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Top things to live near that affect home values

Updated 11 Aug 2017 – By Loanstreet


Your home is your sanctuary, but it’s also the place where a large chunk of your money is invested, so naturally you’ll want to consider the surrounding elements that routinely drive up (or down)  the value of your home.

In general here in Malaysia we see property prices appreciate steadily each year but did you know certain accompaniments in close proximity to a neighbourhood or development can positively affect the value of homes.

Here are 6 of the best features to live near if you want your property's price to appreciate:

  1. Public transport
    ​Transit amenities are probably the most well-known value-boosters of home price and most notably in Malaysia are the LRT and commuter train systems. Bus terminals however, do not carry as much weight, owing to the fact that it is not typically the transport of choice.

    ​Conversely, home values tend to appreciate slowly or even marginally in areas where public transport, even taxi services are not readily available.
     
  2. High-performing schools
    Homes situated near top-rated schools in the country are highly sought by young families; this includes international, private, Smart Schools (Sekolah Bestari) and some vernacular schools as well.
    Parents, who can afford slightly higher housing price tags, wouldn’t mind paying more to secure a property in close proximity to such schools to avoid long, daily commutes.
     
  3. Parks and playgrounds
    Homes that directly face a playground or sit close to well-landscaped public parks do as well affect home values positively. Parks and playgrounds have an aesthetical and communal appeal that attracts home buyers with growing families.

    Even within the same development, homes that are further away from the playground are sold for slightly less than ones that stand closer.
     
  4. Retail centres
    In the Journal of Surveying, Construction and Property, Saw and Hong (2014) claimed that Malaysians listed retail centres (malls, hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores) to be a top priority for location factors when investing in a home.

    In city areas with more than one shopping mall and hypermarket, home prices were observed to increase in value by 14% in one year. Of course these stats are rather optimistic and will not necessarily occur in all developments, yet it indicates that growth in housing value is closely related to such lifestyle attractions, even more so with upscale ones.

    The reverse is also true, townships and developments with less convenient amenities are difficult to rent out and resell, leading to low asking prices.
     
  5. Natural features and man-made monuments
    Slight bumps in home prices are witnessed in developments that employ tactical naming with words like ‘‘lake view’, ‘lake side’ and ‘hill park’ – even if some of these places don’t actually provide lakes or parks that are visually apparent from the residence.

    Similarly, condos that boast impressive skylines, city views and which overlook monuments like the KL Tower or Petronas Twin Towers are heavy hitters that increase value but are rather expensive to buy into at the outset.
     
  6. Office buildings and commercial centres
    Commercial properties positively affect the rental value of residential areas in the vicinity. It can be attributed to young, single employees who place importance on proximity to the workplace as well as flexibility to move with the job.

    Moreover, modern commercial centres also house both moderate and upscale restaurants to cater to the working crowd but also to residents of the surrounding areas. Such eateries improve the attractiveness level of some neighbourhoods and townships thereby drawing in better value.

Features that decrease your property's value:

We’ve been paying attention to features in nearby areas that increase residential property values, but unfortunately, there are constructs within a locale that actually decrease values in real terms.  

Widely-held superstitions hold a powerful sway over buyers, and though statistics are not well-documented, the presence of these structures in close proximity to residential areas are a major turn off for buyers and as well show shrinkage in home prices:

  • Cemeteries
    Regardless of race or religion, many Malaysians view such grounds as inauspicious and accordingly, developers would rather lobby the government to move entire grave sites then build near it for fear that buyers will simply not buy. Even if a buyer has no qualms, the difficulty to resell or rent the property is a major point for contention.
  • Busy roads
    A large number of buyers in Malaysia consider Feng Shui elements when evaluating a property, and as such, homes facing major traffic are taboo. In any case, houses that are relatively close to heavy traffic streams are a safety issue for families with young children, making these properties a less attractive proposition.

To conclude

Most Malaysian buyers occupy the homes they live in, thus from a logical standpoint, anything that contributes to the ease of daily living can and will have greater demand.

But even though home values can increase nicely with the accompaniment of good public transport and convenience stores, it’s difficult to predict at times. Furthermore, buying into homes that already offer such complete amenities are going to be expensive.

The best solution is to look for a house you can afford coupled with at least one or two (or as many) of the amenities mentioned, to give your property the most optimistic potential for growth and value. Looking to buy a house? Do check out our home loan comparison tool to find the best rates and packages to support your journey.

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