Transit-oriented developments (TODs) have mushroomed in the last few years. Many projects now boast a train station within the development or at least at walking distance away. This helps the development in its sales, and potential buyers would usually flock to it. When these developments are launched, they usually found that demand far surpassed supply, and the projects would usually be sold quickly. -- Siva Shanker

I read an article recently in the newspaper about Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia and its plans for transit-oriented housing projects.

PR1MA feels its transit-oriented projects are going to be a game changer in the urban housing development sector.

I totally agree with their reading of the market. For too long the focus of affordable and low-cost housing has been to develop them wherever it is convenient to do so. We have not really taken into account that easy access to transportation facilities is one of the bigger criteria that potential purchasers look for when buying their homes.

For the rich and well-to-do, access to the public transport facilities may not necessarily be an important criteria. When a family has two cars or even more, their need for public transport is not as crucial. They can pretty much go anywhere they want with ease. If an entire family shared one car, or all you owned was a motorcycle, then public transport became crucial.

In that case, if you were offered a property for sale in a location that was far away from bus or even train services, how you expected to go about your daily chores? How would you and your wife go to work? How would the children go to school?

Transit-oriented developments (TODs) have mushroomed in the last few years. Many projects now boast a train station within the development or at least at walking distance away. This helps the development in its sales, and potential buyers would usually flock to it. When these developments are launched, they usually found that demand far surpassed supply, and the projects would usually be sold quickly.

But the same cannot be said for developments that catered to the lower financial strata of society. These developments were generally located in less desirable locations, further away from transportation hubs and other amenities. And as such, many of the units remain unsold although they are attractively priced.

As such, PR1MA’s announcement on its proposed transit-oriented housing developments is indeed a breath of fresh air. PR1MA plans to start its first-phase development in the fourth quarter of this year in locations along the LRT line, namely Cempaka, Pandan Jaya and Pandan Indah. They will be working on land in eight locations along the LRT network. Other locations include Titiwangsa, Bandar Baru Sentul, Jelatek, Kinrara and Bandar Puteri.

PR1MA’s approach is to basically ensure that the M40 income group can benefit from TODs by enjoying shorter commutes, lower transportation cost and easy access to amenities.

This is indeed a step in the right direction. PR1MA must be applauded for taking this strategy. I am confident there is more than enough demand for its projects. It should have no problem securing suitable buyers for the units.

If you are in the M40 income bracket, you would be well advised to register yourself with PR1MA. Should you qualify and be offered a unit in any of these locations, do not think twice about purchasing. It will be one of the smartest decisions you ever made. Your investment will grow in value over the long term and you will pat yourself on the back for having made a smart decision.

In the property investment game, accessibility to transport networks and amenities are a big plus. Look out for developments such as these. And when you find them, strike before it’s too late.

Until then, happy hunting and may the force be with you.

The writer is a real estate practitioner who tries to manage the labyrinth of the property market honestly while consistently maintain a high standard of ethics in his practice. He welcomes feedback via siva@miea.com.my

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