For business executives and expatriates working in Kuala Lumpur, serviced apartments come as a preferred choice with quality accommodation at flexible leases, even though the market may not be as developed and sophisticated as Hong Kong's.
Wallace Li, director of ANB Properties, said the serviced apartment market in Kuala Lumpur was certainly not as big nor as active as Hong Kong's well-established serviced residential sector, given the smaller expatriate community.
He said some of the so-called serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur were built on commercial leases and were being sold as ordinary residential flats to individual buyers. 'For genuine high-quality serviced apartments, they are mainly built and managed by developers and leased to expatriate tenants,' he said.
The serviced apartment sector presented good opportunities for developers because the land and construction costs in Malaysia were relatively low and the rental return was quite good. By leasing out serviced flats, a developer could easily recoup his investment in the development in a few years, he said.
PNB Darby Park Executive Suites, which opened in 2000 for families and businessmen, is one of the major high-end serviced apartment projects in the core business and shopping district of Kuala Lumpur. The Ascott Kuala Lumpur provides 221 spacious fully-furnished serviced apartments in the heart of the city. ,
Other serviced apartments in the city centre include Marc Service Suites, Seri Bukit Ceylon Residence and Somerset Seri Bukit Ceylon.
The Lanson Place Kuala Lumpur provides more than 200 serviced apartments, while Duta Vista Executive Suites has 64 serviced flats for rent. Holiday Villa Apartment Suites Kuala Lumpur consists of 134 serviced units of modern and contemporary design.
Somerset Ampang, located in the business, shopping and entertainment district of the 'Golden Triangle' is due to open next year for lease to expatriates.