By THE EDGE
Fancy paying RM800,000 or RM830,000 for a link house? This is how much Bandar Utama Development Sdn Bhd’s latest launch of 2½-storey build-then-sell (BTS) link houses in popular and freehold Bandar Utama cost. A corner lot is priced at RM1.48 million. Yes, prices have increased since the last launch in March last year. Yet once again, interested buyers rushed to the developer’s office to be among the first to grab the opportunity to own one of these houses.
When the developer sent out the letters to the buyers 10 days before the launch, the really eager ones went at once to its office to register their names on a first-come first-served basis. They were all ready to camp there until the day of the launch on June 15. But the developer told them to go home and return on June 11 to collect their official queue number tags. However, every day until the day of the launch, they must be present to have their queue numbers and identities verified at least three times a day. A number of anxious buyers, who did not want to miss out on anything, decided to camp at the office site. To make things comfortable for them, the developer took the trouble to provide them with food and a makeshift shelter. On the day the 136 units opened for sale, the crowd had already made a beeline before the sun rose.
As in previous launches, choice units were taken up within an hour. Two hours later, more than half of them were “grabbed”. By 2pm, 90% of the units had been taken up, with the corner lots and those facing the field the first to go. The rest were generally considered less desirable, such as those facing junctions or with the number “4” in the address.
First buyer in line was Ng Siew Yin who looked pleased with herself for purchasing the house of her choice — a corner link house facing the field.
The corner unit is among four up for sale. The BTS units launched this time round feature a rooftop garden and boast larger built-ups. The built-up for the Megaria Elit Ekstra intermediate units is 3,287 sq ft (22ft by 85ft) while that for the Megaria Mewah Ekstra units is 3,083 sq ft (22ft by 75ft). The standard Mewah and Elit units are priced at RM800,000 and RM830,000 respectively.
Ng is a “veteran” of sorts when it comes to investing in Bandar Utama homes. She is already staying in a corner house which she bought in a previous launch.
“I have been staying here for over 10 years. You can’t get freehold property in this location anymore. I constantly keep in touch with the sales people here to check when the next launch is,” she tells The Edge.
She believes that with the current pricing, the units are worth investing in because of their prime location. “I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way,” she says. This was evident from the long queue of about 250 customers waiting nervously for the doors to open at 7am.
Even young buyer Tan Kian Kiat, 27, believes that one has to pay a premium for a good location with good infrastructure like Bandar Utama. With the help of his father who paid the down payment, he bought an intermediate unit. His two sisters already have their own houses in Bandar Utama, also thanks to dad, a retiree.
“We like the neighbourhood here. It is relatively safe and the neighbours are very friendly. It is a nice place to stay.
“We look out for Bandar Utama launches all the time. We came over here as soon as we learnt about the launch,” says Tan, a sales manager who was lucky No 13 in the line. Before moving to Bandar Utama, the family had been staying in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Like Tan, another buyer, who only wanted to be known as Karen, has family members who stay here. “My mum was among the first purchasers of a Bandar Utama home. She bought her house at below RM200,000 at the time,” she says. Karen herself would be upgrading from a condominium in Kelana Jaya. The finance manager was one of the lucky few to be able to purchase a house facing the field.
Another early bird was first-time Bandar Utama houseowner Azimah Aziz who arrived at the sales office at 6am. She managed to secure an end lot. The business entrepreneur will be moving from Selayang to her new house with her husband and family. “The price may be high but we chose Bandar Utama for the exclusive address and location. There are also schools, malls and other conveniences here.”
According to a company official, the houses received Certificates of Fitness for Occupation about a month ago. The launch was timed for after the school holidays when most people would be back from vacation.
The 2½-storey link houses launched in March last year were tagged at about RM700,000. The first 2½-storey BTS houses were unveiled in 2001 when the prices of intermediate units with a built-up of about 2,700 sq ft were priced from RM550,000 onwards.
On the pricing of the latest launch, the official says the units are priced to the secondary market. “Property prices in surrounding areas have also increased tremendously so we are only playing catch-up.”
He says the main draw is Bandar Utama’s centralised location. On congestion, he says the jams usually occur during peak hours, like in other areas in KL and PJ.
“Congestion is also due to factors beyond our control. For example, there were other developments which came later, like Mutiara Damansara, Kota Damansara and Metro Kajang. They cost us our access,” he adds.
This is probably the last launch of terraced houses by the developer here, pending a decision on the type of development it plans on a 40-acre piece of land nearest to the 1 Utama mall and a 300,000 sq ft three-level clubhouse currently being built.
The driving range nearby is also earmarked for a hospital and high-end retirement homes. The township is planned for a population of about 40,000. So far, some 6,000 units have already been completed.