Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mutiara Villa

picture above: View from Block B, Type G

picture above: Type G at Block B is a corner unit, with a rounded window in the Master Bedroom

Picture above: Type G in Block B has a 2nd bedroom which is quite big in size and has it's own attached bathroom
Picture above: The living room and kitchen is rather narrow. This bar will need to be demolished.

There is no doubt that the rental demand is very strong for lower cost city center condominiums. By lower cost, I mean:

  • Less than RM2000 for studios or 1 bedrooms
  • Less than RM3000 for 2bedroom units or bigger

And by city center, I don't mean Sri Hartamas, Bangsar or Mont Kiara....

With the success of the "low cost" condominiums, I have been looking for more units in Mutiara Villa to invest in. Mutiara Villa, situated at the corner of Tengkat Tong Shin and Jalan Sahabat is at the foot of Bukit Ceylon. This means, just walking distance to most commercial and shopping centers in KL.

I am not too surprised that the available units for sale now are asking 30% higher than last year's price. For example, a 2 bedroom unit was auctioned from RM240k last year and finally sold at RM280k. This year, the minimum asking price for a 2 bedroom unit is RM340k. However, this makes it harder to justify because rent has not increased a great deal. take a 1 bedroom unit for example, the rental 2 years ago is in the range RM1200 to RM1500. This year, I have seen units rented out for RM1800. Perhaps the owners have done some renovations and bought new furnishings.

Also due to it's location, Mutiara Villa has in the past few years been dogged by security issues. It is so easy for people to just walk in and there are all sorts of people in this part of Bukit Bintang. Many residents tell me that the crime are mostly committed from within. This is quite possible. An agent who started operating in this building has been making quick rentals by renting to immigrant workers. As many owners live outstation or overseas entrusts their keys to this agent, they are not aware about what's going on except for receiving rental money monthly in their bank account. Some of these units have 10 and even 15 occupants! They made their presence felt by gathering in the lobby and swimming pool deck, sometimes creating a nuisance.

Why then am I still interested in Mutiara Villa?

Well, first of all, it's location, location and ... location. Secondly, there is a ray of hope now that a new management company has taken over. Security gantries and a key card system is being introduced. I understand that owners will soon be forced to register their tenants and only a limited number of keycards will be issued for each units to prevent them from being turned into dormitories. If serious action is taken, I am confident that Mutiara Villa can return to its former glory.

picture above: Type F Block A's view
Mutiara Villa consists of 2 blocks with about 270 units of studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms and some 3 bedroom apartments. The 1 bedroom units here are particularly popular especially those in Block A facing KLCC. Other popular units are those facing the swimming pool. Of course, being more than 10 years old, it looks really tired but there are now some attempts to refurbish the common areas. Common facilities include a swimming pool, jacuzzi, barbecue pit and a sauna that doesn't work.


Anonymous said...

nice review. I always check your blog every week or so, just to see whether you wrote anything new. /eurobill

elmo said...

hi, i am new here. and i am not local.

i am also interested in investing in properties there. just a newbie question. is it difficult to rent out your property in say bk ceylon area?


sinleong said...

bukit ceylon is one of the more sought after areas in KL. it is about 1km from KLCC and mainly serves the tenants working in the raja chulan and bukit bintang business areas. however, not all my tenants here are working in this area. i have one working as far as nilai but he chose to stay here so he won't get bored at night and there is plenty of food choices. so, to answer your question, yes it is in demand but it also depends a lot how you position your property. if you are going for the high end sector, i.e. above RM5.00 psf you must be prepared to spend on the interior and fight it out in competition with the KLCC area. if you are going for the below RM3psf sector, no problems now... plenty of tenants