With prime land in the Klang Valley almost fully taken up by existing projects and new developments, property developers have no choice but to shift their attention towards the fringes.
Rawang in north of Kuala Lumpur is one such place that is now a favourite spot for residential developments. It is evidenced by the number of big players who have set foot in the area in the last few years.
Big names include Bandaraya Development Sdn Bhd (BRDB), Guocoland (M) Bhd, Gamuda Land Sdn Bhd, Glomac Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, and Scientex Bhd. They are all in Rawang, taking advantage of its natural landscape.
“The natural beauty there is suitable for anyone who enjoys nature and wants to make Rawang their home,” said one of the property players.
A recent survey by NST Property found that many new developments are focused towards the area near the Rawang toll exit via the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE). Many of these townships are just half an hour’s drive away from Kuala Lumpur.
New townships like BRDB's Tamansari, Scientex Rawang and Guocoland’s Kota Emerald are located in that area while Gamuda Gardens by Gamuda Land is strategically planned further south.
Moving towards the old Jalan Kuala Lumpur and Tanjung Malim near Sungai Choh, there are a few commercial centres and Sungai Choh Auto City Industrial Park, which is yet to be occupied.
Residential projects by lesser-known developers in this area include Alamanda Parklands by Amalan Setar. The status of this project is unknown.
Integrated property developer M101 Sdn Bhd, the developer of M101 Bukit Bintang, M101 Dang Wangi and M101 Skywheel, said last year it was eyeing Rawang for potential land acquisition.
Chief executive officer Datuk Seth Yap said that the company was looking at building high-residential integrated developments.
IS RAWANG BUILDING UP?
Located about 35km north of Kuala Lumpur, Rawang was one of the earliest satellite towns, having been a thriving and important mining town in the early 19th century. It was also the first town to be supplied with electricity in British Malaya.
It started to develop slowly with new housing, commercial and industrial properties.
However, slow infrastructure developments was one problem and property buyers had no interest to buy properties there.
It was a slow process to sell new launches by property developers, despite all the marketing gimmicks they initiated.
“Nobody wanted to go to Rawang. It was too far from Kuala Lumpur City centre. There was also nothing exciting about Rawang except for the Templer’s Park.
“The situation has changed now. New roads and highways have been built over the years, providing easier access to and from Rawang.
“There are also more areas to shop,” said a property consultant.
Today, Rawang is a connected and bustling town. This also means, there is traffic congestion everywhere, especially in the town area.
Developers with projects there would have to look at ways to ease the traffic congestion if they want their projects to do well.
Rawang is already developing rapidly with the construction of new commercial and residential hubs.
With enhanced infrastructure, public amenities and connectivity from Sungai Buloh, Petaling Jaya and the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Rawang is developing in the right direction.
Townships with comprehensive master plans are expected to thrive in the current tough market. The rapid infrastructure developments such as mass rapid transit (MRT), light rapid transit and new proposed highways have encouraged developers to build residential projects further from the city.
Although there is no news yet that the MRT project will be extended to Rawang’s vicinity, residents in this area can still enjoy an easier commute to and from Kuala Lumpur through the Guthrie Corridor, North-South Expressway, the Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR) and recently completed scenic Rawang bypass.
BRDB SCALING UP IN RAWANG
Based on research firm CBRE-WTW’s Real Estate Market Outlook 2017 report, landed residential schemes within a township/master plan are generally gated and guarded with ample green areas.
Following this trend, BRDB is trying to make Tamansari, its first township in Rawang, as the desired residential choice by bringing quality homes, intelligent design and cosmopolitan living for their potential buyers.
According to its chief executive officer Kajendra Pathmanathan, Rawang will be the next desired address due to its connectivity and bustling development. This is proven by the existence of notable developers there.
“Rawang is going to be the next place to be in and Tamansari is going to be the residential area of choice. I would like to say that it is BRDB’s aspiration of making Rawang the next Bangsar, to move in that direction to bring what we have and what we are known for,” said Kajendra recently.
“Today Rawang is a bustling township. It is growing rapidly. Major establishments have arrived in Rawang. AEON Jusco is in Rawang... (there are) many financial institutions and new F&B (food and beverage) outlets continue to thrive in Rawang on a daily basis.
“The commercial, residential and industrial development in Rawang is growing at a rapid pace and is evidenced by the notable developers who make their presence felt in Rawang,” said Rajendra, adding that several international schools are also in the pipeline, along with the launch of essential amenities such as the KPJ Rawang Specialist Hospital.
Tamansari is a freehold, gated community with 24/7 integrated perimeter security for each separate phase and CCTV surveillance system. It comprises beautiful garden terraced homes, a lakeside commercial hub and artwork masterpieces placed in close proximity to living spaces.
“We believe Tamansari will appeal to house buyers as it is beautifully designed, competitively priced and strategically located,” said Kajendra.
He said the first two phases in Tamansari were bought by local Rawang residents, mainly young families and upgraders.
For only RM894,000, homebuyers can stay in a three-storey townhouse with built-up starting from 3,100 sq ft within a freehold gated-and-guarded community.
AFFORDABILITY, ACCESSIBILITY KEY FACTORS
SINCE the past 10 years or so, Rawang has been a favourite hotspot for affordable real estate compared to places like Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya where most landed houses in the secondary market can easily cost more than RM1 million.
Terraced houses are still priced between RM400,000 and RM600,000 in Rawang while there are rarely properties of such prices in the other parts of Klang Valley.
In terms of price appreciation, Rawang has also enjoyed significant growth due to the current infrastructure, public amenities and connectivity from Sungai Buloh, Petaling Jaya and the Kuala Lumpur city centre.
A two-storey linked house, which initially was priced RM100 to RM200 per square foot (psf), can now cost double. This is one of the reasons why investors are turning their head to Rawang.
Although there are a variety of new landed houses that are skewed towards the high-end luxury and boutique market, developers such as Scientex which had recently acquired 26,4ha land in Rawang is planning to build a mixed development project consisting of mainly of affordable housing.
Those looking for two-storey link, cluster, semi-detached and bungalows can look no further than Kota Emerald’s 404ha guarded township community that is made up of 2 precincts — namely Emerald East and Emerald West built by GuocoLand, a member of the Hong Leong group.
Kota emerald is furnished with a lake, scenic gardens, streetscapes with street furniture, tree-lined pedestrian walkways, a recreation park and children’s playground.
Plus, it has a clubhouse, a sports complex, a community hall and a kindergarten. There is also a nine-hole Golf Course at Emerald West.
When it comes to commercial and lifestyle malls, Anggun City, developed by Hong Bee Land, will complement the ever-growing Rawang population which already has the AEON Anggun Rawang since 2011.
Anggun City Rawang New Town is envisioned to be the new town centre of Rawang and will form an integral part of the Northern Gateway of Greater Kuala Lumpur once fully developed. This flourishing township sits on a 283ha site with several residential enclaves, such as Anggun 1, Anggun 2 and Anggun 3.
The opening of Rawang bypass has enabled nearby residents to reduce their travelling time to Kuala Lumpur Rawang and Serendah from two hours via the country’s tallest highway, which stands at 58.2 metres.
The 9km stretch of the toll-free highway with 2.7km high-rise bridge was constructed using the Movable Scaffolding System and cost RM628 million.