The northern corridor growth begins

By GUNAPRASATH BUPALAN

It has been more than a decade now that people have been crying for genuine affordable homes, especially closer to KL City Centre (KLCC) as homes around this vicinity have been overpriced due to urbanization.

As land price has increased in areas around the KLCC, developers over the years began to introduce affordable townships outside the Klang Valley, but with good connectivity to KLCC. To be honest, some townships have better drive time to KLCC compared to townships within Klang Valley (KV) due to the heavy KV traffic during rush hour.

Today, about a decade later, these townships in the outskirts such as Nilai, Sepang, Kajang, Semenyih have also seen a significant price growth, where investors who believed that the Southern growth corridor would see a good investment future have become satisfied investors.

The main reason for the growth of the southern growth corridor, which the extension of Klang Valley (KV) towards Seremban is the connectivity and infrastructure that was planned out a decade ago, started to see materialization some five years back and is reaching completion and additions at the moment.

Some expected the northern growth corridor, which is Rawang and beyond to see the same growth but that route didn’t kick off at the same time. Instead, development grew till Rawang and further townships started to sleep investment wise, as developers were waiting for the correct time to begin their land acquisition and developments.

It is believed that the correct time is now. With the announcement of the East Cost Rail Line Project (ECRL) back in 2016 by Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Aqam Darat (SPAD), this has garnered a lot of interest by developers to begin their journey to the northern growth corridor development. 

The East Coast Economic Region (ECER), is an area measuring more than 66,000 square kilometres or 51 per cent of the total area of Peninsular Malaysia with a total population of 4.43 million (2014). ECER covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, as well as the district of Mersing in Johor.

Infrastructure development is critical to the growing ECER and rail is a key enabler for the region that can connect economic centres including industrial areas and provide a link to Greater Kuala Lumpur/ Klang Valley efficiently.

To unlock this growth, ECRL has been identified as a high impact infrastructure project that will form the backbone of ECER’s multimodal transport infrastructure. This will complement existing road/ expressway infrastructure as the Lebuhraya Pantai Timur and the existing KTMB East Coast Line and ports.

Once this is complete, people who live in these areas would find it much easier to commute to KLCC just like how people who live in Seremban and beyond do at the moment. Imagine, once completed, the new rail link is projected to connect passengers from Kota Bharu in Kelantan to ITT Gombak in Selangor in less than four hours.

This will surely boost the property prices in areas many areas of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang in the next few years.

Temerloh is definitely a benefiting contender to the ECRL development. Temerloh is also well connected to Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan via the East Coast Expressway and the Karak Expressway. These expressways also link Temerloh to other major towns in Pahang such as Maran, Karak and Bentong. The new state-of-the-art Hospital Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah serves as the main hospital in Central Pahang apart from Hospital Mentakab and Hospital Jengka.

Based on a census conducted by the Department of Statistics Malaysia in 2010, it was reported that Temerloh has a 120,154 Bumiputera population, which makes up 75.7 per cent of the overall population.

With all of the above it shows that Temerloh, once equipped with the ECRL, will be a prefect home for affordable homes. To accommodate the demand, areas such as Mukim Bangau for instance, will be likely to see terrace homes built at affordable prices but wit modern fittings. It will be likely that most purchasers would be upgraders as well as parents purchasing for their offspring (generational purchase) as it would then (with the ECRL) be easier for their children to travel to KLCC and back for work.

Based on research, homes at these areas are currently being sold between RM180,000 and RM300,000 for 1,000sq ft terrace units right up till RM1.2m for 3,000sq ft bungalow units.

If infrastructure work takes place as scheduled and connectivity to KLCC is given via the ECRL by 2019, it is expected that these home prices should shoot up by 30 per cent at least.

We shall wait in anticipation for this growth of the Northern Corridor.