The new and upcoming High Speed Rail (HSR) that will reach from Kuala Lumpur all the way to Singapore has taken Malaysia by a storm. Not just will Malaysians working in Singapore be able to get to work in under two hours, they will also be able to continue living in the city of Malaysia, work in Singapore and vice versa.
But firstly, a small introduction to the HSR for the uninitiated. The HSR was first announced by Prime Minister Najib in September 2010, which works for it was supposed to have commenced in the year 2015. It was however delayed due to pending agreements such as which rail company from which country was to have the contract, but things seem to be finalising in mid-2016 with China in the lead over South Korea. The new proposed date for commencement of works is the year 2017, with the completion date set in 2026.
The beauty of the HSR system is that commuters will be able to get to Jurong East in Singapore from Kuala Lumpur in only 90 minutes, with an affordable fare that beats the hassle of travelling to the airport and flying, and is definitely more comfortable and speedy than taking an overnight train or inter-country bus.
Now, just what does all this mean for the Malaysian public? For those of the older generation, they would remember the storm that took Malaysia when the Putra Light Rail Transit (LRT) system was announced and built. Property prices surrounding the rail tracks went off the charts, doubling and tripling in prices - while rental yields for properties around the rail tracks also increased exponentially.
Looking back into history, the property investors of today have already begun to make their moves into the HSR train station areas to grab their piece of the pie. On a broader spectrum, the train stations which is likened to Japan’s bullet train will have only a few stops, in Bandar Malaysia, Seremban, Muar, Ayer Keroh, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.
So here’s a look into some of these areas that could potentially be your next new investment!
Bandar Malaysia is going to be the new and visionary township which will house 5,000 affordable homes. There are many incentives for master developers who participate in building this township, such as an income exemption of 10 years, stamp duty exemption for 8 years, Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) exemption for eight years, withholding of tax for eight years and exemption from import duty on selected construction materials not manufactured locally.
Although the property developments for this township is yet to be announced, property buyers are already keeping an ear to the ground for any news. Even more appealing is that the developer MRCB Berhad who designed and built the country’s public transportation hub KL Sentral, will also be joint venturing with the developers of Bandar Malaysia to build the Bandar Malaysia Integrated Transportation Terminal.
The next stop after Bandar Malaysia a few minutes later will be Seremban, where the station is to be located within Bandar Sri Sendayan which its mastermind is Matrix Concepts. It was confirmed in May 2015 that the station will be situated within the Labu and Kirby estates in Seremban, neighbouring Sendayan Tech Valley, the upcoming Bandar Enstek by TH Properties, Bandar Ainsdale by Sime Darby Property and S2 Height by IJM Land. The area also enjoys direct access to the PLUS Highway.
Excitingly enough for property investors, the rather large plot of land which is to be Seremban’s HSR station belongs to the Sime Darby Group. Their plans for this plot of land is to build a mixed development project which will be named the Sime Darby Vision City. Aside from the aforementioned development belonging to the group, Sime Darby is designing Vision City to be the new ‘Centre of Seremban’.
The next station is to be located in the state of Malacca, in the district of Ayer Keroh. All these years this old town has been drawing visitors with its historical sites, and it appears that there will soon be reason for visitors to flood this town with its even easier access. According to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, he expects an economic boom to hit the town of Ayer Keroh upon completion and commencement of the HSR services.
Foreseeing a huge fiscal effect, Idris is giving priority to upgrading the infrastructure in the town to ensure that future visitors to the historic city upon completion of the HSR will not be stuck in traffic gridlock. With the lower cost of living in the state, it is expected that future Malacca or Kuala Lumpur citizens will be able to live in Malaysia but work in Singapore conveniently.
Moving on, the next train stop after Malacca will be in Muar in the state of Johor. It has been confirmed that the HSR station will be located in Pagoh, a small town in Muar that is accessible via a North-South Highway Interchange. It comes as no surprise, that the train station will also bring major benefits to the town, being located close to the nearby education city.
Bandar University Pagoh is a product of Sime Darby Property, which the area is only 15 minutes away from the town of Pagoh. The universities that will be housed within this educity are Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, International Islamic University Malaysia and Pagoh Polytechnic Malaysia. The developers expect the first phase of the education hub to be ready by 2016, and to have 11,000 students by then.
Bandar University Pagoh will span 4,082 acres, and enjoy direct access to the Pagoh interchange at the North-South Highway interchange. The township will also be host to the Sime Darby Business Park, commercial hub of Saujana Square and several housing developments such as Harmoni Vista.
The next stop after Muar will be in the small but prosperous town of Batu Pahat. Batu Pahat is in actuality a rather large state, but much of it is agricultural land while the town itself is rather small. This is not to say that it is not self-sufficient, but rather much the opposite. They may not have a major shopping mall or such, but they definitely have their own cultural food preferences, great food and affordable accommodation.
They are also going to be the next stop for the HSR line. Residents of Batu Pahat are excited over this development, as they foresee the economy of the town improving and the entry of many more new property developments. Residents who work in Singapore and come back during the weekends are also looking forward to the HSR line and being able to live entirely in Malaysia while still working in Singapore.
This last stop in Malaysia before heading over to the final stop in Jurong East, Singapore is one that has perhaps attracted the most attention. Not only is this part of the reformed southern tip of Johor, Iskandar Malaysia, it is also the the administrative center for the government of Johor State.
Iskandar Puteri was formerly known as Nusajaya. This district has been in the centre of property investors’ attention for the educity located in its heart. Among some of the universities located in this state are University of South Hampton, University of Reading, a branch of the Marlborough College which Duchess Kate Middleton attended and the Johan Cruyff Institute Malaysia (JCIM) which provides an Online Football Management Degree (FMD).
These are just amongst a few of the renowned universities in this district which attract students from all over the world, where Singaporean students can continue living in their home country while attending university in Malaysia on a daily basis. And with the HSR, getting to class will take only minutes.
The Economic Boost of the HSR
When the Putra LRT line was first built, the prices of properties surrounding the train stations easily doubled in price. Now the HSR is the next new excitement in town, and property investors are already hunting for prospective bargains. If you are searching for your own next bargain as well, don’t forget to check out the new properties in PropSocial!