Monday, August 13, 2012

Empire Damansara

Developer Mammoth of Empire Subang fame is completing their next Empire series at Damansara Perdana. This is due for vacant possession later this year. 

The Empire Damansara is a commercial/residential project located right next to the PJ Trade Center which is a wonderful building beside the LDP as you're going up towards Kepong.

The PJ Trade Center is quite a popular spot for wedding couples photographs to give people the impression that they are in some European destination... because the kind of architecture is very different to those you find in Malaysia. 

Empire Damansara's claim to fame will be their location next to PJ Trade Center. It was launched around 2010, peddling hundreds of units of 333sf Studios and 445sf unit duplex SOHOs (700+sf if include the mezzanine). Back then, the studios were being sold around RM130k to RM150k, now just before VP, they are going into the sub-sale market around RM250k to RM260k. Not sure if there are any takers even as some punters are trying their luck at RM300k and above.

Perhaps the most interesting part about the studios is the layout of the floor which looks like a fan (below). Other than that, there isn't much to this as the units are just... well... a studio... rectangle box with bathroom and a kitchen sink... 

A lot of this kind of properties are flooding the market. I am not sure if there is any demand from young urban professionals, who is the target market for this kind of accommodation. But certainly, these make an easy target for investors who want a low entry point with high appreciation. What happens after that, I am not so sure. 

Perhaps, my greatest reservation is, there is no real public transport to this area which goes against the concept of Studio/SOHO living professed here. And no car park is provided - it has to be rented from the management on top of the monthly maintenance fees. So one argues that most modern young professionals will not own cars but where is the public transport??

The SOHO units are quite similar to the Empire Subang in that they have a mezzanine. This time, Mammoth arranged the units in shapes of L. Great for those who got the "outer-L". They have bigger windows for more day-light and more window space to display their business. The only incentive for the inner-L owners is the lower investment on curtains. 

At launch in 2010, the SOHOs were going at around RM300k. Now, they are in sub-sale for over RM450k... that's like almost RM1000k psf for this leasehold suburb!

I like the location next to the PJ Trade Center, though lease-hold, but this looks to me like an investor trap. Much like Mah Sing and Mayland churn of small studio boxes. There is little thought of where these will end up in the future. i.e. I am quite happy to buy one with a RM5k booking fee and then when completed try to flog it off to someone else for a RM100k profit. The guy who buys it from me has the same plan that is to try and sell it a few years later for a profit and meantime he tries to rent it out to someone who just needs a shoe box to sleep in. 

Perhaps the main thing that differentiates the Empire Damansara is the the overall development of the area which includes office complexes, chic and fashionable retail and entertainment outlets. Besides the 39 floors Empire Studio with 640 units, there are 2 SOHO blocks of 24 and 27 stories each with total 700 units, a 12 floor office tower, residential Empire Residences 277 units and 29 units of shophouses. 

The architecture is also very interesting, modern and appealing to the young and trendy. This may well be a hang out place in the future. Much like how we would definitely like to own a small pad above Bangsar Telawi or Changkat Ceylon, I think many of the future or current young and trendy would like the same here. Certainly, this will be a boost to the area. 

Now, Mammoth is launching another one called Empire City just across the LDP highway. 


Anonymous said...

The only freehold in around this area is mutiara damansara but it's nested within Kota damansara etc which is all leasehold
U can say the price psf here is similar or comparable to KLcc due to the proximity to bandar utama,Sri hartamas, and KL is just after the pencala link
In fact desa parkcity is further away after the toll and the hype is because again it's near To each other and there is always claim there is no more land unless they cull the hills or forest reserve there
Some developer go further into sungai buloh Into areas like desa coalfields which is neither near nor far from pj which previously was nothing put a center for leprosy and a jail was build there
There's also an odd village call kampung pencala in between all the gold mines .it use to be a jungle
With the rubber research institute land now up for grab a lot of interest on this land . I m not surprise if later the developer a jv between epf and dijaya priced it at rm 1k psf since now they planning LRT and other things
Well I m not promoting this area although I bought a house at mutiara damansara the only peice of freehold land here. And glomac recently launch a condo here at rm 700 to 800 psf .. So one must wonder if this is the new golden triangle as what u observed a 300sf studio now is more than 1000psf and this is even smaller compare to hong kong ! Haha

Anonymous said...

Well but nowadays ppl have to live in shoebox or pigeonholes If they hope to live near their workplace
This is the developer game now
Build smaller so it would seem affordable
As rm 300k studio monthly the bank loan repayment only maybe around rm 1.5k .. So any Tom dick or Harry who earn rm 4.5k a month can afford the 1/3 debt burden rule imposed by bnm
As the more expensive it's harder to get loan especially 3rd prop onwards
The winners will in the end be the developer, the banks who make interest, the gov who earn tax, the insurance company who insured ur home from fire or tpd, and the intermediaries such as real estate agents, lawyers, and valuers who all charge high fees !

Anonymous said...

Is funny when u see the younger generation starts to think about their future & all this inflated real estate prices which doesn't match their income, lifestyle or aspiration.

What will they do?
A) Simply give up & move away from these so call "prime area" to look for a real home
B) Work extra hard, sacrificing & take higher risk...hoping that they can meet payments
C) Waiting for the next investor to bail them out at higher price because they believe that all "asset" appreciates

Anonymous said...

They have no future under this government which is based upon corruption

Anonymous said...

Well in future perhaps car park needs to be bought and not included
Like in hong kong a car park can cost rm half a million or more depends on the area
So it's dangerous that developer start to not provide car park
Unlike Hong kong which the public transport is superb such that they don't really need to drive but if Msia without car park would be unimaginable - perhaps they may park along the road side ?under the present regime , the government encourage low skilled migrants such as from indo and myanmar or Pakistan to come . These group contribute nothing but maybe once they lose their jobs will then proceed to do Break ins and other "jobs" ..
Stealing cars, cars component , kidnapping , murder and rape is common in Msia so really there's another issue with safety for female especially

Anonymous said...

Because this are shoeboxes it's excellent for flipping
But since now it has doubled do u think the next buyer can flip
Also mahsing have another launch at PJ named icon ,it's right beside the federal highway opposite the factories
Is it worth to buy with strategy to flip later ?

sinleong said...

The icon city in PJ is a very expensive project. the price rivals KL but the location is low class and traffic jam is horrendous. There is no planned LRT or MRT there. I think the icon city will fail

Anonymous said...

Well it's opposite western digital factory
As with any mah sing project , they claimed 70% of the units is sold ..
Could be another trick of the trade by putting up the stickers and say it's "sold" more ppl will join in to buy
Anyway the "icon" series by mah sing u r right it's expensive
It's unlike the "m-city" , icon city is more higher end ..

Anonymous said...

Mah sing also have another icon city project at near Jln duta
I went there it's strategic as near duta near Solaris
But there is high tension wire nearby so I didn't buy
It seems they rolling out so many projects
It's almost like so easy to make monies this days if u r developer

Anonymous said...

Sin Leong
Perhaps u shld explore how to be property developer
The process and steps
I m sure sp setia or mahsing was a small little developer before ,,they become billion dollar company and their owner become so rich
Mah sing don't keep much land
Their concept is buy build and sell Fast

Villa in Dubai said...

Empire Damansara's claim to fame will be their location next to PJ Trade Center.