City & Country/Auction: Interest in landed homes surges

Interest in landed properties up for auction in April and May continued to rise, maintaining the trend in March when the number of bidders shot up, say auctioneers. Demand seemed to have spilled over to even the “not-so-hot” areas.

Auction Data Sdn Bhd’s CEO Gary Chia says 6,689 properties were up for auction throughout the country in April, including 2,796 landed properties. In May, 5,779 properties were up for auction, of which 2,401 were landed homes.

“Any landed property in prime locations in the Klang Valley, such as Petaling Jaya, is snapped up. This is due to the attractive pricing [at auctions] of properties in prime locations and the high potential of future value appreciation,” Chia says.

Licensed auctioneer Zaarif Zainal of Tempurung Emas Sdn Bhd says demand is strong in the Klang Valley, especially in Subang and Kuala Lumpur.

Interest in landed properties in areas such as Bukit Beruntung and Bukit Sentosa in Rawang, he notes, has also picked up in the last couple of months following the prime minister’s announcement that the government will develop a new township in Sungai Buloh as another hub for the Klang Valley.

Demand for landed properties increased by at least 30% in April and May compared with the first quarter, Zaarif says.

There was also interest in areas such as Cheras, Bangi, Kajang and Hulu Langat, depending on the entry price.

“We are also seeing young executives beginning to come in. Instead of renting, they now prefer to own houses and are looking at the auction market because prices are lower than market prices,” Zaarif explains.

In some cases, auctions for landed homes, especially semi-detached houses, can attract up to 20 bidders.

Auction Data’s Chia notes that the recent increase in interest rates may have slightly impacted the auction market. He believes, however, that demand for landed homes will remain as long as investors see auction properties as an opportunity to build their property portfolio — to rent, to buy to refurbish and sell, or purchase as their first home.

City & Country monitored residential properties that were up for auction in April and May with a minimum reserve price of RM250,000.

Among others, a 2-storey end-lot terraced house in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, was sold at its reserve price of RM280,000 while a 7,609 sq ft 1-storey bungalow in SS1, Petaling Jaya, with a reserve price of RM585,000, was sold for RM805,000.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 813, July 5-11, 2010 

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