City&Country: Condo values holding up

The Klang Valley high-end condominium market, though improving, is quiet against the current enthusiasm over landed homes.

Real estate agents and negotiators contacted by City & Country say high-end condo secondary transactions remain slow despite the improving economy.

However, while there may be fewer prospective investors, sellers are not dropping prices either. Rather, condo prices in some areas have gone up, albeit gradually, from 5% to as much as 15%, according to Chester Properties Hartamas head of project development and property David Lye.

“There are no more value buys in the prime areas,” Lye tells City & Country.

Starcity Property negotiator Brian Gerald, who specialises in Mont’Kiara and Petaling Jaya properties, says low expatriate numbers have left vacant many units in some areas. He notes that units in just completed projects in good locations are enjoying capital appreciation of 20% to 30%.

There may be little action seen on the ground, CB Richard Ellis (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd managing director Allan Soo told participants at The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2010 in April, but expatriates are returning to Malaysia although not all are willing to pay high rents.

Soo said there are now 9,444 high-end condos in Mont’Kiara and 5,671 in the Kuala Lumpur city centre. The supply will be expanded in a few years by another 3,853 units in Mont’Kiara and 4,769 in the KL city centre.

While Soo had expected a major drop in values during the downturn, such as those in Singapore and Hong Kong, it didn’t happen. “We experienced a mild drop but prices in places like Bangsar even went up. Mont’Kiara saw a minor drop, but prices at some projects are still relatively high,” Soo said.

In Kuala Lumpur’s affluent Bangsar, unfurnished units at One Menerung are now going for about RM950 psf.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 810, June 14-20, 2010

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