Streetscapes: Hustle and bustle of Jalan Kiara

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 24, 2019 - June 30, 2019.

163 Retail Park is a F&B and retail mall in Mont’Kiara

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Walking down the busy streets of Mont’Kiara, one is captivated by the cityscape of high-rise buildings along Jalan Kiara, one of the main arteries of Mont’Kiara, which connects to Desa Sri Hartamas and Segambut Dalam.

Situated northwest of the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Mont’Kiara was once a rubber estate. Property tycoon Datuk Alan Tong Kok Mau, who had the foresight to acquire about 100 acres of land at Segambut Dalam Rubber Estate, started the transformation of the area into what is now a bustling, much sought-after international enclave.

According to VPC Alliance Sdn Bhd managing director James Wong, there are various high-end condominiums and neighbourhood malls along Jalan Kiara. “The condominiums include Mont’Kiara Pines, Mont’Kiara Palma, 11 Mont’Kiara, 28 Mont’Kiara, Kiara 1, Kiara 2, Almaspuri, Mont’Kiara Banyan, Mont’Kiara Damai and Mont’Kiara Pines.”

Mont’Kiara Pines was the earliest condominium built during the 1990s. Developed by Sunrise Sdn Bhd (now known as UEM Sunrise Bhd), the building houses 496 condominiums priced from RM190 per sq ft at the time of the launch. It was fully taken up by Malaysians and Singaporean investors. Mont’Kiara Palma comprises 400 condos.

“Nearby malls and shopping complexes include Arcoris Plaza, 1 Mont’Kiara and Plaza Mont’Kiara. There are also freehold bungalows at Villa Mont’Kiara as well as Mont’Kiara International School (MKIS),” says Wong.

VPC Research data shows that recent transactions for condos with built-ups of 699 to 3,186 sq ft, averaged RM435,000 to RM2.4 million, or RM512 to RM890 psf. Office units, with built-ups of 592 to 1,560 sq ft, are priced at RM416,500 to RM1.19 million or RM538 to RM885 psf. The bungalows, with built-ups of 2,895 sq ft are priced at RM4.7 million.

Prices in Jalan Kiara are relatively stable with not much movement during the last two years. The reasons for this include a glut of properties in the area and the economic slowdown, which caused potential buyers to postpone the purchase of properties.

“The asking rent for condos in Jalan Kiara ranges from RM1.48 to RM4.10 psf, with yields from 1.42% to 8.20%, while those for office units are in the region of RM2.88 to RM5.50 psf. Yields are 1.96% to 4.31%,” says Wong.

“The lower yields are for the older condominiums such as Mont’Kiara Pines and Mont’Kiara Palma. The newer condominiums with more up-to-date designs and finishes and better facilities — such as heated whirlpools, water-jet splash pools and sky lounges — command higher rents and provide better yields.”

Upcoming residential projects in the vicinity include Inspirasi Mont’Kiara (640 units) by MKH Bhd and Residensi Astrea (240 units) by UEM Sunrise Bhd. Inspirasi Mont’Kiara is expected to be completed in 2021 and Residensi Astrea in 2022.

Wong says that Jalan Kiara, with its high-end residences near the international school and prime neighbourhood shopping complexes, will continue to attract expatriates.

The oversupply of condominiums remains the main factor that affects selling prices and rents in Jalan Kiara. “As Jalan Kiara is mostly developed, only small pockets of land are left for redevelopment. The residential suburb will continue to be a trendy lifestyle area for living, shopping and recreation,” concludes Wong.