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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on May 28, 2018 - June 3, 2018

Interest in the district of Sepang, southern Selangor, has grown over the years, thanks to major developments such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), klia2, Sepang International Circuit and Mitsui Outlet Park.

And then there are ongoing developments such as KLIA Aeropolis — a 24,710-acre development surrounding KLIA and part of the Digital Free Trade Zone — which is aimed at promoting the growth of e-commerce in the country.

Several areas within the district, which is made up of the sub-districts Dengkil, Labu and Sepang, are attracting investors and homebuyers. Two such areas are Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi, which are part of eight planning blocks outlined in the Sepang Municipal Council Local Plan 2025.


Facts and figures

Ampar Tenang covers a total of 11,170 acres. To make development planning easier, it is separated into four small planning sections — Bandar Serenia (4,010.44 acres), Ampar Tenang (2,699.72 acres), Pekan Dengkil (2,022.18 acres) and Timah Langat (2,347.66 acres). Kota Warisan, a 600-acre township developed by Gema Padu Sdn Bhd, is located in Bandar Serenia.

There are several new developments coming up in Ampar Tenang such as Serenia City by Sime Darby Property Bhd, Sunsuria City by Sunsuria Group, KIP Sentral by KIP Group, Bandar Puteri Warisan by IOI Properties Group Bhd and Bandar Saujana KLIA by Glomac Bhd.

There will also be an outlet mall called Horizon Village Outlets (HVO) slated to open in the middle of the year. Located between Serenia City and Sunsuria City, it is a joint venture between US-based Horizon Group Properties and local property developer Mainstay Properties Sdn Bhd.

Salak Tinggi, which is the administrative centre of the Sepang district, covers 5,938 acres. It, in turn, is divided into three small planning sections — Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi (1,920.61 acres), Salak Perdana (2,181.46 acres) and Jenderam Hulu (1,835.93 acres).

The nearest residential estate to KLIA, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi’s residents are mainly airport ground staff and crew. In Salak Perdana, Paramount Corporation Bhd has a township called Greenwoods by Paramount. The original developer of Salak Perdana was NCT United Development Sdn Bhd but it sold a portion of the land to Paramount in 2015.


Growth opportunities

Property experts note that one of the main challenges of Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi is that they are still relatively undeveloped, comprising mainly Malay villages and agriculture land.

“Although there are sizeable developments or townships being built, they would need population growth.

“The attraction for owner-occupiers and tenants are always growing economic activities and job opportunities, which are always linked to key mega projects that are catalysts for change in terms of infrastructure and additional amenities,” says PA International Property Consultants (KL) Sdn Bhd managing director Jerome Hong.

Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi look to benefit from the spillover effect from KLIA Aeropolis, which is expected to contribute RM30 billion to the country’s gross domestic product and create 56,000 jobs over a 15-year period.

“The massive airport city project, which was launched in May 2016, together with Mitsui Outlet Park and upcoming Horizon Village Outlets, will create ample job opportunities to grow Sepang’s population,” Hong adds.

KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton (M) Sdn Bhd director Anthony Chua says the area is somewhat rural as a large portion of it is under the Labu Malay Reservation. Also, there is a lack of industries there, resulting in lower population density and housing demand.

“But lately, industries have been making inroads into this locality. Hartalega purchased a large site there and constructed a glove production facility, while Gamuda IBS has also set up a manufacturing facility,” he adds.

Raine & Horne International Zaki+Partners Sdn Bhd executive director Lim Lian Hong concurs, “The main economic activity is agriculture in Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi. If there are no jobs, there won’t be any economic activity and the place would not be sustainable. The municipal council should look into the planning of some nice resorts or tourist attractions,” he opines.

Another challenge, according to Chua, is that potential house buyers do not consider it a desirable location owing to the limited amenities. “However, recent new developments are set to change the landscape and the introduction of better facilities is expected to draw more people,” he says.

Lim points to the area’s distance from the city centre. “But the spread of urbanisation is moving outwards and with good connectivity and public transport, people would not have any problem in staying there,” he says.

According to property experts, the buyer profile of Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi are mainly locals who work in KLIA, klia2, KLIA Aeropolis, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. These people prefer to buy landed homes.

The setting up of Xiamen University Malaysia Campus in Ampar Tenang has created a rental market and Chua notes that recent developments are catering for investors and students.


Ampar Tenang’s developments

The 150-acre Xiamen University is part of the RM10 billion Sunsuria City township by Sunsuria Bhd. Sunsuria City, which sits on 525 acres, launched its first development in December 2015 and has unveiled six phases. In the second quarter this year, Sunsuria hopes to launch its latest project, Monet Springtime, a 23.2-acre residential development comprising 308 two-storey terraced homes.

Nearby, the 1,775-acre Serenia City is a freehold township development launched in 2013. Sime Darby Property has unveiled three phases of industrial and commercial developments since then. Phase 1 of Serenia Amani, which comprises 126 two-storey link homes and was launched on March 31, is sold out. Sime Darby Property plans to launch more residential products in Serenia City at the end of the year.

There are 1,462 acres of undeveloped land in Serenia City, which has an estimated gross development value of RM7.6 billion.

A short distance away, along the Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway, is the RM3.6 billion Bandar Warisan Puteri @ Sepang, a 206-acre freehold township by IOI Properties.

The first and second phases, both featuring 2-storey terraced houses, were launched in October 2015 and September 2016 respectively. The third phase, Ayden, which will comprise 3-storey townhouses, is scheduled to be launched in the third quarter.

Adjacent to Bandar Warisan Puteri is the 36-acre freehold mixed-use development, KIP Sentral @ Sepang. Launched in 2012 by KIP Group, the development comprises three phases — shoplots (Phase 1), a mall (Phase 2) and small office/home office (SoHo) units and retail lots (Phase 3). All phases have been launched and KIP Mall is now open.

On the other side of the Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway is the RM1.2 billion Saujana KLIA, a 239-acre freehold township by Glomac. Ten phases have been launched since 2015. The developer is planning to unveil serviced apartments in the last quarter of the year.

On, a 2-storey end-lot terraced house in Kota Warisan with a built up of 2,200 sq ft was listed for RM660,000. A 2-storey corner-lot bungalow with a built-up of 4,225 sq ft is going for RM1.9 million while a 3-storey shoplot with a built-up of 2,100 sq ft is going for RM1.325 million.


Salak Tinggi’s neighbourhoods

Of the two planning blocks, Salak Tinggi has more residential, commercial and industrial properties. Within this block lies the RM1.1 billion, 237.27-acre township Greenwoods by Paramount in Salak Perdana, where several projects have been launched.  The most recent was Keranji on March 31, when 204 units of 2-storey terraced houses were offered. All were taken up on the same day. The remaining 254 units in that phase have been opened for registration.   

Previous launches include 96 double-storey link houses in 2015 and 47 double-storey shoplots in 2017.

Transaction records (refer to table on Page 5) for Salak Tinggi provided by PA International Property Consultants show that 1-storey terraced houses with built-ups of between 764 and 885 sq ft were sold at average prices of RM158,332 in 2010 and RM370,000 in 2017.

Two-storey terraced houses with built-ups of 1,100 sq ft were transacted at average prices of RM130,571 in 2010 and RM313,333 in RM2017.

Larger 2-storey terraced houses of 1,271 to 1,397 sq ft were sold at average prices of RM151,850 in 2010 and RM335,000 in 2016.

The average transacted prices of 1-storey semi-detached houses with built-ups of 813 sq ft were RM165,000 in 2010 and RM415,000 in 2017 while those of 2-storey semidees with built-ups of 1,475 sq ft were RM281,716 in 2010 and RM515,000 in 2016.

Units in 5-storey medium-cost apartments sized from 910 to 1,008 sq ft were transacted at average prices of RM100,000 in 2010 and RM210,000 in 2017.

As for commercial shopoffices, 2-storey units with built-ups of 2,660 to 2,869 sq ft were sold at average prices of RM199,040 in 2010 and RM300,000 in 2017. Three-storey lots with built-ups of 4,184 sq ft were transacted at average prices of RM388,750 in 2010 and RM590,000 in 2016.

For 1½-storey terraced factories with built-ups of 2,743 sq ft, the average transacted prices were RM250,000 in 2010 and RM354,000 in 2016.


Positive outlook

The future of Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi looks promising, says KGV-Lambert’s Chua. “The area is one of the upcoming growth areas in the Klang Valley. The proposed e-commerce and logistics hub in the nearby KLIA Aeropolis, which is part of the Digital Free Trade Zone, is an exciting prospect that will spur development in the surrounding areas.”

Raine & Horne’s Lim agrees with Chua, saying that KLIA Aeropolis is going to be the driving force because it will provide plenty of job opportunities if the aerospace industry takes off.

“The area needs a real comprehensive plan and the developers there must work together. If they just develop only their side and other areas are not done properly, then they cannot generate much synergy. The worst-case scenario is — if everybody builds the same thing — they will end up competing against and killing each other. They need to find a balance.

“What I foresee is, if the airport can generate enough traffic, then possibly, the area will be able to get the economic benefits. I think in 50 years’ time, things will be different,” he says.

Hong notes that there is massive development in the southern part of Selangor, where land is still relatively cheap. “With the Kajang-Bangi-Semenyih southern corridor being a hot spot, buyers are more open to exploring new areas and, as a result, Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi are benefitting from the spillover effect,” he says.

Hong also points out that Xiamen University will spur population growth in the mid to longer term.

So, it comes as no surprise that the upcoming developments and the facilities and amenities surrounding the university and Horizon Village Outlets are located within close proximity.

Hong believes that the areas’ close proximity to KLIA and KLIA Aeropolis, together with the upcoming commercial hubs, will generate more commercial activities and employment in the areas.

Moreover, the KLIA Express and proposed interchange to North South Expressway Central Link Highway will improve connectivity and accessibility.

“In short, all these massive developments are expected to transform Ampar Tenang and Salak Tinggi into self-sustainable vibrant cities in the mid to longer term,” he says.

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