Because public infrastructure cannot be easily duplicate in other property developments. The most valuable feature of a real estate is its LOCATION. Location does not simply mean “the house is located at Puchong, a booming area, so its location is good”. That thinking is just part of the meaning of location, the whole idea of location, is actually include the accessibility, transportations, and amenities.
For example, if the property is located on one way street. You may think that it is just minor issue, but in actual, it is very inconvenience as there is only one route to go back home every day, especially if that house is for your own stay.
You can easily find information regarding amenities surrounding real estate from other source, thus I will only highlight on public transportation, especially MRT, LRT, KTM & Monorail.
Why? If you go to any developer’s sales gallery, you would probably hear about terms like infinity swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sky garden, etc. If you make your decision to buy based on these, you are most probably not making the right decision, because all these facilities can be easily duplicate in other new property developments. Based on my observation, the most valuable feature of a real estate in Klang Valley is located within 500m walking distance to urban public transportation system.
Urban Public Transportation systems mean the existing Ampang Line LRT, Kelana Jaya Line LRT, KTM Komuter, Monorail, and the upcoming systems MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang Line, Ampang Line LRT Extension, Kelana Jaya Line LRT Extension, and probably the Monorail Extension.
All these is Urban Public Transportation system that require a lot of money to build, need involvement of Federal Government and no developer can build it by themselves. Once you own a real estate near these transportation systems, you have great advantage compare with other real estate in terms of resale and attracting tenants. Not all real estate are equal, just open the Google Maps and you can see how wide is Klang Valley, there is so many houses, what is so special about them if not because close proximity to urban public transportation system?
If you are familiar with public transportation system in Malaysia, you would probably question why Bus is not in? and why KTM Komuter is in? Bus is a form of public transportation, but in Malaysia’s context, I think close proximity to a bus stop is not an important feature of a real estate, simply because bus is not reliable. To wait for a bus at bus station, it can easily take you 30min, to a maximum of “unknown”, as after 1 hour plus of waiting, you probably rather take a taxi and leave that bus station. KTM Komuter is in because in 2012, they change their EMU Train set to the new EMU Train built by CSR Zhuzhou, capacity increased and the on time reliability also increased. KTM Komuter is no longer the Komuter in our memory which is always pack and always late.
Why limit to 500m walking distance? Property developers know that located close to all these station is important, most probably you will hear them saying: our project is only 10min driving to xxx LRT Station. In city driving speed, say 40km/h, 10min distance mean 6.6km away. What is the different between 6.6km and 500m? Imagine a couple staying in the house, every morning the husband needs to drive to work at PJ, while the wife needs to take LRT to work at KLCC area. If the distance is 500m, the husband has the flexibility to drive to work at anytime, as the wife can just walk to the LRT station. If the distance is 6.6km, either the husband has to depart earlier, to send the wife to LRT station, or they need to buy a new car, so that the wife can drive to LRT Station. A completely different cost structure and convenience level, property located more than 500m walking distance to the stations is almost same as not close to any stations. Within 500m is most comfortable walking distance for weather in Malaysia.
Besides being unable to replicate by newer property developments so that the property can command higher resale value and easier to attract tenants, owning a property near urban public transportation system is also a form of hedge against increase in fuel price. Petroleum is becoming increasingly expensive due to limited supply, if one day driving becomes so expensive that people do not drive to work, being beside the stations give you an advantage, not mention the value of properties beside stations at that time.