THIS has been a busy year for property developers in the Klang Valley, based on the number of new launches that took place from January to June.
According to Henry Butcher Malaysia, development activities in Sentul have been especially robust.
The firm said the area (Sentul proper and greater Sentul) is seeing much action from developers which are on a race to satisfy the urban populace looking for residences that not only offer comprehensive amenities but are also close to downtown Kuala Lumpur.
Sentul encompasses Taman Metropolitan Batu to the north, Bandar Sentul Utama and Sentul Pasar, Baru Baru Sentul to the east alongside Sentul East and Sentul West.
It is also close to other hotspots such as Segambut, Gombak, Setapak and the Kuala Lumpur city centre.
Sentul is accessible via the Sentul Link, Sultan Iskandar Highway (formerly Mahameru Highway), the Middle Ring Road 2, Duta-Segambut Highway and Damansara-Ulu Kelang Expressway.
There is also easy access to the city and suburbs via Jalan Kuching, Jalan Pahang, Jalan Genting Kelang, Jalan Kepong and Jalan Ipoh.
“Sentul’s somewhat obsolete past is quickly being replaced by a bigger and brighter future prospect, as gentrification raises the area’s standard of living and returns the area to its past glory as a prosperous railway town.
“With the peculiar architecture of Capers serving as the neighbourhood’s landmark, Sentul has become a much sought-after locality in a short period of time,” the firm said.
By virtue of its economic dominance, the value and volume of property transactions in the Klang Valley is by far the highest in the country.
Sentul itself has gone through rapid changes over the past 15 years.
Henry Butcher said the secondary highrise residential developments in Sentul have a selling price of RM155 to RM970 per sq ft (psf).
The price range caters for buyers from low- , medium- and higher-income groups, with the newer ones pegged towards the higher end of the spectrum at RM600 to RM900 psf.
Among the completed projects, YTL Land & Development Bhd’s The Fennel and The Capers prove to be the costlier options, both priced above RM800 psf, said Henry Butcher.
Unit sizes are generally in the mid-range. Condominium developments in Sentul tend to have built-up areas of 900 to 1,200 sq f.
The largest offering in the area is The Maple (also by YTL Land) up to 2,891 sq ft.
Sentul - a success story
YTL Land has unveiled its master plan to redevelop Sentul Raya, a multi-billion ringgit project which had stalled during the 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis.
Sentul Raya, comprising mainly railway land, was first initiated by Taiping Consolidated’s subsidiary, Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd, which underwent a restructuring exercise.
The Sentul Raya project was a 70:30 joint venture between Taiping Consolidated and KTM Bhd (KTMB).
YTL Corp Bhd was appointed by the government in November 2000 as the new KTMB partner for the Sentul Raya project.
In October 2001, YTL Corp announced its plan to inject RM282 million of property and land-based assets into Taiping Consolidated and to rename it to YTL Land.
The urban renewal project, which started in 2002, became the first private gated park in Kuala Lumpur.
As the 117ha site is divided by the Sentul KTM Komuter station and tracks, the concept of the master plan characterises the two halves differently, thereby forming Sentul West and Sentul East.
Sentul East, on a 43.7ha site, comprises mainly commercial units while Sentul West, which sits on 75.3ha site, features residential properties with lakes, a 14ha private park and the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre which opened in 2005.
Sentul East and Sentul West developments have definitely lifted the image of Sentul.
Not only have property prices for upmarket apartments skyrocketed, but more people are looking at Sentul as their new home because of the “feel good” factor, said a property agent serving the Sentul area.
“Living in Sentul now is like living in Damansara or Bangsar South. It is not like before where people were afraid to move to Sentul, let alone eat there especially at night, as it was notorious for gang fights.
“All that changed in the last 10 years. It is like Sentul has been given a massive makeover after YTL Land came in with their projects.
“Sentul really has been rejuvenated thanks to Sentul East and Sentul West.
“More developers are in Sentul today to take advantage of the situation where the location is on investors’ radar and property prices are moving up steadily,” he told NST Property.
Completed projects in Sentul East and Sentul West are The Capers (condominiums), d6 (retail and offices), d7 (retail and offices), The Saffron (condominiums), The Maple (condominiums), The Tamarind (condominiums) and Sang Suria (condominiums).
Since 2006, property prices for the residential units, which were sold at about RM250 per sq ft, have doubled or tripled in some cases.
“I believe if YTL Land launches a new apartment project in Sentul, meaning out of the Sentul East and Sentul West developments, it will be a sellout as they have a good following. Maybe the market is waiting for some kind of news from YTL Land on new launches,” said the real estate agent.
When YTL Land launched the final block of The Fennel in Sentul East last year, the first batch of dual-key units were sold out in less than 30 minutes.
YTL Land executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian told NST Property in an interview last year a long queue had started forming as early as 3pm a day before the launch.
“The purchasers waited for 19 hours in the mall before the sales gallery opened the next morning,” Yeoh said.
The units, ranging from 1,400 to 1,600 sq ft, were sold at an average price of RM580 psf.
The Fennel’s success amid an extremely challenging business environment was largely due to its stunning design and offering of a modern lifestyle.
Upcoming highrises of Sentul
There are three projects under construction by various developers in Sentul, namely Rica Residence by Fajarbaru Properties Sdn Bhd, M Centura by Mah Sing Group Bhd and Sentul Point Suite Apartments by UOA Group.
Most of these developments are expected to be completed within four years.
Rica Residency is a 39-storey tower with 473 serviced residences.
Rica Residency ranges between 657 and 1,238 sq ft. The launch price for the units were from RM420,000, or RM538 psf.
Mah Sing is developing M Centura on 3.44ha site fronting Jalan Sentul Pasar.
The project has a gross development value of about RM1.3 billion.
The residential project will have practical units with built-up areas of 650 to 1,000 sq ft, indicatively priced from RM328,000, or RM505 psf.
The developer is targeting first-time house buyers and some upgraders.
Mah Sing group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum told NST Property it will launch Phase Two of M Centura in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to approval.
Phase 2 will not be named M Centura because it will be developed based on a new concept and a different master title.
Nevertheless, Leong said Mah Sing will offer affordable products starting from RM350,000.
Phase Two consists of about 1,600 units (ranging from 600 to 1,000 sq ft) and all units are of north-south orientation, he said.
Leong said Mah Sing does not have other landbank in Sentul but is open to opportunities that come along.
“We are focused on increasing our landbank in the Klang Valley to 75 per cent from the current 67 per cent.
“The transformed Sentul is an emerging market with modern amenities and is within reach while still preserving the old world charm.
“Sentul is also situated at the centre of matured townships such as Kepong, Taman Seri Gombak, Setapak, Segambut and Batu Caves. This provides a large catchment of potential homebuyers looking to upgrade to a new development, especially by a developer with good track record like us.
“According to our market survey, new developments in Sentul are generally well taken up and we believe the demand for affordably priced homes in Sentul will continue to grow as there are locals looking to upgrade their homes as well as spillover demand from nearby matured neighbourhoods.”
Leong said M Centura is 8.3km to the Kuala Lumpur city centre and 7.1km to Mont Kiara. It is also close to Damansara.
This makes it both an excellent investment opportunity and a suitable place to stay, especially for working adults who travel to these locations frequently.
The area’s improved infrastructure and mass rapid transit system had garnered the interest of buyers, he added.
Room for all
SENTUL has houses for all income groups.
While the rich are buying in Sentul, there is also room for the low- to middle-income group to own properties in the established locality.
Henry Butcher Malaysia said leveraging Sentul’s popularity are Sky Awani 1 and Sky Awani 2 by SkyWorld Development Group, which are Federal Territories Affordable Home Programme (Rumawip).
“These upcoming Sentul properties start from RM201 to more than RM800 psf.
“Sky Awani 1 and Sky Awani 2 take the lower rung of the price points, costing between RM201 and RM400 psf.
“The highest priced units are found in The Rica and Sentul Point, as they start from RM601 psf,” said Henry Butcher.
It said at the moment, the average price of highrise residences in Sentul is at RM450 psf, but is expected to increase upon the completion of the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Mass Rapid Transit (SSP Line).
Scheduled for completion in 2022, the SSP Line passes Sentul East and Sentul West, complementing the existing KTM Bhd line, monorail and light rail transit (LRT) stations and connecting the area with the rest of the Klang Valley.
“With land mass getting scarce in the Sentul locality proper, it should not be a surprise when future developments further afield will take a chance at branding their projects with the Sentul address, given its natural proximity to the city centre, increasingly wide variety of connectivity options and the eye-catching skyline,” Henry Butcher said.
The Sentul Timur and Sentul LRT stations are both park-and-ride stations under the Sri Petaling Line.
There are also three KTM stations, namely Sentul, Kampung Batu and Batu Kentomen stations that have parking facilities.