With the new LRT lines in the Klang Valley nearing completion, the question now comes – is it worth to buy properties nearby?
Opinions are greatly divided - some buyers will avoid such properties at all costs, while others see them as a gold mine! What are the pros and cons of buying a home near an MRT/LRT station or line? Let’s look at the downsides first.
1. Traffic jams
Let’s face it - Malaysians don’t like to walk. Most people will drive or take their motorbikes to the LRT station to catch the train, even if it’s only a 10 to 15 minute walk away. So expect heavy traffic around the stations, especially during peak hours.
2. Wake up calls and lullabies
LRT/MRT stations start running as early as 6am and end service as late as midnight. How early the noise starts and how late it stops depends on which part of the line the property is located at. But no matter what time it is, the noise will definitely start from early morning to late at night.
3. And the view is nothing to shout about
People living in properties facing LRT stations or lines get to see steel and concrete structures, speeding trains and crowds of people all the time, instead of trees and birds.
BUT…there are some significant upsides as well.
1. Property values go up!
Property agents have observed that property prices in some areas along the LRT line extension almost doubled since it was announced. Investors also advise (read more: http://goodplace.my/blog/spot-next-property-goldmine-infrastructure-analysis/) that prices of properties will either be flat or even dip during the train station’s messy construction period, but will shoot up once it is ready. In fact, two research papers (read more: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mohd_Faris_Dziauddin/publication/269764856_Estimating_the_effects_of_light_rail_transit_system_on_the_property_values_in_the_Klang_Valley_Malaysia_A_hedonic_house_price_approach/links/549695210cf29b9448241dfc.pdf) found that properties around LRT stations do experience significantly increased values.
2. Rental rates go up!
Many working class people take public transport to work. For them, renting a home within walking distance to a LRT/MRT station would be a big plus point. When there’s high demand, of course it would be the landlord’s market.
The LRT is not just a convenience for working class folks. With the LRT station nearby, even middle class folks have the flexibility to choose whether to catch a train or drive. Sometimes, it is more economical and convenient to just take the LRT instead of driving and putting up with traffic jams and parking problems.
So is buying a home near an LRT station good or bad? It really depends on what your priorities are. If you are buying for investment, then it’s a very good thing. But if you are buying for your own stay, you have to weigh the pros and cons and see what’s best for you and your family.
Do your family members prefer to drive their own cars or take public transport? If your family regularly takes the LRT, then it’s good news all the way for you as you enjoy convenience and better property values! However, you might want to consider buying a property that’s not too close to an LRT station but still within walking distance, to avoid having the noise and crowds right at your doorstep.
(Written by: Lai Chee Seng, 1st June 2015)