PRICES on the Kota Kinabalu secondary market are expected to continue rising, albeit at a slower pace, in the coming months.

“Prices are much too high at present while development is moving outwards. However, the influx of job seekers into Kota Kinabalu from other areas will sustain the market,” says Rahim & Co Sabah branch manager, Max Sylver Sintia, commenting on The Edge/Rahim & Co Housing Property Monitor 1Q2015.

Affordability is the main problem as wages are not keeping pace with property prices, he adds.

The KK property market grew both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year in 1Q2015 while the primary market saw more launches compared with 4Q2014, especially of landed residential developments.

However, developers and buyers have adopted a wait-and-see attitude and he expects this to last until the end of the second quarter.

Outskirts gaining interest

With the opening of Oceanus Waterfront Mall and Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu, Sintia expects the southern part of the city to turn into a commercial area. He notes that construction of the Sutera Avenue mixed-use project by Mah Sing Group Bhd has already begun.

Developments that have moved to the outskirts of KK include Palm Condominium by WSG Group. It will be the first high-rise project in Kinarut, which is about 20km to 25km away from the city.

Phase 1 of Palm Condominium was launched in 2013 and Phase 2, comprising 256 units, opened for sale in the middle of last year. With built-ups of 730 to 3,430 sq ft, they are priced from RM271 psf to RM492 psf. Their take-up so far is 75%.

Another development on the fringe of the city is Taman Rimba Phase 3 in Jalan Tuaran, Menggatal, by Wah Mie Group. The 171 two-storey terraced houses have a built-up of 1,498 sq ft and are priced at RM558,000. The project was launched last year and is 50% sold.

Coming up slightly off the city centre in Kobusak, Penampang, is D’Golden Gate Condominium by AJ Alliance Property Sdn Bhd. Launched at the end of last year, it offers 48 units at RM790,000 to RM1.8 million and is 50% sold.

The take-up of these developments shows that investors are still buying homes outside the city, Sintia says.