LOCATED 35km north of Kuala Lumpur, Rawang in Selangor was once a busy tin mining town which had recorded a number of “firsts” in the country. It was the first town in Malaya to have electricity supplied by the British, therefore making it the first town to have electric street lights. The Rawang Railway Station was the first station that had electricity supply.
Rawang was one of the earliest established towns in Malaysia (since 1825). “In fact, at one time, some developers rushed into Rawang because there were plans for the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to be located in the northern region of the Klang Valley, which includes Rawang, Bukit Beruntung and Serendah,” Laurel Cap Sdn Bhd director Stanley Toh tells TheEdgeProperty.com. However, KLIA ended up being built in the south instead — in Sepang, to be exact. “Most of the developers who invested in the northern parts, including Rawang, were stuck. Coupled with the Asian Financial Crisis as well as the lack of growth catalysts, some projects were either abandoned or had problems selling. At that time, many purchasers had to sell their properties (in Rawang) at a loss,” Toh says.
More than two decades have passed since and properties in Rawang are getting the attention of developers and homebuyers once again. Its relatively cheaper real estate compared with places like Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya as well as the area’s improved connectivity and amenities have raised its profile as a property investment spot. “In the last five years, Rawang has developed rapidly as a major suburb given the enhanced infrastructure, public amenities and connectivity from Sungai Buloh, Petaling Jaya and the Kuala Lumpur city centre. Its affordable real estate has attracted demand and this is supporting the growth of its property market,” says VPC Alliance (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd managing director James Wong.
Agreeing with Wong, Vivahomes Realty’s Rawang specialised team manager Mike Yap also says Rawang’s property development landscape and property market have grown significantly in recent times. “Three years ago, a 2-storey linked house cost RM100 psf to RM200 psf, but today the price has more than doubled to about RM300 psf to RM400 psf,” Yap says. He adds that prices of terraced homes in Rawang have grown significantly in recent years due to a hike in demand from homebuyers outside Rawang such as in Kepong, Selayang, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur and Puchong.
Based on the secondary market deals he closed in Rawang, Yap says only about 20% of buyers were actually from Rawang. He believes that there is a similar ratio of buyers in the primary market.“When more terraced homes became unaffordable in these other places, homebuyers looking for terraced homes will look at Rawang, because it is still offering terraced houses priced mainly between RM400,000 and RM600,000,” says Yap.