, 2010 


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