Cover The Stories of Taman Tunku is located in Bukit Tunku, one of three of Kuala Lumpur's most expensive neighbourhoods. (Photo: David Yeow Photography courtesy of architects Studio Bikin and landscape architects Bunga Design Atelier)

A field guide to three of the most expensive neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur and why buying a property in these locales is a smart investment

Kuala Lumpur has it all in terms of infrastructure, safety, convenience, and a high standard of living for a reasonable cost. But if money is no object, which neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur carry the most cachet? We speak to Knight Frank deputy managing director Keith Ooi about the most expensive areas in the city, why they are prized, and what the forecast is if you're thinking of investing there.

Why is investing in Kuala Lumpur a good investment?

A growing economy with an attractive capital value level, Kuala Lumpur being an urban cosmopolitan hub has the most attractive capital values of prime residential properties (being the lowest/cheapest) in comparison with other major cities regionally and with the highest capital value appreciation potential amongst the other states within Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur’s strategic location delivers boundless connectivity with emerging markets in Asia and worldwide, making it the perfect regional location to grow business strategically within the region. Even though the Klang Valley officially consists of separate cities and suburbs, integration between these cities is very high, with a highly developed road network and an expanding integrated rail transit system.

Living in Kuala Lumpur doesn’t necessarily mean living in the heart of the capital. There are other neighbourhoods surrounding Kuala Lumpur itself that provide a more community-oriented lifestyle.

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Damansara Heights

Damansara Heights is a very mature and upscale neighbourhood that is often dubbed the Beverly Hills of Malaysia. It is situated on the hills that enjoy quiet surroundings, yet is located close to the Kuala Lumpur city centre.

The serene living environment and strategic location have made Damansara Heights an affluent address to many with some high-net-worth individuals are buying properties in this area for a collection purpose, as owning landed properties in this address is also considered a symbol of their wealth and status.

This place is brimming with the rich and famous and the houses within Damansara Heights are nothing less than semi-detached houses. Bungalows and villas aside, this area also houses luxury high-end stratified developments.

Forecast

Historically, Damansara Heights' landed properties have enjoyed noteworthy capital appreciation. Prime landed property prices within Damansara Heights will continue to rise in the mid-long term, no thanks to land scarcity. Hence, the current market is a window of opportunity for the cash-rich looking for portfolio diversification and upgrades.

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Bukit Tunku

Surrounded by mature greenery, Bukit Tunku is an upper-class residential area in Kuala Lumpur and this hill is named after Tunku Abdul Rahman, who once resided there. It was formerly known as Bukit Kenny or Kenny Hills.

Its serene and nature living environment is highly desirable to many rich and famous including our country’s leaders such as royalty, dignitaries, local tycoons and expatriates as most of the development within this enclave comprises predominantly luxury landed and low-density stratified homes, mansions, and villas, all of which come with flamboyant and over-the-top decorative touches meandering through nature.

Apart from lavish landed and stratified homes, Bukit Tunku also offers many parcels of vacant residential plots. Over the years, there are not many vacant parcels of land up for sale as most of the plots have been purchased and developed into pockets of gated and guarded high-end developments by developers and/or individuals.

This area attracts mainly owner-occupiers, some with large wealthy families of many generations and most of the strata residential schemes in Bukit Tunku are well occupied, with a significant number of expatriates, largely due to the area’s close proximity to the city centre, greenery and low density (regulated development).

Forecast

Moving forward, the value of properties in Bukit Tunku remains resilient despite the market sentiment. Its value should hold steady even in a downturn market given the occupiers' profiles who reside in this area.

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Bukit Bandaraya/Bangsar

Bukit Bandaraya/Bangsar is an affluent and established residential enclave on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, situated about five kilometres southwest of the city centre. This old neighbourhood is a large residential area (mainly for the affluent) but residents have grown accustomed to the hive of activity that Bangsar generates.

As Bangsar is home to many of Kuala Lumpur’s rich society and expatriates, this enclave offers lavish and sophisticated bungalows and villas on the slope and high-rise luxury stratified developments on the peak of the hill. Apart from bungalows, villas, and high-rise luxury developments, there are also vacant residential plots, two- to three-storey terraced, semi-d and townhouses in the area.

Bangsar has a good mix of expatriates and local residents, which makes it a unique community with a good variety of offerings in terms of F&B, retail, and entertainment. The good mix of different cultures and elements within the neighbourhood is what makes Bangsar attractive to homebuyers.

Forecast

Being one of the most sought-after residential enclaves in Kuala Lumpur, landed and stratified properties within Bukit Bandaraya/Bangsar have also enjoyed noteworthy capital appreciation over the years. With the land scarcity, a growing population, and the vibrant business activities in the neighbourhood, we anticipate that property values in this area will continue to hold and rise gradually in the mid-long term.

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