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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        16  February 2011

KL transport expansion to raise real estate prices

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Property developers expect the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project to have significant impact on the prices of residential and commercial properties along the MRT route.

Eric Oii, a member of the board of valuers, appraisers and estate agents said property prices - commercial and residential - along the MRT route could appreciate by 15 percent to 25 percent depending on the location of the property to the stations.

"We expect generally properties within a 500-metre radius of the MRT stations to have the most appreciation in value," he said yesterday.

Oii, who is also managing director of property consultancy firm Knight Frank Ooi said MRT linked to a network of lines integrated with the LRT, monorail, KTM Komuter and intra-intercity buses city would help ease traffic congestion and cut the cost of travelling.

However, Oii said in the short term, especially when the MRT was being built, it might cause inconvenience to some people especially those living or working close to the stations. "The impact of building the MRT is expected to be more physiological to the community," he said, adding that any major structural developments were expected to impact a certain group of individuals negatively.

There was an outcry by some residents in some suburbs (where the MRT stations are earmarked to be built) including those in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, who had criticised the development, claiming that the MRT station would cause traffic congestion, and possibly lower the value of their properties.

Ho Chin Soon Research Sdn Bhd director Ho Chin Soon concurred with Oii that there would be some disgruntled individuals who opposed the MRT project but in the long run it would benefit the majority of people, especially the lower income group that depended on public transport. Ho Chin Soon Research is a local mapping and property research based company. Based on the company's compilation of data on MRT stations in various countries, it can be concluded that they would help raise property prices.

"Properties close to the MRT stations can expect better appreciation once the station is built. And those very close to the station are likely to benefit also. In certain circumstances, some properties very close to the station may be impacted too resulting in a fall in prices," he said, adding that such cases would be an exception rather than a rule.

Ho also said it would be reasonable to conclude that properties around a 500-meter radius to a MRT station would appreciate value once the station was built.

"Those within walking distance would still appreciate from its proximity to the station. Our tropical climate makes it not very conducive to walk longer than 10 minutes to a station," he noted.

Work on the line is targeted to commence in July and is expected to be completed in 2016.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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