New city status a boost to Pasir Gudang

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With its new city status, Pasir Gudang will see the development of more public facilities and infrastructure. (Bernama pic)

Pasir Gudang, in the district of Johor Bahru, was established in 1918. It was originally known as Kampung Pasir Udang.

However, this name was changed to Pasir Gudang (sand warehouse) because of the sand mine in Kampung Ulu, where sand was stocked before being exported to Singapore.

In the early 20th century, after the introduction of the rubber tree to Malaya, British and Singaporean cultivators opened up large estates. By 1916, six estates spanning 6,070ha were opened in the Mukim of Plentong.

After 1969, land schemes under the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) were started in Ban Foo, Plentong Baru and Cahaya Baru.

To further develop Johor, the state government took over some estate land and converted it into industrial and housing areas.

An analysis by Property Advisor revealed that median prices for high-rises in Pasir Gudang skyrocketed by 100% in the first half of 2020 (1H2020).

This was in contrast to the median price trend for the previous year when the price for high-rise properties dropped 12.5% year on year in 1H2019.

The median price of landed properties has continued to grow steadily since 2018, starting with an 11.5% spike in 1H2019 followed by a 3.5% increase in 1H2020.

With the exception of high-rise property transactions in 1H2019, which remained unchanged from 1H2018, the transaction volume in Pasir Gudang has been moving downward since then.

In 1H2020, transactions of high-rise properties plunged 73.7% year on year. Meanwhile, landed property transactions fell 11.2% in 1H2019 before nose-diving 78.2% in 1H2020.

Property Advisor’s analysis from the buyer profile perspective reveals an upward trend in median prices, the opposite of the downward trend in transaction volumes.

Median prices for first-home buyers (FHB) rose 8% in 1H2019 and increased a further 5.6% in 1H2020.

At the same time, transaction volume dipped 10.5% in 1H2019 and plummeted 80.5% in 1H2020.

As for the investors’ market, the median price increased 15.4% in 1H2019 and continued upwards in 1H2020, with a rise of 4.8%.

Transaction volume dropped slightly in 1H2019, with a decrease of 9.3%, and fell a further 67.1% in 1H2020.

What does the expert say?

KGVI International Property Consultants (Johor) Sdn Bhd executive director Samuel Tan said Pasir Gudang was upgraded to city status on Nov 22, 2020, the third city in the state.

With this new status, Pasir Gudang will see the development of more public facilities and infrastructure.

“As it is, Pasir Gudang already boasts several significant developments, such as a racing circuit, stadium, hospitals, a polytechnic and a port. Another district hospital is under construction at Bandar Seri Alam.

“Pasir Gudang houses the only heavy industry park in Johor, Tanjung Langsat Heavy Industrial Estate,” he told Property Advisor.

He noted that Bandar Seri Alam will continue to anchor itself as the “City of Knowledge” with various educational centres in the township.

The list includes Nam Heng Chinese Primary School, The Japanese School, Excelsior International School, UniWorld International School, Malaysia Arts School, Asean Metropolitan University, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Teknologi MARA as well as seven other national primary and secondary schools.

The renowned Foon Yew High School will soon join the list when it opens its new school.

Greener, cleaner more value-added industries

Tan said highly polluting industries will be gradually phased out and replaced with cleaner and higher value-added industries.

“Future-generation business parks will be better planned with ample green spaces, carparks and other essential ancillary facilities.

“We expect more variety in the commercial centres in the township. The existing mini-town centres within each housing estate will be expanded and attract more activities such as retail, food and beverage outlets and eateries, recreational and entertainment outlets,” he said.

With the completion of the Southern Coastal Highway some years ago, he added, connectivity to Pasir Gudang from the Johor Bahru city centre is fast and easy.

“This has and will continue to bring more people to the region, especially those in the B40 and M40 segments.

“Pasir Gudang and its surroundings have always been identified as the employment centres of Johor Bahru. We foresee more job opportunities here causing an influx of workers into the area.”

Pasir Gudang is still a predominantly industrial area with many industrial parks in the vicinity. Most of the businesses are heavy and medium industries.

Tan said Pasir Gudang lacks variety in terms of local retail centres, F&B outlets, as well as recreational and entertainment centres compared with other areas in Johor Bahru.

“To be an exemplary township, Pasir Gudang needs to be developed into a holistic ‘work-live-play’ area that allows residents and workers to live and work comfortably within the self-contained township.”

According to Tan, in the last five years, more modern and contemporary township schemes have been developed in the area.

The more prominent ones include Taman Eco Tropics by Eco World Development Bhd and Meridien East by Mah Sing Bhd.

These, together with more established schemes such as Bandar Seri Alam, Taman Rinting and Taman Dahlia, offer a wide range of property types.

Landed properties remained the most popular, with prices hovering around RM400,000 to RM700,000 for a typical double-storey terraced house.

Tan said as Pasir Gudang is mostly occupied by locals, there are not as many high-rise developments there compared with other areas such as Johor Bahru city centre and Iskandar Puteri.

“High-rise developments in this locality target the middle-low to mid-end market,” he said, adding that high-rise developments should hover around the RM400 per sq ft range.

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