Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Marc Residence @ KLCC

Marc Residence entered the KLCC market around 2004/05, at about the same time as KL Parkview and Meritz. I think it totally changed the property landscape in the KLCC area which was dominated by older apartments such as Kudalari, Crown Regency, Sri Kia Peng, UBN Apartments, Hampshire etc... Marc was launched 2 years earlier at around RM600psf and when completed was transacting heavily at around RM1000psf. The timing is superb, at the very peak of the property boom. Subsequent entrants such as Idaman Residence, Hampshire Residence obviously stood to benefit but unfortunately entered at the wrong time. However, the benchmark has been set.

Having said that, today we have unusual times. Some KLCC owners have been trying to sell at below market price and we have seen units trading or trying to trade at RM800psf or below. How low will it go further, we don't know... but the fact is, most of these low value units are the less desirable units. Marc for example, have a lot of these.
Marc consists of 2 blocks which have a range of units from 493sf studios to more than 3000sf units. These units are facing Kirana serviced apartments, the Frasers Suite, One KL or the Glomac office construction site. The KLCC view has all been blocked by One KL but they are still the more desirable units. Obviously the worst are the ones facing Glomac. While they are currently facing the dilemma of noise from the Jalan P Ramlee entertainment outlets, the Glomac construction will add to their woes once the piling starts. Then, Glomac climbs up to 40 floors which means that these units will be completely blocked of any natural light considering that the distance between Glomac and Marc is very close. Hopefully, this means the Jalan P Ramlee noise will be blocked by the new Glomac tower.
Naturally, these are the worst units in Marc residence and they are trying to trade at below market price today. Those with other views are still stubbornly trading above RM1000psf or else the owners are not selling since they can be easily rented out for RM3000/month for the studios and up to RM8000/month for the 3 bedroom units. However, there are some very oddly shaped layouts being offered slightly below market. Oddly shaped... for example, they've got extremely small master bedrooms and the back room is unusually larger (I would consider the room with the best view and attached bathroom as the master bedroom). I wonder what is going on in the minds of the architects.
I have taken on a keen interests in the 2 bedroom units in Marc and recently been shopping around. But unfortunately, those being offered for below market price currently are those non desirable units facing Glomac and of course those odd layout units. This goes to show that in property investment, it is not just location, location, location... It's also Layout and View! So, I would revise this oft-spoken slogan in property investments to be Location, Location, Layout, View! The 4 most important criteria. For example, you don't want to have a non-functional layout as described and also no bad views such as noisy places, septic tank, grave yard, electric pylon and highways!
Facilities-wise, Marc is probably the best in this area for a mixed development of small, big and commercial units. The density ensures that the facilities and utilities are well-used. There are 2 large swimming pools, one of them is probably the largest in the KLCC area. There is a "hanging jacuzzi" which hangs off the front porch of the building. The gym is well equipped, so is the library and playroom, a well-stocked tuck shop and tennis court. No other apartments in this area can boast of such facilities. There are 2 large lobbies, one for each block and the fittings are luxurious in line with the status of Marc Residence. But of course, with these comes the cost... the maintenance fee per month is RM0.65psf, which means that for a 2 bedroom 867sf unit, it's RM563.55 per month!!
The high maintenance is also due to fact that this is a commercial titled property. My experience with such properties have been a mix of good and bad. The bad of course you are paying commercial rates for everything from TNB to Indah Water rates. Your maintenance fee obviously reflect the commercial status as well. Next door to Marc Residence is the Ascott Kirana serviced apartment. The Ascott group has been doing particularly well here and also at the sister property at Somerset. So, Ascott has also taken some units in Marc. The association with the Ascott group has done well for the associated buildings in KL. Strangely, Suasana Sentral at KL Sentral terminated their association with Ascott and it seems they are going down to worse in terms of value.

I appear to have lost the pictures I took at Marc Residence, so will try to find them and post them in here.


Anonymous said...

finally. been waiting for this piece of write up :)
hopefully you will find your pics soon.

Aki said...

It is difficult to tell what will happen in future. I remember that the time Marc was copleted, it was surrounded by a car park (Hong Leong side), low rise shop units and bollywood bar (P. Ramlee side), triangle space middle of junction (now One KL site), and Kirana. Now become like this, all surounded by walls to walls. Is this HK or Tokyo concept?

Marc remind me that if I buy condo unit, be careful about future projects near by, although complete forever avoidance of losing initial view is impossible.

sinleong said...

well that's part and parcle of city center living... just be extra wary about empty plot of lands beside the property