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Reena Kaur Bhatt zooms in on the lesser-known residential enclaves located north of the city centre. Area experts share why localities like Sentul and Setapak are slowly turning into desirable neighbourhoods.

Latest data from iPropertyiQ.com depicts homebuyers’ transaction trends, product performance, rental preferences and a brief overview of the KL North’s demographic. The areas covered in this analysis includes Setapak, Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Sentul, Titiwangsa, Segambut, Jalan Kuching & Jalan Ipoh.

Condominiums took the lion share of secondary residential property sales with 36% or 625 transactions. At 19.7% and 18.9%, apartments and flats came in second and third, respectively. Terrace homes trailed in fourth with 17.2% or 298 transactions.

Except for condominiums, the rest of the top performers recorded positive capital appreciation. Flats emerged as the most lucrative investment, providing homebuyers and investors with an annual capital gain of 12.6%. Apartments provided promising returns as well at 6.6% while terrace houses registered more moderate returns at 4%.

Rental activity, on the other hand, was studied based on the asking median rental (RM). The figures tabulated above were calculated based on the supply of properties being listed on the iProperty.com website. The resulting asking rental yield was obtained through the following formula – (Asking Rental Yield X 12 mths/ Median Price).

Rental yields were somewhat similar for all four products and ranged in the 4 percentile, albeit for flats which topped 6.4%.

The sale of high-rise properties dominated the top 5 most popular projects. The top two projects, Taman Melati and Teratai Mewah are in Setapak. Royal Domain Sri Putramas 2, on the other hand is a condominium located along one of KL’s main trunk road, Jalan Kuching, thus generating a higher median per sq ft price of RM460.

Other projects recording higher than average median prices include Taman Sri Sinar (RM502) in Segambut, which is located a mere few kilometres away from the affluent neighbourhood of Mont’ Kiara. The neighbourhood is also just 10 minutes away from the Jalan Duta Toll Plaza.

Titiwangsa Sentral Condo (RM594) on the other hand is strategically sandwiched in between various commercial components and amenities. Localities located within a 500m radius include the Sentosa KPJ Hospital, Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Vistana Hotel, Grand Seasons Hotel and the Titiwangsa LRT and Monorail Stations.

Whereas the highest priced project at RM663, The Capers is a newlycompleted luxury condominium in Sentul Raya, a commercial hub located in the heart of Sentul East. The developer, YTL Corp is building the Sentul Skywalk, an elevated pedestrian walkway for easy linkage to the nearby LRT and KTM stations, which further boosts the property’s value.

What do the realtors say?

Opportunities abound in KL North

Condominiums have always been the preferred product in residential neighbourhoods within KL North. In the recent few years, following Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s tightening of credit lending requirements, many developers with high-rise projects in the area were offering great promotions and easy ownership schemes to draw in purchasers. Also, at a time where house prices are escalating faster than median incomes, high-rise units including condominiums, apartments and flats pose a lower entry point to homeseeking urbanites.

Even for those who can afford it, not many are willing to purchase highend products like bungalows as there are quite a few reasonably-priced residential options in KL North that offer the complete package to those looking for comfortable city living experience.

For instance, the under-construction integrated development SkyArena in Setapak which features Ascenda, Bennington and Curvo Residences will offer its residents a dizzying array of ‘club-house’ facilities and amenities. These residences will be complemented by a hotel, and shops and cafes as well as a full-fledged sports complex located just across the development. Surrounding malls include Setapak Central, Jaya Jusco, AEON Big and Wangsa Walk.

Recently completed and ongoing upgrading of transportation infrastructure further increases the appeal of KL North neighbourhoods. The newly opened Phase 2 of DutaSegambut Highway and DamansaraUlu Kelang Expressway (DUKE), as well as a flyover and a four-lane carriageway to and from the Setapak area is a welcome relief as these structures help alleviate the traffic congestion in Setapak, Wangsa Maju, Setiwangsa and Titiwangsa besides enhancing connectivity to KLCC.

Perhaps the most exciting facet of KL North’s future is that the area is currently undergoing a landscape upheaval. As detailed under the Kuala Lumpur 2020 Structure Plan, Wangsa Maju, Titiwangsa and Sentul have been identified as strategic redevelopment zones and are seeing progressive plans. Examples include urban renewal projects such as the River of Life Rejuvenation Project and the upgrading of the Titiwangsa Park. Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council (DBKL) is also promoting more intensive development along transit nodes, particularly along the PUTRA LRT line. These include:

• A comprehensive mixed development closely integrated with Titiwangsa LRT.

• The major district centre at Wangsa Maju shall be intensified and its connectivity to the LRT station will be strengthened.

• The redevelopment of Sentul market and provision of medium and high-cost housing and commercial components. All squatter areas around Sentul/Sentul Timur LRT stations are to be redeveloped as self-contained residential neighbourhoods.

A few developers have already begun building new shop lots along Jalan Sentul Pasar and new terrace link homes are popping up in the Sentul vicinity.

This development blueprint by DBKL has piqued the interest of many renowned developers to venture into the area. Upcoming developments include EkoTitiwangsa by EkoVest, Lakeville by Mah Sing and Skywawani I & II by SkyWorld, Maxim Citilights and One Maxim By Platinum Victory as well as Sentul Village and Sentul Point by UOA Group. Mah Sing Group Bhd will also develop a RM1.3 billion housing project, M Centura, fronting Jalan Sentul Pasar.

Aspiring homebuyers will want to consider Segambut as well. Located just next to Sentul, this area is at the receiving end of a few properties that offer exciting facilities, design concepts and price points. Some of the offerings include Scenaria Residences by UOA Group and The Era Duta North by JKG Land.

An overlooked residential hotspot no more

Those working in KL will not go wrong purchasing or renting a property in KL North, especially in the vicinity of Setapak and Wangsa Maju. The area’s biggest selling point will be its location - a mere 10km away from KLCC, these neighbourhoods are served by the Sultan Iskandar Highway (formerly Mahameru Highway), the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) and DUKE.

An added edge is the supporting rail network that connects directly to both KL Sentral and KLCC. With 5 LRT Stations in Setapak and Wangsa Maju itself, namely Taman Melati, Desa Setapak, Putra, Sri Rampai and Setiawangsa; it is no wonder that the properties in these two areas are popular among Gen-Ys, young working professionals and families. Commercial components such as the Festival City Mall, Wangsa Walk Mall and a newly-opened Giant Hypermarket located right beside the MRR2 adds shine to the locality.

The Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) further augments property demand in the neighbourhood; graduating students who work in the Klang Valley will continue renting in the area or upgrade to purchase a property of their own here. The numerous eateries, places of worship, primary and secondary schools makes it all the more appealing for young couples to settle down in the area.

There are various new projects here that are popular in demand among property purchasers, mainly because these properties offer a lower entry point despite being within a convenient distance to the city centre.

For instance, one of the promising developments in Wangsa Maju is The Quartz WM by Singapore-based developer, Beverly Group. The freehold township is offering affordable highrise residential units where prices for a 690 sq ft apartment starts from RM410,000 ranging up to RM640,000 for a 1,135 sq ft apartment.

Other notable developments include Parcel D7 @ Lakecity Danau Kota by Platinum Victory and Skyawani 3 by Skyworld Development Sdn Bhd.

Looking ahead the future MRT Line 2 which will introduce a few stations in the area; Jln Ipoh, Titiwangsa, Sentul West & Hospital KL is poised to enhance the livability and growth of KL North. First-time homebuyers and upgraders should look to explore properties in the surrounding area now – the significant value growth of these homes in a few years time is only inevitable.