Tuesday January 25, 2011
By KHARLEEZ ZUBIN
Many business operators in Little India and other parts of Brickfields are likely to be edged out or forced to take a cut in their profits with an imminent increase in rental and property prices.
According to property consultants, realtors and valuers, the market was adjusting to the improved outlook Brickfields is now enjoying.
All along the price of property and rental were stagnant because Brickfields, though close to the city centre, was perceived as congested, dirty and predominantly Indian enclave with perennial traffic problems.
Property consultant agency PPC International Sdn Bhd executive director Thiruselvam Arumugam said with improved traffic flow, better infrastructure, cleaner environment and better-looking buildings the market was adjusting and this was reflected in rising property prices and rental.
He said the rental and property prices had been low for quite sometime and now the market was adjusting to reflect its true value.
“In other words the market is only making up for its lost time,” he said.
Citing the Palm Courts condominium as an example, he pointed out that before KL Sentral was built the price of a unit was between RM240,000 and RM250,000.
“But recently it has shot up to RM300,000 and it will likely go up to RM500,000,” he said.
Property valuer T. Nagalingam of Azmi & Co Shah Alam Sdn Bhd noted that foreign money had also helped boost property prices in Brickfields.
“Investors now see Brickfields in a positive light and forecast a better return on the investments,” he said.
Nagalingam said the present business operators, who are renting in Little India and other parts of Brickfields, would probably have to go somewhere else.
Since Little India took shape, many traders have complained that while their profits were dwindling due to lack of parking space fronting their shops, property owners were increasing the rental.
Little India Action Committee chairman S. Baktha, also a registered property agent, said many business operators had complained that their landlords had threatened to increase the rental once their tenancy agreement expired.
“Their businesses have been further affected by lack of parking space in front of their shops,” he said.
Sampoorna Curry House owner S Thilagavathy, 30, noted that the lack of parking was likely to keep away many customers and cut into her profits by at least 30%.
Another restaurant owner, M Prema, 40, who owns Seetharam Curry House, pointed out to lack of parking space as the main factor in the drop in her revenue.
Her business registered almost a 50% drop since parking bays were done away in the area.
Saradha Silks (M) Sdn Bhd owner P Loganathan, 45, attributed the rise in rental as the main concern of the business community in the area.
“There is talk that building owners may hike up rentals after Deepavali,” said Loganathan, who is also a tenant.
He claimed that he had learnt that building owners were planning to increase rental to RM30,000 for the ground floor, from the current RM10,000 once the tenancy agreements expired.
“I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with the increase,” said Loganathan, who claimed the move was attributed to the RM35mil facelift to the area to attract more tourists.