One of the oldest condominiums in the sought-after enclave of Ampang Hilir is Desa Palma, a freehold property that has a very low density with only a little over seventy units. Ampang Hilir, or known by the more glamorous (and therefore more marketable!) moniker the Embassy Row, is a popular home among expatriates working in the Ampang and city centre areas – maybe even more so than KLCC!
Among the foreign embassies neighboring Desa Palma are the embassies of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates (just right opposite) and the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, or known more popularly as the communist North Korea. We wouldn’t bet that you’ll catch a glimpse of The Great Leader if and when he pops by for a visit. Sorry, that lame joke has got to be made.
Residential property neighbors include Madge Residence and The Katana Residences; Damai Suria and Fernlea Court is just down Persiaran Ampang Hilir facing towards Jalan U Thant.
The Embassy Row, being one of the city’s less dense neighborhoods, is considered as a sanctuary in the heart of the city. Its tree-lined avenues add to the serenity of the place. No wonder this enclave is a favorite among expatriates and locals alike. It is only 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the traffic) away from the city centre. It is widely serviced by public transportation, adding convenience to its list of what to like about it.
Living in Ampang Hilir has two distinct advantages – privacy and comfort. This neighborhood is becoming popular among home buyers because of these two characteristics. With the city centre being populated by high-rise buildings, more and more are retreating to off-centre neighborhoods and avail of some privacy. However, convenience is something that they cannot just give up. With its proximity to the city centre, Ampang Hilir has become a lot of home buyers choice.
A Closer Look at Desa Palma
The units at Desa Palma have built-up sizes ranging from 2,117 sqf to 2,300 sqf. All 71 units are distributed among the three blocks of three-storey buildings. Despite being an aged property and having very low density, residents are provided full amenities by Desa Palma. The facilities available are tennis and squash courts, swimming and wading pools, sauna, jogging track, covered carpark, BBQ area, clubhouse and round-the-clock security.
Current subsale prices for units at Desa Palma, as indicated by current listings in local property portals, range from RM590 psf to RM890 psf. This is comparable with the asking prices of Fernlea Court down the road, which range from RM630 psf to RM700 psf. Both properties have moderate prices compared to Damai Suria (a rather old but well-designed and well-kept condominium property) which sells from RM930 psf to a whopping RM1,100 psf. Rental rates for Desa Palma and Fernlea Court also do not differ much. Desa Palma units are leased from RM2.30 psf to RM3.40 psf while Fernlea Court units lets from RM2.15 psf to RM3.20 psf. Again, Damai Suria commands a higher range and rents out from RM3.50 psf to RM3.80 psf.
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Among the residential properties in the immediate vicinity of Desa Palma, it seems to be rather popular. In 2004, it recorded a 90% occupancy rate while neighboring properties such as Kondominium 8 and Desa Angkasa are marginally higher – registered at 95% and 97% occupancy rates, respectively. Given its closeness to the embassies, we can imagine the units being almost entirely populated by embassy staffers; indeed, according to a survey up to 90% of the tenants were expatriates. There is an established rental market for it, and as many would attest to, expatriates may well be some of the best people to rent to (barring some exceptions).
Now for some negatives: the property is old AND it shows, and/or some of its residents (particularly those that face the Persiaran Ampang Hilir) reported to be suffering from noise pollution coming from the road. With the rise of alternatives in the area (notably U-Thant Residence which is about 500m away on Persiaran Madge) these older apartments will face competition; these embassy staffers may arrive with enough petro-dollars that to them RM6.66 psf for rental is pittance. #youseewhatididthere
To summarize: Desa Palma has got an enviable location, and if it remains well managed then the sub sale value should hold or even slightly appreciate. It’s important to completely nail down the price you pay so that you maximize your return on your hard earned investment. To do this, use this property valuation framework which we will email you once you entered your name and address below.