I am currently staying in my wife’s home in Sandakan. It’s a landed property that she has stayed since she was still in primary school. I told her that I wanted to do some brisk walking in Sandakan a few days ago. (Eating too much food, must exercise a bit) However, it was raining and I told my wife, sadly. She answered, ‘why not jog in the gym room in the condo then?’ That was an excellent idea actually. I have forgotten that I could access the gym in my condo unit. It was a weekend and as I was using the gym which faces the pool I could see the people using the pool. There were two particular segments, families with kids and the elderly. The family with kids are noisy as usual and the elderly (a man and a woman) were swimming at a leisure pace for around 20 minutes. I think Sandakan people may like to stay in high-rise, especially condos. I THINK.
Later, I posed a question to a few relatives and friends. ‘Would you move to a condo from your current landed home?’ 100 percent of them answered, NO. My next question, ‘Would you still buy a condo if it’s reasonably priced so that you can rent it, use it as a holiday home or even just to have access to the facilities it offers? This time, most of them said,YES. How much is reasonable then? Well, the current prices being advertised for the condo of 1,131 sq ft hovers from RM343k to RM350k while the developer are also selling some remaining units for close to RM400k. In other words, it’s just slightly over RM300 per sq ft. Perhaps that’s because the land used to be oil palm plantation and thus it’s cheaper than when developers needed to acquire the land before building on it. Of course when we compare this to KL, it’s cheap. Note that the area that this condo is in is considered a more premium address than many other areas within Sandakan. In terms of prices for landed properties within Sandakan, especially for semi-detached which are not new, the prices as per image attached beside. (Info from mudah.my)
From the prices of these older homes, I think the demand for landed homes is still by far higher than that for high-rise. In fact when we look into secondary or newer areas, the prices for terrace homes may be near to the high-rise. In other words, from the people I saw during my gym sessions for the past few days, I think some of them are choosing to stay in condos because they have been exposed to the condo lifestyle or they may have kids and would like their kids to have more space to run around and even have some family fun-time whenever needed. However, I think MANY of them may also own a landed property somewhere nearby too and happened to just buy a condo to enjoy the facilities. Ditching landed for facilities is unlikely to happen to the relatives and friends whom I asked. I think that applies only to me. Actually, this is true not only for Sandakan but also for Ipoh and many other smaller towns. Changes will not be happening anytime soon because the number of people moving into these smaller towns are not actually growing. In other words, demand will not be growing a lot and people already staying would likely maintain the status quo. Happy visiting Sandakan.
written on 7 Feb 2017
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