Sunday, January 22, 2012
Pantai Panorama has a very good location - right in the middle between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. It used to be surrounded by squatter slums but this is now history. The slums are gone and being replaced by office complexes and condominiums, all more luxurious and pricey than Panorama. However, Panorama still lays claim to be the only freehold property in this enclave, now renamed Bangsar South - to borrow the fame from the more established neighbour. Just about 500m away, although downhill (and uphill...) is the Universiti LRT station, named Universiti because it is across the Federal Highway from University Malaya, the country's oldest university.
Panorama is perched on a huge rock on a the highest point in the Bukit Pantai area. This gives the condominium panoramic views (no pun intended here...) of Kuala Lumpur and the Petaling Jaya suburbs. Those who were lucky to get the coveted KLCC view may not enjoy this for long as taller buildings are coming up in the Bangsar South area to block it.
There are 5 towers, with 8 units per block and about 15 floors, this is no low density condo. Nevertheless, the land is huge but it appears like parking is still insufficient as there are many cars parked along the hill access to the condominium.
The 5 towers house 1 bedroom up to 2 bedroom units, the smallest at 750sf and the largest around 1400sf. Most owners converted the 2 bedroom units to 3 bedrooms. The layouts are pretty much the same, except for varying sizes of the balcony and the kitchen. The 1 bedroom units are wildly popular, fetching up to RM2200/month in rental. They were priced around RM180,000 more than 10 years ago but today in sub-sale, nothing less than RM360k. Most of the one bedroom units are located on any one of the 2 blocks on the highest point of the hill.
I am curious why almost all the sub-sale available today are in the 1st block closest to the guarded entrance. I should think this is the most popular block as it is close to the entrance and therefore only a short walk instead of a steep climb up the rocks. And it is also the only block which has a Receiving Yard - which means contractors and movers won't occupy the residential lifts when moving goods up and down. This block also enjoys the larger of the 2 swimming pools but the gym is somewhat old unlike the one on the hill which was recently refurbished but management charges a premium for use of the new gym.
From a slum, Bangsar South has since become a success story. Buyers of the Park Residences right next door enjoyed over 30% capital appreciation within months of VP.
You can see how close Panorama and Park Residences are below but Park by developer UOA is Leasehold. Such varying fortunes and Park, being new and fresh also enjoys higher rentals and prices.
Current valuation for Panorama is around RM400psf depending on the unit sizes, floor, the view and also any renovations that the owners have done to their units. This is still a bargain compared to all of the new launches right next door and around the KL/PJ area. The owners have also taken over the management and appears to be doing a good job to maintain the place.