More Malaysians now living in posh areas

Many Malaysians are now occupying high-end condominiums and apartments in prime locations in the Klang Valley, including the KLCC and Mont Kiara areas, which were previously exclusive to mostly expatriates.

The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), which said it has been seeing a demographic shift in the past 10 years, said gone were the days when areas such as the KLCC and Mont Kiara were home to mostly expatriates.

“Previously, condominiums in the Klang Valley were mostly purchased by investors and rented out to expatriates.

“But in the last 10 years, we have been seeing a shift in this,” said MIEA deputy president Siva Shankar during the MIEA's 2013 Property Outlook last week.

He said in the past, many Malaysian families preferred to live on landed property.

But that has changed and many Malaysians are now end-users of condominiums in prime locations including the KLCC and Mont Kiara areas.

MIEA president Nixon Paul also said it was a misconception that expatriates were mostly concentrated within the city centre, especially in locations such as KLCC and Mont Kiara.

“Many expatriates today are choosing to live near the international schools.

“Previously, many of these schools were concentrated in the city but now there are a few in the outskirts.

“So we are actually seeing a lot of expatriates moving away from the city centre,” he said.

On the apartment and condominium, residential terraced/detached market in Penang, Raine & Horne Malaysia director Michael Geh said new launches in prime locations are being snapped up at the developer sale price.

He added that strong banking support for developer direct sales made this segment the “strongest moving segment.”

“The secondary condominium and apartment market are facing challenges due to loans offer at lower margins of 70%,” he said in a note at the same event last week.

He said that the commercial and shophouse segment in Penang also experienced strong take-up and steep capital appreciation this year, adding that there was also strong take-up for industrial land and facilities in Penang.

Geh added that asking and transacted prices of development land reached record high levels this year.

“However, newly imposed regulations and guidelines on development have hampered the planning and development process.

“But we believe that this will stabilise in 2013,” he said. - By EUGENE MAHALINGAM (The Star)

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