CBRE|WTW: Rail connectivity is key in rental market

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PETALING JAYA (April 7): The real estate rental market will be boosted by rail connectivity, even more so than road connectivity, said CBRE|WTW Malaysia managing director Foo Gee Jen.

“Look into the future [rental market hot spots], they always tie it back to the rails because that will make it more accessible and attractive to most occupiers choosing a rental place,” he said during his talk entitled “Market outlook: Opportunities — rent vs own” at The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2018 (REIF 2018) held in Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre today.

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Foo pointed out that the next rental hot spots could be the end terminals of the mass rapid transit (MRT) system such as Sungai Buloh, Kajang and Putrajaya.

“Kwasa Damansara is an upcoming township integrated with transit points such as MRT stations. Besides that, both LRT (light rail transit) and MRT lines running along and serving areas such as Kelana Jaya and Kota Damansara are also the upcoming rental hot spots,” he noted.

He added that Kuala Lumpur, as the centre of activities and transportation hub, will remain popular in the rental market.

Other current rental hot spots within Kuala Lumpur are Setapak, Mid Valley and Bukit Jalil, all having the key criteria of being part of the public transportation network, with rent levels justified by quality and proximity to commercial areas.

“Homeownership is not the be-all and end-all. Moving away from the typical Asian mindset, absence of homeownership does not imply welfare deprivation. The ultimate priority is to have a shelter over one’s head, be it rented or owned,” Foo said.

He elaborated that the rental market in Malaysia could do well because affordability is a prevailing challenge even to those eligible to buy affordable houses, and the rental market is regulated but not excessively controlled.

“Urbanisation will also support the rental market but the check and balance mechanism needs to be in place,” he added. 

REIF 2018 was organised by City & Country of The Edge Malaysia, and was supported by