What home can you get for RM300,000 in KL?

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 12, 2019 - August 18, 2019.
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Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin was earlier quoted as saying that the price of affordable homes should be kept below RM300,000. Currently, prices vary according to location.

That has somewhat redefined the term “affordable property”, which has been used rather subjectively, especially in recent years. Ask anyone and he might say RM500,000 is affordable. Skim through property ads in the newspaper and you may see a RM800,000 property being marketed as affordable.

Take this scenario for example. Leslie buys a house for RM300,000 and gets a loan of 90%, but he will have to pay RM1,244 per month at an interest rate of 4.3% for 35 years. He also has to consider other costs — such as stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage insurance and renovation — that are included in the transaction.

After purchasing the house, there are also various monthly, half-yearly and yearly fees, including monthly maintenance fee, home insurance, Indah Water bill, quit rent and assessment tax to deal with.

So, here is where it gets more interesting. What can one get for RM300,000 on the subsale market? Can you get a decent residential unit at that price in the Klang Valley?

City & Country explores locations with a Kuala Lumpur address. With a budget of RM200,000 to RM300,000, we set the criteria for a residential property (excluding flats or government-related affordable homes), with built-ups of about 750 sq ft and a minimum of two bedrooms.

A search on property listing websites found residential units in various suburbs that fit the bill — apartments and condominiums in Wangsa Maju/Setapak area, Cheras, Kepong/Menjalara area, Jalan Kuching/Jalan Ipoh area, Jalan Klang Lama area and Desa Petaling, among others.

There are also limited landed homes, mainly terraced homes and townhouses, in the Wangsa Maju/Setapak area, Cheras and the Kepong/Menjalara area, priced from RM200,000 to RM300,000.

A common feature of these developments is that most of these units are more than 10 years old. Compared to newer developments, these older products are better options in terms of location, accessibility and proximity to amenities.

These are not an exhaustive list but four condominium suggestions as to what is available in the market for consideration. However, make sure to always do your homework before making the final decision.

These developments include a freehold development that is located just a stone’s throw away from the Awan Besar LRT (light rapid transit) station in Bukit Jalil. Its proximity to the LRT station also sees some residential blocks being next to the track.

According to listings on EdgeProp.my, the development offer units of various sizes and those priced below RM300,000 have built-ups of 775 to 800 sq ft. It comes with 2-bedrooms and 1-bathroom. Based on data from EdgeProp.my, a 797 sq ft unit was sold in October for RM270,000.

Another development is located diagonally opposite the bustling Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park in Kuchai Lama. Surrounded by highways and links, the leasehold development is a five-minute drive from the upcoming Kuchai Lama MRT (mass rapid transit) station.

The units for sale have built-ups of 800 to more than 1,100 sq ft, with a few units priced just below RM300,000, listings on EdgeProp.my show. A 904 sq ft unit was sold at RM270,000 in March.

The third development is located in Jalan Ipoh, which is a 15-minute drive from the Kuala Lumpur city centre and within walking distance from the Batu Kentonmen KTM station.

The EdgeProp.my listings for this year shows built-ups for the units range from 869 to more than 1,024 sq ft, priced from RM265,000 to slightly above RM300,000.

There were 155 transactions for this development from 2012 to 2017, with a median price of RM250,000.

Another development is in Desa Petaling, which is surrounded by highways and links such as the New Pantai Expressway, KL-Seremban Highway, Shah Alam Expressway and Maju Expressway.

Based on listings on EdgeProp.my, the units feature built-ups of 886 to slightly above 1,000 sq ft, with half of the units priced below RM300,000. There were 84 transactions for this development from 2012 to 2017, with a median price of RM265,000.

However, issues involving the land for this development, according to some online forums, may be the reason behind the pricing.