Growing Gombak

With the increasing affluence of its residents, Gombak is seeing demand for higher-end properties grow

The property landscape in Selangor's Gombak is slowly changing with demand rising for higher-end homes there. Gombak borders Kuala Lumpur to the southeast.

Already several semi-detached projects in the area have been warmly received. These developments include Mutiara Goodyear Development Bhd’s Taman Mutiara Gombak and Astana Gemilang by Ekar Makmur Jaya Sdn Bhd.

Metro Homes Sdn Bhd director See Kok Loong said there now seems to be a demand for mid- to high-end properties from the residents living there. “The preference in the past had always been for small terraced homes as residents in the area are not all well to do. But the residents here have stronger purchasing power now, so they are looking to upgrade to something more comfortable,” he told PropertyPlus.

According to See, land prices there average from RM60 to RM80 psf. He added that developers coming into this mature area would not only enjoy good infrastructure but also a strong population base, which would create a demand for new properties. “It would be difficult to start a high-end project in an area without an upgraders market readily available,” he said, adding that
Gombak is such a market.

“Developers looking at Gombak as a potential area for development will have to take into consideration that most of the land available is in small pocket-sized tracts with easy access to the main roads, suitable for high-end niche projects,” he said.

However, he added that the hilly condition of the land as well as the numerous kampungs (villages) and squatter homes in the area might deter developers, particularly inexperienced ones, to start residential projects there despite its proximity to Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. He
believes condominiums are not yet popular in Gombak.

According to the theSun/Metro Homes Gombak housing price monitor for the October 2007 to December 2007 period, a freehold 2-storey terraced house in Taman Greenwood with a lot size of 20ft by 75ft and a built-up of 1,600 sq ft was priced between RM250,000 and RM260,000.

Meanwhile, a leasehold 2-storey terraced house in Taman Pelangi Jaya with a lot size of 16ft by 65ft and a built-up of 1,200 sq ft was transacted between RM180,000 and RM200,000.

See noted that Taman Greenwood, Taman Rowther and Taman Bukit Permata are among the more popular developments in Gombak due to their strategic locations near the main access road of Jalan Gombak.

“Residents have good access to other parts of Kuala Lumpur such as Sentul as well as Setapak and Jalan Tun Razak via Jalan Setapak,” he explained.

He added that the price and rental rates of freehold and leasehold terraced houses in Gombak would remain one of the lowest among other areas close to the city centre such as Segambut and Sentul. “The price appreciation rate for properties there would average about 2% to 3% per annum, which is below the usual 5% in the neighbouring areas,” he offered, while rental yields are at 3%.

A freehold 2-storey terraced house in Taman Rowther with a lot size of 20ft by 70ft and built-up of 1,800 sq ft can be rented out for between RM1,000 and RM1,200 a month. In Taman Gemilang, a leasehold 2-storey terraced house with a lot size of 18ft by 65ft and built-up of 1,300 sq ft is tenanted for between RM700 and RM1,000 a month.

Meeting demand

Mutiara Goodyear banked on the lack of high-end properties in Gombak to launch its 32.7-acre freehold Taman Mutiara Gombak, comprising terraces, semi-dees and apartments, in October 2006.

To date, all units have been sold and are awaiting completion by the second to third quarter of this year. The group aims to launch terraced shop offices in the development this year.

Prices ranged from RM328,800 to RM360,000 for the terraces with built-ups of 1,961 sq ft onwards, while the semidees, with built-ups of between 2,977 sq ft and 4,719 sq ft, are priced from RM580,000 to more than RM1 million each. The development has a total gross development value (GDV) of RM190 million.

Its senior sales and marketing manager Irene Koh said, due to the shortage of higher-end developments in the area, the demand for such properties was evident when the group managed to sell more than 80% of the gated and guarded development within two weeks of its launch.
“People living [in Gombak] would be comfortable with the place and instead of moving elsewhere, would rather upgrade within the area,” she said.

She added that there is a scarcity of land in Gombak, most of which is Malay Reserve Land or individually owned small parcels. “Whoever is able to purchase land there would definitely go for high-end developments due to the size [of the land] and the demand for such properties,” she said.

Meanwhile, Astana Gemilang, another freehold semi-dee project in Gombak completed two years ago has also been sold out. It consists of 72 units with average built-ups of 3,200 sq ft with prices of RM700,000 onwards. Expect to hear more about properties in Gombak.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)