Ampang has potential for growth despite its maturity

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Ampang’s history dates back to the tin mining days of Malaya. (Property Advisor pic)

The history of Ampang goes back to the tin mining days of Malaya. The name itself comes from the old Malay word “ampangan”, which means dam.

Under the British, Ampang was part of Selangor, in the greater Kuala Lumpur district.

In 1974, with the creation of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Ampang was split into two. The western half came under the Federal Territory and the eastern part remained in Selangor.

In total, Ampang spans 14,350ha. It covers the Ampang, Pandan and Gombak parliamentary constituencies, stretching from Pandan Indah in the south, through Ampang town, Hulu Klang, Melawati and the Klang Gates Dam in the north.

A Property Advisor analysis reveals that transaction volumes for both high-rise and landed properties in Ampang have been on a downward trend since 2018, with transactions for high-rises dropping nearly 19% year-on-year in the first half of 2019 (1H2019), followed by a plunge of 78% in 1H2020.

Despite the drop in the number of transactions, the median price for high-rise residences spiked 37% in 1H2020, after a slight dip of 9% in 1H2019 compared with 1H2018.

A similar trend can be seen in landed property transactions. They dropped 13% in 1H2019 and plummeted 75% in 1H2020. The median price trend, however, was the total opposite with a 21% spike in 1H2019 and a smaller increase of 7% in 1H2020.

Transaction volumes for Ampang had been trending downward even before the pandemic.

For first-home buyers (FHB), transactions dropped 34% in 1H2019 compared with 1H2018. The following year, transactions took another nosedive, falling 76% in 1H2020.

The same pattern can be observed in the investor market, with a slight dip of 9% in 1H2019 that was followed by a 77% plunge in 1H2020.

However, median prices in Ampang have spiked in 1H2020. The FHB market notably witnessed a 67% rise in prices, a stark contrast from the 22% decline in 1H2019.

The increase in the investor market was not so dramatic; it did rose 15% in 1H2020, compared to a 12% dip in 1H2019.

What does the expert say?

Metro Homes Realty Bhd executive director See Kok Loong said the area is considered a matured are and most of the land has been developed, with only a few pockets remaining.

“These pockets are available for development, unless development goes into reserve areas such as Ukay Perdana and further.

“But this is considered high risk because of the potential for landslides, which are common in the hilly area, and earlier events, including the collapse of Highland Towers,” he told Property Advisor.

Ampang has started to look at different lifestyle offerings, including bigger living spaces.

“We believe upcoming developments should focus on larger unit sizes and additional specifications such as better broadband connection, the introduction of 5G and more stable internet connectivity,” See said.

Residents must embrace green living for sustainability now. With the new normal post-Covid-19, we will be working from home more. Better maintenance of nature and parks is needed for residents to enjoy a high standard of living.

See said Ampang has excellent, well-connected amenities and facilities as most are available within a short distance due to its close proximity to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

However, he said what can be improved for Ampang is the development of a master-plan township such as Bukit Jelutong or Shah Alam.

“This is my concern as Ampang needed proper and complete town planning from the initial stage. Most development in Ampang currently is similar to that in Cheras, with smaller parcels of development, below 12ha.”

Based on the Valuation and Property Services Department transaction report for 2020, he pointed out that terraced houses and townhouses are popular with prices ranging from RM400,000 to RM800,000 (terraced) and RM320,000 to RM450,000 (townhouse).

Impact of Covid-19 on Ampang’s property market

Just like other areas, the property market in Ampang is expected to remain stagnant for the next one or two years as employment and businesses are affected by the pandemic.

“Shah Alam and Putrajaya are largely occupied by civil servants with stable incomes. Hence, they are among the places that have not been so badly affected by Covid-19,” See said.

He foresees that a decade from now, Ampang will be considered over-developed due to traffic congestion and a larger population.

“It might need new infrastructure, such as the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), as traffic will be heavy every day. Other than that, the older areas should be redeveloped so all of Ampang can move forward.”

This article was written by Sharina Ahmad of PropertyAdvisor.my, Malaysia’s most comprehensive source of property data, property analytics and insights.