Kiara East

Kiara East on Jalan Ipoh

A project by SBC Corporation, Kiara East is an integrated development which spans some twenty acres of land on Jalan Ipoh. Consisting of a collection of condominium suites, villas, lofts as well as retail outlets and F&B establishments, this development is pretty much self-sufficient. As the KL traffic continues to worsen by the day, we do expect integrated developments like Kiara East to really take off especially when everything is indeed found in a self-contained enclave.

Kiara EastThe layout of Kiara East is designed where everything is accessible by foot (we would expect rather high GoodPlace Walkability Scores for this project). According to the contacts that we have within the developer, there is an emphasis on multi-generational living which means that there are amenities which appeal to both the young and the old.

The ‘Achilles heel’ of many integrated developments is that they tend to be rather claustrophobic with every inch of space being utilized to the fullest extent possible. However, that’s not the case with Kiara East. There’s ample of open spaces in the form of parks and lakes; in fact, there’s also a town square dubbed the “Marcadia”. Pretty nifty. Additionally, Kiara East is near the Metropolitan Park, which is only about 200m away. Still relatively unknown to most KL-lites, the park (which features a large lake, cycling and jogging tracks as well as an auditorium) is uncrowded at most times.

Dex Suites

The Dex suites are condominium-styled serviced suites which are built on a four acre land inside Kiara East. With 672 units spread over two towers, these are designer suites which come fully furnished (Tower A) and partly furnished (Tower B). Prices range from RM398,800 to RM1,038,800. These suites range from 481 to 1,420 square feet in size.

Dex suites, Kiara East

The exquisitely designed DEX Suites

There’s a swimming pool, sky lounge, gymnasium, breeze decks as well as value added services such as housekeeping and a laundrette. Safety is given priority with round-the-clock security with card access for tenants.

DEX 2, Kiara East

The Dex is expected to be completed in 2016.

Accessibility

Kiara East’s rather central location means that accessibility is good – it’s about 6 km from PWTC and only 2 km from the DUKE highway. Jalan Kuching is directly accessible. And if public transport is your thing, then you can hop on the train at the nearby Taman Wahyu KTM station. The nearest RapidKL station is at Sentral Timur which is about 3km away.

Being only five minutes away from Mont Kiara, tenants will also get to access what that enclave has got to offer: international schools (notably Garden International School and Mont Kiara International School) and the commercial areas (Solaris Dutamas, One Mont Kiara, Plaza Mont Kiara, Solaris Mont Kiara).

Here’s a very nicely done promotional video (probably taken from a helicopter for some really nice aerial views) showcasing the development’s central location and other selling points –

Interested in checking out Kiara East? Drop by its sales gallery (see this map below). Alternatively, call 03-6242 5688 or 016-216 2886.

Dex, Kiara East location map

IOI Resort City

IOI Resort City, Putrajaya

I was over at IOI Resort City down at Putrajaya earlier today at the invitation of Mr Lee from IOI Properties’ sales and marketing department. He is a reader of the GoodPlace blog and is on the GoodPlace Digest list, and has graciously invited me to go over for a short tour.

Mr Lee himself lives in Puteri Palma, a freehold condominium which is located inside the IOI Resort City (dogfooding at its best) – he is genuinely enthusiastic about the condominium which is not hard to understand – the property is located in the middle of a golf course, the air is crisp and the views are spectacular.

Puteri Palma

Puteri Palma condominium inside the IOI Resort City

Puteri Palma is a resort-style condominium previously developed and launched in three different phases. With some 608 units housed in some 12 blocks of high-and mid-rise towers, Puteri Palma’s low density factor (only 40 units per acre) may be surprising to some, but remember that it’s located in the middle of the 100-acre Palm Garden Golf Course. 🙂

Located in the middle of the green is a major selling factor for Puteri Palma. Some of the units also boast of the Putrajaya skyline which is really beautiful when the buildings and bridges get lit up at night.

The penthouses’ sizes range from 2,594 sq ft to 3,864 sq ft; the other regular units have built-ups from 1,216 sq ft to 1,797 sq ft. A cursory search at the local property portals returned a number of available units in the sub sale market around the RM450 – 650 PSF price range.

Puteri Palma has been fully sold except for its penthouses. If you’d like to consider these penthouses (or need help hunting for its other units in the sub sale market), then get in touch with us using the DealMatcher feature.

Puteri Palma has a sizable community of expatriates who work in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya (IT folks, oil & gas engineers, pilots, stewardesses, and even teachers from the nearby international schools) as well as Kuala Lumpur.

Puteri Palma condominium

Fancy living in a resort-style condominium inside a golf course? Puteri Palma may be the answer

The nearby Beverly Row is also reportedly popular with expats; these are some 37 bungalow lots which are only available for rent.

IOI Resort City is also the home of two hotels; namely the five-star Putrajaya Marriot and the four-star Palm Garden Hotel. The former has got 488 rooms while the latter is much smaller at 151 rooms.

Palm Garden HotelThese hotels have reportedly rather good occupancy rates (which is perhaps also why another hotel is in the offing – see the writeup on IOI City Mall below) especially when the F1 crowd is in town.

Connectivity-wise, IOI Resort City is accessible via these highways:-

  • South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE)
  • Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP)
  • Sungai Besi-Puchong Highway
  • Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway
  • Maju Expressway

IOI Resort City is also close to a good number of private schools, namely the Alice Smith School (in Equine Park), the Nexus International School (Putrajaya), the Australian International School (Seri Kembangan), ELC International School (Cyberjaya), Rafflesia International School (16 Sierra) and Tanarata International School (Kajang) as well as a score of universities and colleges (UPM in Bangi, UNITEN in Kajang, MMU, LimKokWing in Cyberjaya).

Upcoming Developments

The IOI Resort City is still work-in-progress; remember that we are talking about a piece of land which is some 788 acres in size1. Below is an overview of upcoming developments inside the resort: a mega mall, an integrated development and a uniquely shaped condominium inspired by the flow of a spindle. 🙂

IOI City Mall

This one’s a biggie. Expected to start operating by the end of 2014, the IOI City Mall is set to play host to three anchor tenants and some 350 specialty stores with its mammoth 2.2 million sq ft gross floor area. There will also be a five-star business hotel with 363 rooms occupying 21 floors as well as two office towers of 29 floors each. The latter are Green Building Index (GBI) certified, and feature 1.4 million sq ft of letting space in total. Other attractions include an ice skating rink and a 13-screen cinema (including two IMAX theatres).

IOI City Mall inside the IOI Resort City

I was initially skeptical if the size of the catchment area would support a large shopping mall (especially when its nearby malls such as Alamanda Putrajaya are not exactly roaring successes). However, with a good mix of retail tenants and availability of crowd pullers such as entertainment outlets (and watering holes!) it’s not hard to see that the idea will indeed fly.

Clio Residences

Personally, I do think that IOI’s designs (when it comes to condominiums) are more “functional” than adventurous2. Clio Residences seem to be a departure from the usual IOI design playbook. It’s rather out-of-the-box, “inspired by the flow of a spindle” facade is a sure to be a head turner. The “wavy” fins do remind me a lot of YTL’s Fennel in Sentul. 🙂

Clio Residences span across two acres of freehold land, with built-up area ranging from 853 sq ft to 1,388 sq ft. There will only be one tower, with nine units per floor. There will be 234 units in the offing, and its official launch is expected to take place in September 2014.

Clio’s unique design is perhaps a showcase of its builder’s tasteful aesthetics, but there’s also sufficient emphasis given on the functional side of things; for example, the curves and apertures have been designed to maximize natural lighting and ventilation. Additionally, the landscape elements are expressed through a series of circular motives, depicting the shape of water ripples which jives nicely with the overall conceptual design.

This self-sufficient development offers inner-city conveniences without the hustle and bustle of the city. For those who need to travel out, Clio is connected to the outside world by a network of highways including the SKVE, NSE, LDP, SILK and MEX highways. Quite convenient.

I’d personally be interested in Clio Residences because (1) the design’s rather innovative, (2) it’s going to be merely a stone’s throw away from IOI City Mall, and (3) I’m a sucker for freehold properties at good prices. 🙂

Connexion

The Connexion is an integrated project consisting of commercial developments and serviced apartments spreading well over 16 acres situated just next to the Clio Residences. The commercial component consists of retail outlets and offices; the retail shops range from 26’ x 70’ to 42’ x 80’ in size. The offices, on the other hand, are sized from 1,200 sq ft up to 4,220 sq ft.

The residential component consists of some 1,326 serviced apartments housed in four towers, with build up ranging from 750 to 1,200 sq ft. Additionally, there will also be nine levels of parking, providing some 3,200 covered bays for tenants and guests.

  1. For perspective, KLCC is about 100 acres.
  2. I know, because I am living in an IOI condo in Puchong. 🙂

Mont Kiara Property Primer

Mont Kiara

The posh enclave of Mont Kiara all started with the vision of one man — Datuk Alan Tong. Tong is the man behind the transformation of Mont Kiara, then called the estate of Segambut, from being a land filled with rubber estates to a luxurious address filled with high-end condominiums and classy apartments.

Mont Kiara is the premier address of residential towers, with its gigantic buildings lining up the sky majestically at night. The entire land area measures more than 450 acres, and its population as recorded back in 2010 exceeds 10,400. Its community is made up of mostly expatriates and affluent locals, all attracted to Mont Kiara’s classy vibe and the lavish lifestyle it provides.

Logo of Sunrise

Sunrise – the pioneer developer of Mont Kiara

Datuk Alan Tong is Malaysia’s “KL Condo King”—a title very well-honored, as he single handedly bought more than 100 acres of rubber estate because of a vision of pioneering a series of high-rise residential units all located in one luxury address—Mont Kiara. Not bad for a man who thought he would be happy if he could end up “designing some bungalows” upon his graduation from the University of Sydney in 1959 with a degree in architecture.

Tong’s vision became reality when he found Sunrise (now merged with UEM to form UEM Sunrise). The company then developed condominiums in the Mont Kiara vicinity in the 90s.

Early condominiums in Mont Kiara included Mont Kiara Palma, Mont Kiara Pines, Mont Kiara Sophia, Mont Kiara Astana, and Mont Kiara Pelangi. These are clustered along Jalan Kiara and Jalan Kiara 1, forming the “heart” of Mont Kiara as it is commonly identified now. As far as Walkability is concerned, these first batch of Mont Kiara condominiums are indeed top notch.

Sunrise also developed the venerable retail-office complex Plaza Mont Kiara – (once?) famous for its weekend flea markets and yearly jazz festivals, although it has shown some decline in the recent years. Rental rates for its offices have also been rather flat for some time now.

Plaza Mont Kiara

Plaza Mont Kiara is showing its age (12+ year old) despite some revamping done in the recent years

A string of top-class condominiums soon began to rise. In 1996, Tong left Sunrise and started his own company with his son. Bukit Kiara Properties (BKP) was formed, catering to the upper class market, with its five-star residential units such as Hijauan Kiara and the Verve Suites, also located within the vicinity of Mont Kiara.

However, the “new” generation of Mont Kiara condominiums seems to attract speculators on the prowl for flipping opportunities (employing strategies like what we have covered in our “how to flip properties” mini-guide). This has somewhat contributed to the fairly recent hike in property prices in Mont Kiara across the board.

Asia Quest is known as the “other” Mont Kiara developer, with a respectable roster consisting of Gateway Kiaramas (reviewed here), Vista Kiara, Lanai Kiara and the cluster of condominiums in the Kiaramas area in the east of Mont Kiara – Cendana, Ayuria and Sutera.

Mont Kiara Property Overview

Here’s a quick overview on how properties are doing in the Mont Kiara enclave. We look at Mont Kiara Palma, one of the earliest condominiums to be completed in the area. A common unit measures at 1,500 square feet, and it sold for RM300+ per square feet back in 2003. Fast forward to 2012, these units are selling at an estimated price of RM550 per square feet— about 80% increase for the last decade. Rental yield is about 6 to 6.5% as it currently stands.

Subsale prices are increasing for a sample of Mont Kiara condominiums

Subsale prices are increasing for a sample of Mont Kiara condominiums: Banyan, Sophia, Damai, Bayu, Palma.

Many other Mont Kiara properties also registered similar gains, although to a lesser degree.

Transacted prices for Mont Kiara Damai back in 2004 were slightly below RM500 per square feet, then jumped to RM650+ per square feet nearly eight years later, registering a rather “modest” 30% gain over the period. 10 Mont Kiara (also known more popularly as MK10), another Sunrise project, registered smaller capital gain of around 15% in three years.

However, it’s not completely hunky dory for Mont Kiara properties; the financial crisis in 2008-2009 had taken a toll on upmarket properties in areas such as KLCC and Mont Kiara. Sub-sale prices have been rather flat until 2011, while rental rates have been flat from 2010 (see the accompanying charts). However, rates and prices have been reportedly creeping up in the first half of 2013, and we here at GoodPlace.my are monitoring this closely. You’ll be the first to know about the changes if you sign up for the GoodPlace Digest (do it here).

Post the 2008-10 dip in the Mont Kiara property market, development of new condominiums are now back in full swing.

Mont Kiara RentalIn the spotlight are One Mont Kiara and Kiara 163, both situated at possibly the last remaining tracts of land at the super premium “heart” of Mont Kiara – on Jalan Kiara between Plaza Mont Kiara and Villa Mont Kiara.

The rumored “Sun Kiara” development on Jalan Kiara 5 – between Verve Suites and Casa Kiara 2 – remains just that – a rumour 1. Kiara 163’s 580+ serviced apartments will be serviced by the management of Swiss-BelHotel according to PropertyReviews.my 2, capitalizing on the current trend of branded luxury developments in Kuala Lumpur.

Sunway Vivaldi was completed in 2011 with rather large units (2,600 sq ft and above) with correspondingly large price tags (RM2.5+ million). Verve Suites on Jalan Kiara 5 – now in various stages of completion – seem to be another home run for Bukit Kiara Properties with median sub sale price tag breaching the RM1,000 psf price point – the level of KLCC condominiums.

It’s certainly a buyer’s market right now in Mont Kiara, and for that reason there are good deals to be had. There are, however, a large clutter of listings at online property portals which makes it difficult to look for legitimate units for rent or for sale. Check out our DealMatcher service (free) for a better way to search.

The Community in a Glance

Mont Kiara has definitely acknowledged its residents need for luxury, convenience, and comfort. Take a quick stroll around the vicinity and you’ll find yourself in the middle of hip and trendy shopping malls, upscale dining restaurants, cosy cafes, and other places of recreation. The rising number of expatriates living in the area has prompted international schools to make Mont Kiara their home, too—just look at Garden International School, and the Mont Kiara International School.

Get onboard the Mont Kiara fun ride!

Get onboard the Mont Kiara fun ride!

A fun and relaxed community spirit envelopes the Mont Kiara enclave. Community centres are built for residents to interact and hold activities to keep the community closer. Sunrise also organised the Sunrise Community Fun Ride—a shuttle to accommodate residents to go around top destinations such as Solaris Mont Kiara, Solaris Dutamas, and Plaza Mont Kiara, free of charge.

Occupancy Rates

Mont Kiara’s (low-ish) occupancy rates have always been a conscientious issue among buyers; we can verify from industry figures that the occupancy of Mont Kiara properties have indeed been on a downward slope. It used to be around 80% a couple of years ago, and has since reduced to around 65-70% in the recent months. This trend could be attributed to the following –

  1. Oversupply arising from new properties further away from the “first tier” area of Jalan Kiara 1.
  2. Mont Kiara is a hotbed for investors apart from the genuine home buyers which means that units could stay unoccupied for a longer period of time.
  3. Purchase of expatriates are often more ‘cumbersome’ and could take a longer time. Note than there’s a 60/40 split in terms of demographics of Mont Kiara in the favour of the locals.
  4. Capital appreciation is good, and so some investors do not mind not renting the units out.

With rental yield taking a beating it’s important for the investor to do the due diligence before committing to a buy. Learn how to calculate rental yield here, and check if there are opportunities for cashflow generation here.

What Lies Ahead

One would notice how rental prices in Mont Kiara’s condominiums suffered slight drops, due to the fact that there was a global economic slowdown in 2008 and in 2009 that affected expatriates in Malaysia.

MK11 picture

The mighty MK11 – one of the newer condominiums in Mont Kiara

Since Mont Kiara is thriving with expatriates, its community dwindled in numbers, as these expats made a choice to leave Malaysia. However, Mont Kiara’s appeal did not slow down—there are a lot of developments still slated to rise in the near future, with even more facilities and amenities—all the luxury wants and needs.

With all its shopping malls, entertainment hubs, and dining spots, Mont Kiara will not have a difficult time attracting potential investors and residents. Its posh skyscrapers and residential condominiums will always be sought-after—as the demand never seems to vanish. Expect more to come out from Mont Kiara in the near future. All that “over-development” talk is, frankly, rubbish.

There is no denying however that there is an increasing supply, and the prospective tenant and buyer are spoiled for choice these days. Additionally, condominiums in Mont Kiara compete for the same pool as Bangsar and KLCC properties.

However, Mont Kiara’s self-contained, “homely” feel, emphasis on security as well as the presence of several international schools in the enclave would remain as its unique selling points. It also seems to have hit the “sweet spot” of attracting expatriates with mid-level allowances between RM5,000 – 10,000.

Also, land is running out in Mont Kiara ‘proper’, but there has been some rebranding of sorts going on in Segambut; the area is now being marketed as “North Kiara”. New developments like Concerto (by BCB) and Verdana (BRDB) are here, while Mah Sing’s Icon Residence is located on the artery connecting Mont Kiara with North Kiara. The integration of Segambut into Mont Kiara is bound to happen, and so there will be no “shortage” of land as we see in the KLCC enclave and in Bangsar.


 

  1. The domain SunKiara.com was getting auctioned for $800. Don’t think they’re coming back
  2. See http://propertyreviews.my/kiara-163/

Gateway Residences, Kiaramas

Gateway Kiaramas, Mont Kiara

Luxury meets quality in Asia Quest Holdings’ serviced apartment called Gateway Kiaramas. Located in the “new” cluster of condominiums near the Kiaramas enclave, Gateway Residences aim to appeal to a young, urban demographic.

This freehold development is made up of residential and corporate units (a total of 168) — an eleven-storey tower for its corporate units, and a 30-storey tower for its residential units. Built-up areas for the condominium’s residential units start with a measurement of 743 square feet, and its largest units measure at 3,563 square feet.

For a quick guide on how to estimate this property’s fair market value, click here to get our exclusive GoodPlace.my guide.

Gateway Kiaramas’ average asking prices for units have been consistently increasing within the last few years. Last April, its average (asking) price was around peaked at about RM700 per square feet, and went on a slight upward trajectory. Launch price was around RM450-500 PSF, with unit prices ranging from around RM350,000 up to RM1.8 million. Gateway seems to be priced at a slightly higher level than the regular off-the-mill Mont Kiara condominium, but still less than VERVE which is incidentally a stone throw’s away down the road.

Asking prices for Mont Kiara units have been on an upward trend since the start of the year – perhaps the clearest indication that the expatriates are heading back here. 🙂

Gateway Residences

The condominium is equipped with a multi-tiered security system that ensures safety 24/7 for its residents. There is also a sky lounge that is perfect for social gatherings and simple hang-outs for residents and guests. An aquascape garden is built to invite relaxation and serenity into the condominium. Toddlers can be active all day long in the condominium’s children’s playground. A well-equipped fitness centre is provided exclusively to residents, as well as a hot water spa, sauna, and a lap pool.

About The Developer

Asia Quest is perhaps best known for its development of Kiaramas, the “extension” of the Mont Kiara area. It has been in the real estate industry for some time now (having established since 1991), and it has successfully built its reputation as one of the premier developers of upmarket condominiums in Malaysia. Asia Quest is the developer behind the Kiaramas properties in the Mont Kiara enclave – Vista Kiara, Lanai Kiara, Kiaramas Sutera, and Kiaramas Cendana.

Mont Kiara – A Primer

Mont Kiara is a posh and a high-end area that is filled with both affluent local and expatriates. Amenities and attractions are by the handful, and residents of Gateway Kiaramas can definitely enjoy the perks of living in an area where everything is within reach.

Gateway-1Malls, schools, cafes, restaurants, and business centres line up the Mont Kiara vicinity. Hartamas Shopping Centre, Plaza Mont Kiara, Bangsar Village, and Bangsar Shopping Centre are all nearby and within driving distance from the condominium. Mont Kiara Business Centre is also within distance. Schools that are close to Gateway Kiaramas include French International School, SMK Sri Hartamas, and Garden International School. Sports enthusiasts can get their fill from nearby sports complexes which include Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club and Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. The nearest hospital to the condominium would be Pantai Medical Centre.

Mont Kiara can be easily accessed, thanks to the many major roads and highways connecting it to the many destinations in Kuala Lumpur. Going to the city centre is convenient and quick and will only take 20 minutes. Residents can use their private transport and take the SPRINT Highway or Penchala Link near the Mont Kiara enclave. Another major highway near the condominium is the North-South Highway that may be accessed via Jalan Duta or Jalan Sri Hartamas.

GoodPlace’s Verdict

We’ve always been fans of Mont Kiara, and when prices tapered post 2008 we thought that there were bargains to be had. The east side of Mont Kiara has seen rapid development due to the expansion of the Kiaramas area, and it’s just a matter of time before more condominiums get built in this portion of Mont Kiara.

Gateway’s “Walk To Work” proposition is unique and relevant perhaps to a growing niche in the urban population of the Klang Valley. The mushrooming of SOHO properties as part of a mixed development (Setiawalk in Puchong, Empire Gallery in Subang Jaya) or standalone (Binjai 8 in the KLCC enclave) is perhaps the best indicator of the trends to come. Now with the ever-present traffic jam problem which plagues Mont Kiara (and elsewhere) we can truly see an emerging need for the “pairing” residential and small offices. Gateway’s the first to embrace this concept in Mont Kiara, and it may prove to be a wise decision down the road.