G&G: Inclusive exclusivity of the horizontal condominium

“G&G is welcomed to join the strata title world”
G&G: Inclusive exclusivity of the horizontal condominium
One of the bungalow phases in the Taman Seri Austin G&G neighbourhood

Gated & Guarded (G&G) developments are extremely common in Malaysia and much has been written about it. To ensure that all the safety features are well in place. The G&G costs are incorporated into the sales price and the sales performances have clearly showed that purchasers, seeing the benefit of G&G, did not mind it in view of better comfort and security. Read more on the article by Dr Daniele Gambero featured in Star Property.

GATED & guarded (G&G) developments are extremely common in Malaysia and much has been written about it.

When getting ready to write on this topic, I recalled what a good friend of mine, Chris Tan – a lawyer and well-known property expert and speaker – said recently while talking at a forum about G&G.

We were discussing strata properties and the differences between individual titles as opposed to strata titles. He had said in effect that “G&G is welcomed to join the strata title world”.

We all know how much value is given to properties with individual titles. What I mean are those properties that are purely landed whatever way you look at it – be it link houses, terraces, semi-detached units or bungalows.

These are preferred types of property as they give the buyers full ownership – the “it’s mine and only mine” feeling. Even though you still have neighbours, that piece of property surrounding your land area is “exclusively yours” and you are free to do what you want within its four walls.

G&G: Inclusive exclusivity of the horizontal condominium
Park with recreational areas at Bandar Seri Putra township by UM Land

Just step away from the classic landed property type to the G&G concept that mushroomed a few years ago when concerned owners in specific enclaves decided to share a fenced up neighbourhood complete with security posts to make it difficult for thieves and bad-intentioned people to break into their homes.

Examples of this “self-made” shared security and somewhat originator of the G&G concept can be found in almost all the old landed residential areas such as USJ, Sri Petaling, Puchong and so on. However, G&G communities are very popular in many other countries around the world. Just to list few of them, we have in Southern China, the Pearl River Delta Region, and the famous Clifford Estates in Australia where gated communities are commonly built within private golf courses. G&G is also popular in various neighbourhoods in Canada, Argentina and the Middle-East.

Developers then, understanding the concern of their buyers and trying to be innovative, proposed some creative G&G development concepts whereby besides sharing security features, residents could also enjoy a new type of lifestyle benefit that came inclusive of fascinating features such as jogging track, swimming pool, badminton, tennis, gym and so on.

Landed projects have become more and more similar to high-rise condominiums in terms of lifestyle offering and younger generation members who previously generally preferred condominium units have started looking with renewed interest at G&G developments. Desapark City in Bandar Sri Damansara, Gita Bayu in Serdang and Horizon Hills in Iskandar Malaysia are just a few very good examples of this new concept of “inclusive exclusivity” which is now being sought-after after within all age groups.

G&G: Inclusive exclusivity of the horizontal condominium
UM Land Group CEO Charlie Chia Lui Meng

UM Land Bhd group chief executive officer Charlie Chia Lui Meng fully agrees on the above and when asked to give the developer’s take on G&G, he commented: “Since 2007, when the G&G landed concept became legalised with new guidelines that were introduced to adapt it to modern day security in the neighbourhood, there has been high demand from our purchasers. G&G developments have definitely become an emerging trend in today’s society.

They have become popular largely due to the high crime rates and therefore, it has been crucial for developers to find ways that can attract people to invest while at the same time, ensuring the safety and security of the residents.

“As a developer that is extremely attentive to specific needs of our purchasers, UM Land Bhd has listened to this new demand. At the group’s township in Bandar Seri Alam, Iskandar Malaysia, the concept of G&G was undertaken quite few years back.

UM Land Bhd has also included the commissioning of the Eastern Police District Headquarters at its Bandar Seri Alam development, with safety and security being an utmost priority. Additionally, the township has also added its “Community Police Posts” and has enlisted auxiliary policemen and hired security personnel to provide 24-hour dedicated support to all the members of its community.

G&G: Inclusive exclusivity of the horizontal condominium
Seri Alam Management with the Auxiliary Police and the township in-house security

Of course, all these new features do not come free and the better the quality you are after, the higher will be the impact on the general development cost.

To ensure that all the safety features are well in place, their costs have been incorporated into the sales price. The sales performances have clearly showed that purchasers, seeing the benefit of G&G, did not mind it in view of better comfort and security. A secondary and longer term effect of the G&G security features is that to maintain everything at a high degree of efficiency, a certain fee will be imposed on the residents and, from a legal point of view, a Deed of Mutual Covenant will be added to the legal documentation that purchasers sign upon buying a unit within a G&G development. Facts are showing that residents are accepting this monthly extra charge in exchange for security, peace of mind and the benefits of extra features.

To date, UM Land Bhd has been actively involved in the development of G&G within their townships in the southern region, especially Iskandar Malaysia. UM Land Bhd’s very first G&G project was the forerunner bungalow phase in Seri Alam Township back in 1994.

In 2003, Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd, a fully owned subsidiary of UM Land Bhd in charge of Seri Alam’s 1,200 acres (485.62ha) development, launched Lakeside Residency, its terrace housing phase.

By seeing the positive response from the public and the increased interest from the market, UM Land Bhd consistently promoted the G&G concept and Garden Residency, Sapphire 8 and Emerald – just to mention a few of its G&G developments – were successfully launched and sold out.

According to Chia, the upcoming launch of Imperial Jade in Seri Alam will also adopt the same concept. Despite the current cautious market sentiment, UM Land Bhd is expecting good response due to the value-for-money development.

He added that the group’s latest township launch in Taman Seri Austin, Iskandar Malaysia, will also embody the G&G concept. G&G is nothing new in this township, as UM Land Bhd had introduced the concept back in 2009 when it launched the second phase of the east zone.

The consistent and increasing popularity of G&G developments based on its past experience will see the group adopting the G&G concept to each of its landed development phase in Taman Seri Austin.

>> REI Group of Companies CEO and co-founder Dr Daniele Gambero gives presentations on the property market and welcomes feedback at daniele.g@reigroup.com.my.

Source : Star Property

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