Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Studio In The City

When I bought my first apartment in the city center of Kuala Lumpur back in 1998, I paid RM145,000. It was bigger than the usual studio unit, it was 580sf and there was actually a bedroom separated from the kitchen and living room. Back then, I was able to rent it out for RM1,500/month. This was 1998.

Now prices have steadily moved upwards and now we are approaching RM1 million for something as small as a 500sf studio apartment. Developers justify this by making it look luxurious, throwing in furniture which from my experience is usually mass produced and hence, low quality. I don't pretend that prices are still the same as 1998 but I don't think prices would have floated more than 1000% above what we used to pay in 1998. So, by throwing in furnishing which I don't believe are worth more than RM50k and making the building posh, developers are now justifying their studio units at RM1 million.


Tribeca is a project by the Low Yat group, their projects are rare to come by. The location is quite good although with a notorious address of Jalan Imbi. It is right behind Starhill complex, opposite the Ritz Carlton hotel and Dorsett Regency. Details are scarce right now as they are preparing for a launch in September this year. The apartment consists of almost 300 units from 500sf to 1000sf each. The damage starts from RM950k....

Tribeca will have 2 infinity swimming pools and some common areas scattered over the building which they call Sky Pods. They claim this Sky Pod concept is the first in Malaysia but obviously they have not been to Verticas Residensi which came up with this concept earlier and in fact is now nearing completion.

For more details to justify this RM1 million tag, we just have to wait and see...

Mayland's Project Beside Dorsett Regency

Just directly opposite the Tribeca site, developer Mayland is going to build a serviced apartment beside their Dorsett Regency hotel. Currently there is no name and I was at first told, the price starts from RM1.1million. So my first impression is, these guys are going to present 2 or 3-bedroom apartments so I smartly commented that they should instead focus on smaller and affordable units as the luxurious studio market is kinda saturated at the moment and I doubt there will be many rich Malaysians or foreigners putting so much money in Malaysia when for RM1 million, they can also buy a studio apartment in Singapore. But lo and behold, it turns out the price tag is in fact for a 680sf studio!

Again, let's see what they have when it is eventually launched in December 2012.

Serviced Apartment at Jalan Raja Chulan

I blogged about this still nameless project some months ago. I was told the launch will be any time now when the show room is ready and they anticipate the price to be around RM1500psf. There will be 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom as well as 3-bedroom units. The smallest unit will be about 500sf, but expect smaller units to be more expensive per square feet - so it will be expected to be close to a million too. Nothing much else is known about this project... 


Not quite a million dollars but not exactly million dollar address. This project by PJD takes after the "successful" Swiss Garden Residences at Jalan Pudu. But the location is at the other end of Jalan Pudu, at the junction of Jalan Brunei which is quite a rough area. It is not quite CBD but close enough and close to the Jalan Pudu hawker street. They have 135 units of various types starting from 688sf studios. The design is somewhat similar to Mayland's Dorsett Place which has windowless living room/kitchen separated from the bedroom. I don't quite like this. They are pricing this from RM700k.


For those who can't wait too long (and can't pay too much), Mayland's Regalia is going to hand over keys this Autumn. There are still some choice studio units facing the pool priced around RM300k-RM400k in their Melrose Tower. But expect high density from Mayland - this one has 1,100 units. It's close to the LRT station and also the refurbished Sunway Mall but it's also in a rough part of KL...

One @ Bukit Ceylon

UOA's One @ Bukit Ceylon is in full swing of construction opposite Somerset Seri Bukit Ceylon. Suddenly, their 400-odd sf studios with 6% Guaranteed Rental Return at RM600k seems like a bargain!


Anonymous said...

Regalia is still a very good investment contributed by it's strategic location ; 3 minutes walk to Putra Monorail station, nearby many colleges such as open universtiy, KL university,and other, HQs with ton of executives such as Sime Darby,CIMB,Alliance Bank, UOB bank and etc.

While Sunway Putra Mall is old but dont forget Regalia is only about 1.3km away from the Sogo departmenal store.

NNot only that they are offering 10% rebate, free legal fees for SPA and loan agreement now. with only booking fees of RM5000 you be assured that to receive the key in 3 months time

With the price starting from around RM650psf comapared with the rest of service apartments in KL that over RM1000psf, it's still relatively very affordable.

I dont see why the buyers are hestitaing for the enquiries.


Anonymous said...

nice update, it has been a while

one question for you, Sin Leong

will you buy anything from primary market today? if yes what type of product, landed gng, normal landed, or apt condo?

or look for value buy in subsales

sinleong said...

depends on the price... but i think we might find more value in subsales these days. primary market is so speculative and packaged in a way that it encourages speculation

Rachael said...

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apex property investment said...

Hi SinLeong,

your notes have always been insightful. I'm looking for a unit to invest probably a 2 bedroom for investment and future own stay in this area. I have checked out a few projects, somerset, bidara, even angkasa impian, what is the best project to invest in now? J

alan Imbi was also floated to me as a possible area of growth but I haven't look into Jalan Imbi, preferring to stay around ceylon hill area for the greenery.

If buying, what psf would be a good entry point? Let me know your thoughts.

sinleong said...

price really depends on your budget... i think for 2br in the city center, you're looking at anything between RM550psf (Mutiara Villa or City Gardens) to well over RM1000psf... I dont know any nice properties in Jalan Imbi except for Furama or Times Sq (if u consider that nice)... There is another one called Bougainvilla which you shud avoid unless you intend to keep a mistress there

apex property investment said...

Has Mutiara Villa's management got better? I still received comments that there is bad management, hence hesistation to view the property?

Besides Somerset which has a good management, the price now is approaching RM950psf, One Residency RM1000psf, any others to recommend? Budget less than RM700,000 still possible to get something with 2 BR?

Kelvin said...

Nic sharing! I just happen to come here and I'm all attracted. Good job, Mr. Sin Leong! I'm a young professional who just started my life in kl. I'm fortunate enough to buy my first property through (still in process...) to kick start my journey in property investment. I'm very much agreed with you that new launching nowadays is full of speculation and most of them are simply nicely packaged, just my two cents. It looks so "bubble" to me. Will you organize any meeting or gathering for your investment fans? If yes, I will definitely love to join.


Kelvin said...

Through subsale, I meant.

sinleong said...

yes, i think i saw in the ads this morning someone trying to sell a br unit in bidara for 700k...

apex property investment said...

Hi kelvin, congratulations to your new purchase.

Hi sinleong, seeing your comments on bidara earlier, price aside, is bidara a worthwhile investment? Good management? I was informed occupancy rate of 95% is this the case? This is a Singaporean company investment right? I checked also, the 2 br units seems very small. Just overt 700 sqf to 800 plus. A bit small for me as I would love to enjoy space for own stay.

sinleong said...

for investment, sure. but as you are buying for own stay and need more space, you might want to look for something older like Menara bukit ceylon or city gardens for that budget.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sin Leong,

TQ for such insightful info. I just view a 3br unit in bidara 900+ sf going for 580k. Corner unit and facing istana pool. What is the rental like ?Is it a good buy?


Anonymous said...

I think the only true enclave for the expat is mont kiara and KLcc or Jalan ampang as rest of it which developer trying to promote t like imbi Bukit bintang pudu even bkt ceylon are all are gangsters area.. No expat will dare walk here at night let alone pay rm 1500 psf

Wen Khai said...

Hi Sin Leong,

I came across to your blog when I was researching around online. Thanks a lot for all your sharing they are all very interesting!

Currently I'm looking to invest in Bukit Ceylon with a budget about 500k-600k. Out of Downtown condominium, Bidara and Mutiara Villa which would you pick? I personally like Downtown due to its low density, but I am worried about the unblocked view facing the car park will be taken for development in the future.


Anonymous said...

Those who live in the city face one problem.. Lack of security with many thugs , gangsters and now popular vice activity.. Many condo has turned into prostituition dens more or less like Kowloon redlight district. Tenants will be those pimps who store the china dolls there.
I'd really think 20x before paying for this sort of place.
At night when ppl gone home from work places like imbi pudu bkt bintang is like ghost town full of creepy looking beggers or drug addicts walking and roaming freely like zombies .. Go take a tour there u will know what I mean hahaha

Anonymous said...

The joke here is that instead of financial district now and most likely it will be KLRLD . KL red light district

sinleong said...

Wen Khai, u r right. Sooner or later that car park will be a building blocking your views. This happens in KL or any other big city - you wont have your views forever. I remember a friend who bought a condo in Orchard road boasted great views until a few years later, his view got blocked by another building just a few meters away. Even I heard, Seri Bukit Ceylon will not be spared. the KLCC view will be blocked when Menara PMI is sold and the new owner will tear it down to build a tall skyscraper...most probably a hotel. If you want unblocked views for that budget, consider Mutiara Villa Block A, Type A or F.... if you can find a seller that is...

sinleong said...

Amateur, the most you will get RM3500 for that 2br unit. But that will be tough. Bidara will not give you a car park and the building is old now...

john said...

Hi Sin Leong,

The Manhattan KL @Raja Chulan is launching soon. What is your view?

1) Units below 19 level and below will be fully furnished with GRR of 5% P.A for 2 yrs

2) Units from level 20 upwards unfurnished and no GRR

3) DIBS with free legal fees for both Loan and SPA agreement under panel lawyer and bank (OCBC, HSBC and MBB)

4) 5% rebate and some discount (Never specify what discount rate yet)

5) Booking fee RM20K.

6) Launching date not confirm yet but should be pretty soon.

Just sharing what I've got here and please note these information still pending confirmation.