Rawang, a small town just to the northeast of Kuala Lumpur (KL), seems to have gotten on the radar of property players and could well become the next big thing in Klang Valley property play, according to analysts.
Though millionaires are still not going to Rawang in droves, property analysts say the town has steadily attracted a continuous flow of new homeowners of more modest means.
“There is a long-term growth potential in Rawang driven by the dwindling development land supply and escalating prices within the Kuala Lumpur-Petaling Jaya-Shah Alam conurbation,” CH Williams Talhar & Wong Sdn Bhd (WTW) MD Foo Gee Jen told The Malaysian Reserve.
“The big players are still looking to develop residential property in the south in the Kajang area because it has better road and rail connectivity to KL, including the mass rapid transit line being built, which will terminate in Kajang.”
Foo said for the moment, Rawang is seen mainly as a medium-end property investment area but that can change soon as land becomes scarce in the Klang Valley.
“Developers are looking to acquire land in Rawang for residential development in their normal course of business of seeking business opportunities. However, this is in the context of an opportunity for an attractive price for investment, rather than a ‘buying frenzy in a hotspot’,” Foo said.
He said another plus for Rawang is its proximity to KL’s business district, which is about the same as from KL to Shah Alam.
One developer who’s banking on the future rise of Rawang is Mah Sing Group Bhd, which is building the M Residence@ Rawang project.
“When we acquired the 226-acre (91.46ha) landbank for M Residence@Rawang, which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM955 million, it made perfect sense to build a township that would provide rapid access to the central business district and yet offered the comforts and joy of suburban living,” Mah Sing MD and CEO Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said.
He said with the continued urbanisation of Kuala Lumpur, residential land use is spreading out to the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur, among which, is Rawang.
Other developers eyeing Rawang include GuocoLand (M) Bhd, the developer of Emerald East and West high-end residentials; Anggun 1, 2 and Anggun City developer Hong Bee Land Sdn Bhd; Glomac Bhd, the developer of Saujana Rawang; and several other developers such as Dolomite Properties Sdn Bhd, Tanco Properties Sdn Bhd, Next Fortune Sdn Bhd, Low Yat Group and Mun Poh Corp Sdn Bhd to name a few.
Key industrial entities that have made Rawang as their base among others are Scomi Engineering Bhd, MBM Resources Bhd, Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd, Eversendai Corp Bhd, Cocoaland Holdings Bhd to name a few.
Looking at Rawang from another perspective, Malaysia Property Inc GM Veena Loh Geok Mooi said building residential properties around industrial land has its pros and cons.
“Industrial developments provide good job opportunities for residents in the township which helps to grow the township. “However, heavy industries which require heavy transportation or pollutive industries may affect the attractiveness of residential properties in its vicinity,” she said.
Given Rawang’s strategic access to the North-South Highway and its relative low cost of land near to KL, industrial development would hold a bigger potential for developers, she added.
Property developer Glomac Bhd also sees the advantage of developing a self-contained township with industry and commerce activities as a better property bet than standalone residential property.
Glomac has completed developments in Rawang including the Amada, Amoda and Zanti, with a total GDV of RM98.3 million.
“The transformation of Saujana Rawang and its surrounding areas has begun and it provides a good market for people who can buy property that can still be considered reasonably priced compared to similar property in KL, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and suburbs,” the spokesman said.
The company is on the lookout for another mixed residential development and is planning to develop a self-contained township with good facilities and amenities. One caveat to Rawang’s future development is infrastructure, including an overstretched water supply.
“Adequate water supply, which currently is a big problem where Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor is unable to cope, is one of the main challenges in the transformation of this township,” the spokesman said.
WTW’s Foo agrees, saying that the developments in Rawang are currently limited to areas adjacent to the North-South Highway.
“The old Rawang-Ipoh Road, which is the alternative access to Rawang from KL, is less popular as evidenced by the relatively lower level of development activities along this stretch,” he said.
Foo said the key to the transformation of Rawang is to upgrade the communication lines including rail and commuter lines.
To a question on what developers should look for in a Rawang township for future residential projects, Malaysia Property’s Loh said residential developers should build homes for those who wish to buy and stay within Rawang so that they may commute to work in the local industries or supportive industries.
“Supply of residential homes should grow in tandem with job opportunities so as not to create an oversupply or a shortage,” she said.