Darling Mont'Kiara

Photo source from theedgeproperty.com

Mont’Kiara is a far cry from what it was over 25 years ago. Carved out of what was then known as Segambut Dalam Rubber Estate, Mont’Kiara has grown rapidly into a self-contained, high-end, high-rise residential suburb in Kuala Lumpur. The neighbourhood is surrounded by and accessed from a number of highways, shortening the commute for residents to the city centre and Petaling Jaya.

Mont’Kiara’s comprehensive amenities and strategic location are the main draws for property buyers and investors. Despite the recent slowdown in the non-landed residential segment of the property market, it remains a property investment hotspot.

According to theedgeproperty.com/Napic (National Property Information Centre) data for the third quarter of last year (3Q2014), Mont’Kiara recorded the highest sales volume in the high-rise residential category in Kuala Lumpur, with 148 units sold, outperforming larger hotspots such as Cheras (see Chart 1).

Self-contained neighbourhood

Real estate agency Fernstate Sdn Bhd director Shawn Fernandez says Mont’Kiara is a mature neighbourhood, and this has contributed to its strong transaction volumes and prices over the past few years.

“[Mont’Kiara] has the added benefit of international schools and commercial areas such as Desa Sri Hartamas, Plaza Damas and Publika being within easy reach. This level of convenience draws people to live in the area,” says Fernandez.

A host of amenities within a 2km radius of the neighbourhood caters for the community of more than 50 nationalities that lives there. There are three international schools, three malls and a good supply of commercial space for small and medium enterprises as well as multinational corporations. Being self-contained adds to Mont’Kiara’s attractiveness, Fernandez adds.

Photo source from theedgeproperty.com

“The neighbourhood is beginning to look especially attractive to those who work there too. The convenience of residing in an area where one can work, shop and socialise cannot be underestimated,” he says.

Hiroko Keitomaro, who has been staying in Mont’Kiara for over 10 years, agrees the neighbourhood is a complete and convenient place to live.

“I don’t need to drive out for my daily needs and activities. My children’s school is a five-minute walk from my condominium and getting to the supermarket takes less than a 10-minute walk. Everything I need is within walking distance,” she says.

Shortage supports the price

Data collated by theedgeproperty.com as at April 27 also showed the average transacted price of non-landed residences in Mont’Kiara rose by 7.8% in 3Q2014 from a year ago to RM685 psf. This compares with Kuala Lumpur’s High-Rise House Price Index growth of 7% over the same period.

A real estate agent familiar with the area believes this is due to its relatively high occupancy rate of above 80%. “Of this percentage, 30% to 50% of Mont’Kiara properties are owner-occupied. Therefore [there is] limited supply [for tenants],” says Kiara Realty principal Lee Meng Tuck.

Critics say the residential property market in Mont’Kiara has become saturated and expensive and offers few units priced below RM1 million. Meanwhile, the high prices in Mont’Kiara are having a spill-over effect on neighbouring areas. An analysis of transaction data by theedgeproperty.com found that projects in Mont’Kiara’s neighbouring areas have also recorded strong sales performance in 2014. Among these were Royal Domain Sri Putramas 2 (Dutamas), Villa Orkid (Bukit Prima Pelangi) and Royal Regent Sri Putramas 3 (Dutamas). In Mont’Kiara itself, Verve Suit