|Photo courtesy of JKR|
Many of us remember Rawang as a small town founded by one of Malaysia's first mining industries. Aside from the North-South highway, many people will travel to Genting Highlands via the Karak highway. Most people staying in Hulu Selangor will pass through Rawang before reaching Genting Highland, a popular tourist destination.
The KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR Expressway) was officially opened in June 2011, connecting Kuala Lumpur at Templer's Park with the township of Ijok, creating an alternative link road. The expressway has successfully shortened the travel distance between Kuala Lumpur, Rawang, and Ijok, making it more feasible for Rawang residents to work elsewhere or vice versa.
“At the moment, there is no integrated rail system available within the township except for KTM; travel by KTM will be via the KTM Rawang Station, which is located near Rawang town,” said Oregeon Property Consultancy director Sr Kok Chin Yee. Rawang may not have been at the top of the list for buyers and developers years ago. Rawang has now become a hot location, with new projects sprouting up all over the place and selling at reasonable prices.
“From being a township offering a place to work and live, Rawang is now offering more job opportunities and bringing in entertainment elements, transforming itself to a self-sustaining township, and buyers are less hesitant to move in,” Kok explained.
Rawang is 26,314 hectares in size, with a population of over 700,000 people, according to Selayang Municipal Council town planning department officer Noriza Binti Bahari. “Our borders stretch from Sungai Choh, also known as Batu 20, to Batu Arang, and there are currently many industrial areas here.” Rawang's natural beauty is preserved thanks to the Bukit Lagong forest reserve. Things are changing, however, as more top Malaysian developers, such as Mah Sing, Guocoland, Gamuda, and PKNS, are establishing themselves in Rawang and expanding the residential market. Some of these developers have affordable housing projects under the ‘Rumah Selangorku' scheme.”
Rawang is divided into two sections, Rawang New Town and Rawang Old Town, according to her. There is little distinction between the old and the new, except for sentimental value, where there are several terrace houses and old commercial buildings, and the names of the roads, such as Jalan Maxwell, have been retained to this day.
“The Kundang area is one of Rawang's hottest development hotspots. Previously, the area was mostly made up of small villages and agricultural land,” Noriza explained.According to her, there are at least two main reasons why major developers are interested in this area. “The LATAR and GUTHRIE highways will both pass through the area. As a result, we believe that the upcoming developments are aimed at people working in Kuala Lumpur City Centre or even as far as Shah Alam, as the distances are reduced to about 30 minutes with the highway.”
“Another consideration is the cost of the land. One of the major reasons why property prices are so high is that developers must pay a high price to acquire land,” Noriza explained. Rawang's land prices are lower than those in Selayang, which encourages the growth of property developments here.
She stated that Rawang's development pattern is heavily reliant on supporting Kuala Lumpur's development patterns. The majority of people will travel from Rawang to work in KL because the capital city has many offices.
Rawang will have the Rawang Underpass, which will connect the town of Rawang to Serendah, Hulu Selangor. The Public Works Department (JKR) will begin work to widen Jalan Rawang (B27) from 16-inch-wide roads to double lanes, easing the bottleneck that begins in Rawang Town. The road connects the Rawang toll to the Batang Berjuntai neighbourhood.
Many major developments by top developers are already underway along the road, including Kota Emerald by Guocoland, Saujana Rawang, Country Homes, Kota Selatan Indah, and PKNS.
Cassia @ Antara Gapi is one of many PKNS products in Rawang, with a GDV of RM40,500,000. PKNS believed that this area was a new location that could be developed in the same way that Shah Alam was. PKNS is targeting those who prefer the beauty of the tranquil nature.
So far, SRK Antara Gapi is the only school located within Antara Gapi's vicinity. Aside from that, other schools within a 3km radius of Antara Gapi include SK Bukit Sentosa, SMK Bukit Sentosa, SM Bukit Sentosa, and SJK(C) Serendah.
Those who prefer public transportation can find a Serendah KTM Station about 2.47 kilometres from town.
PKNS believes that this location will boom in the next five years because it will be a popular destination for eco-tourism.
Lagong Mas is being developed by Sime Darby in Rawang, Selangor. The TWO and LakeClub ParkHome, the first-of-its-kind resort home, are being developed by DA Land.
Last year, Gamuda completed a massive land acquisition in Rawang that included 14 parcels totaling 724 acres. Gamuda paid RM620 million for the land, which equated to RM19.65 per square foot.
The leasehold agriculture land was tendered out by the government, and Gamuda outbid a number of major real estate players to secure it. The project is awaiting layout approval and is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of next year.
There is Jaya Jusco and other malls such as Tesco, Parkson, AEON, and Giant for entertainment and leisure. There is also the possibility of BRDB constructing an international school nearby.
On public transport, Rawang will have a new bus operator and a new bus route by the end of this year. Additionally, a new railway-oriented industry clusters is being established, including additional stops at KTM Rawang, which many Rawang residents will use as their primary mode of transportation to Kuala Lumpur. MRT extension issues are also being addressed.
According to AREM Malaysia principal A.R Nathan, “due to land scarcity and high prices in the city centre, several new property hotspots will emerge in suburban areas such as Rawang and the southern Klang Valley such as Semenyih, Puchong South, Putrajaya, and Cyberjaya.” AREM is a property consultancy firm based in Malaysia that offers property valuation, property management, and real estate services.
He added that Rawang has long-term growth potential, owing to dwindling development land supply and rising prices in the Kuala Lumpur-Petaling Jaya-Shah Alam corridors. He agreed with the MPS local municipal council that the existing LATAR highway would benefit not only property developers but also Rawang residents. This will be beneficial to those looking to buy property in Rawang.
“M Residence is an upcoming premium development in Rawang by Mah Sing. “This is a gated project with 56 units, two 12-story buildings, and prices starting at RM868,800,” Nathan explained.
There is also the gated Seiring, East@Rawang by Indah Jaya Development, which has 32 2-storey semi-detached units starting from RM956,800.
“Three major corridors are either rapidly developing or expected to grow exponentially. The northern corridor stretches all the way to Rawang – the northern gateway from Greater KL – the western corridor all the way to Port Klang, and the southern corridor, which is seeing major developments, reaches all the way to Nilai in Negeri Sembilan,” said PPC Agency chief executive officer Siva Shankar.
According to Dr. Daniele Gambero, CEO and co-founder of REI Group of Companies, the ‘Rumah Selangorku' project by Mah Sing is another plus point, especially for middle to low income earners looking to buy affordable housing in the Klang Valley area such as Rawang.
“Property hotspots are expected to have high sales take-up rates and a good chance of capital appreciation in the medium term. Dr. Daniele Gambero shared, "The one that comes to mind is mostly Templers Park area, where some developers have been offering interesting projects in the last few years."
“This could be a good option for the future development of Rawang. Surely, first-time home buyers should be able to find their dream home there at quite affordable values, as the 'land key factor' is still priced reasonably,” Gambero added.
According to HCS Research CEO Ishmael Ho, Rawang is a large area, but the southern part (or Kundang area) is where the action is. “The Low Yat group project is to the north, and the KLK Bandar Seri Coalfield development is to the south of the LATAR highway. The LATAR highway interchange, which is set to open in 2016, will boost development in areas such as Bandar Tasik Puteri,” Ishmael explained.
Rawang is expected to have more than 400 commercial lots, including financial institutions and department stores. Plaza Bandar Rawang, a multi-story plaza with over 500 stalls, is one notable example.
Since the North South Highway (PLUS) opened in the 1990s, Rawang in Selangor has seen tremendous growth in terms of both property development and population. Rawang has attracted a large number of potential buyers and investors in recent years. As a result, property prices have skyrocketed in a matter of years.