REALLY? PROPERTY OWNERS GETTING MRT WINDFALL, DEVELOPERS SAY

KUALA LUMPUR – Implementation of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line (SBK MRT ) is like a windfall for property owners with the value of property in the area going up by 10 to 30 per cent.

Property developer Datuk Seri Lim Keng Cheng, told Bernama that the MRT project had given a drastic effect on the value of property, especially those located within a kilometre radius of the MRT stations.

“The value of property in the area can increase up to 30 per cent,” he added.

He said the MRT project gave investors the edge and room to carry out big projects, such as transit oriented development projects that would provide facilities for the public to use the service.

The first phase of the SBK MRT Line, developed by Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp), involving the route between Sungai Buloh and Semantan, covering 21km and 12 stations, began operation last Dec 16.

The SBK MRT  project between Sungai Buloh and Kajang, costing RM23 billion and stretching 51 kilometres, as well as involving 31 stations, is expected to be fully operational in July next year.

An observation by Bernama at the site found that although work at phase II of the SBK MRT for the Semantan-Kajang route is in progress and scheduled to be completed in July next year, other development works are also in progress in the area.

Lim said an integrated development project, involving the construction of a hotel, a 1,500 unit apartment and shopping centre, was being carried in Cheras by his company.

The project, when completed, would be linked to the Taman Mutiara MRT station, which will be built under phase II of the SBK MRT, he added.

“Although the price of the housing units is between RM500,000 and RM1 million, all the houses have been sold, indicating that there is still high demand from buyers,” he said.

A manager of a property portal, ‘PropertyGuru’, Sheldon Fernandez (he) said the price index of property on his portal showed the value of property in the vicinity of the MRT line had increased by more than 10 per cent since last year.

“If you look at Glomac Damansara Residences, the average transaction price has appreciated this year by seven to 10 per cent compared to 2015. This is despite the property market slowdown.

“Elsewhere, The Plaza Condominium at Taman Tun Dr Ismail has seen appreciation slightly above 10 percent between this year and 2015.

“Properties that are between two stations (two MRT or an MRT and LRT/ Komuter stops) may have greater appreciation than others as people want connectivity. So the integrated connectivity factor is also something to consider, not just the MRT line itself,” he said.

Fernandes said the situation gave way to growth in the rental market, which is an alternative for property owners.

Meanwhile, Coordinator of the Town and Regional Planning Department at Universiti Malaya, Dr Nikmatul Adha Nordin said areas where the price of property is expected to go up drastically are Kota Damansara, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Sungai Buloh.

“Based on experience in LRT development, the value of property in areas near stations will increase by 15 to 20 per cent… this situation will attract bigger market, hence will stimulate commercial activities and open more employment opportunities,” she added.

However, she expressed concern that the increase in property value would result in higher rental, hence would adversely affect the medium and low income earners in looking for affordable houses to rent.

A survey by Bernama at several housing areas within the vicinity of the SBK MRT stations found residents complaining of increase in price and rental of houses since the MRT started operation.

A resident at Kondominium Pelangi Damansara, Zaitun Mohamad, 37, said she was glad to have bought the unit in 2008 as the price was very much lower than.

“I bought this house for only RM127,000. Now, since the MRT begins operation, the price has gone up to RM320,000 and above,” said the nasi lemak seller when met by Bernama.

Bus driver Abang Ismail Ahmad Ibrahim, 32, who is renting a house in Kampung Paya Jaras in Sungai Buloh, said the rental of houses in areas near the MRT stations had increased.

“In 2006, the rental was only RM380, then it went up and now it has gone up to RM780, and that is for a house with one bedroom and a toilet,” said the Sarawakian who had been residing in the peninsula since 1998.

MRT is part of the Economic Transformation Project (ETP) to improve the public transport system in integration with three other rail systems, the LRT, KTM Komuter and KL Monorel.

— Bernama

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