Even before I moved to KL, I love malls. Buying a property with a mall or nearby malls was always something on my mind. However, these days there are way too many malls which does not have anything special from other nearby malls. Due to competition, many malls are struggling to gain traffic and for some which are not backed by wealthy owners, it could only get worse. It’s a vicious cycle. Lesser shop varieties mean lower number of visitors and this would then cause even more shops to close shop. That’s why some of the current huge and established malls continue to do well. Some malls within an integrated transportation hub would do well too. Refer to the image of Nu Sentral mall on the left. If we do not look at malls, what else could we take as a good sign that the development would continue to grow? Think education.
Any integrated developments with a good private university is definitely a plus point. Assuming a growing student population of 10 percent per year and a final enrolment of 5,000 – 10,000 student population, this would mean a need for lots of residential units. Most of the time, high-rise residential units. With the large population of students, lecturers and even staffs, it would provide support for shops and potentially a neighbourhood mall. This could be enhanced further if there are offices or commercial buildings nearby which meant demand for housing from the working population too.
Looking back at the basics, many good primary and secondary schools would help tremendously too. Even for a newer areas, a SJK (C) would sway many decisions to its direction. I have more than a few friends who moved so that they could be near to a SJK (C). One friend moved to within few minutes away from a Chinese school and paid RM1 million for her new terrace home. Another good friend has yet decide but she said she moved to her area a few years ago so that she could have the choices, whether a good national school or even a SJK (C). Her double-storey home is today worth RM1.1 million.
When we buy our next home or property in the near future, perhaps this can be something we could consider as well. Just look at the number of new nurseries, kindergartens and even day-care centres and I think you would understand why I would favour educational institutions over shopping malls. This should ring true for many more years, perhaps enough to last us till we retire. Just last weekend, my wife swiped my credit card for a Grolier English programme for my daughter. Yes, the programme was very expensive but I think it is clear that for many parents, education is a must-have and certainly worth investing on. I just hope this investment can last and my son could use it too. Happy investing.
written on 1 Aug 2016
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