Streetscapes: Property values remain resilient in Bangsar’s Lorong Maarof

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on April 19, 2021 - April 25, 2021.
The shopoffices in Lorong Maarof are occupied by food and beverage outlets, convenience stores, laundry shops, a veterinary clinic, pet grooming shop and sundry shop (Photo by Mohd Shahrin Yahya)

The shopoffices in Lorong Maarof are occupied by food and beverage outlets, convenience stores, laundry shops, a veterinary clinic, pet grooming shop and sundry shop (Photo by Mohd Shahrin Yahya)

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Bangsar was initially a rubber estate that was later developed into a residential area in 1969. In the 1970s, the Socfin Group developed Bangsar Park, the first residential area in Bangsar and the first planned housing estate in Kuala Lumpur. Subsequently, Socfin Group sold the land to private buyers, including real estate developers, says Metro Homes Realty Bhd executive director See Kok Loong.

To cater for the immediate neighbourhood of Bangsar Park, Eng Lian Enterprise Sdn Bhd built 14 two-storey shopoffices in Lorong Maarof in 1977.

These shopoffices are occupied by food and beverage outlets, convenience stores, laundry shops, a veterinary clinic, pet grooming shop and sundry shop. Outlets include Kedai Runcit Chai Joo Seng, 7-Eleven, 99 Speedmart, Niko Neko Matcha, Restoran Indian Spices Village, Restoran HSBC, Restoran Aiswaria, Restoran WTF, Bangsar Veterinary Clinic and Surgery, and Paw-Fect Cutz.

According to See, there have been no recent property transactions on Lorong Maarof. The last one involved a 4,197 sq ft two-storey corner shop that was sold for RM5.5 million in 2019. “In terms of monthly rent, the ground floor commands RM8 psf per month. The higher the unit, the lower the rent, with the second floor fetching only RM2.50 psf per month, which translates into yields of 4.5% to 5% a year,” he says.

“As for residential properties nearby, the 2-storey semi-detached houses and terraced houses with average built-ups of 1,500 sq ft were transacted from RM700 to RM750 psf in 2018 and 2019. The rental rate is RM2 psf per month, giving yields of 2.5% to 3% a year.”

For those who love matcha-based drinks, Niko Neko Matcha is the place to go to. The cosy café occupies the second floor of a shopoffice and opens daily except Wednesdays.  It serves artisan matcha delights and a wide range of freshly baked pastries, breads, puffs as well as cakes. It also sells matcha powders and merchandise/tools for you to make your own drinks at home. The service there is quick and the staff is helpful. If you are a first-timer, they will guide you through the order process.

Bernice, a regular at the café, says, “Their drinks are crafted based on your preference. You have to start off by choosing your tea base. I will always opt for a cup of hot Yuri (classic matcha), as it has a stronger matcha profile. It is priced at RM10 and one can also request to add a bit of sugar syrup to accentuate the bitterness of the tea.

“In terms of desserts, the popular items include matcha sourdough croissant, mini houjicha burnt cheesecake, exclusive crunch cubes and melty matcha marble loaf cake.”

See says an ongoing project in the vicinity is Bangsar Hill Park. The project is developed by Bangsar Hill Park Development Sdn Bhd (BHP Development), which is a partnership between Sunsuria Bhd and Suez Capital Sdn Bhd. The 9.82-acre development will have an estimated gross development value of RM3.01 billion.

The outlook for Lorong Maarof appears stable, because of its freehold tenure and strategic location, See notes. It it only 13 minutes’ drive from the Kuala Lumpur city centre and easily connected to highways such as the Federal Highway, Sprint Expressway and New Pantai Expressway. For public transport, the Bangsar LRT station is within a 1.6km radius.