As is the case across most countries in Southeast Asia, Malaysia’s urban landscapes represent one of the most significant population shifts in human history.
On average, Asia’s urban populations have swollen by 3.4 per cent every year since 1970, according to the United Nations’ 2019 report The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, compared to just 1 per cent in developed nations.
The region is already home to 17 of the world’s 33 megacities of 10 million-plus people. A recent Attitudes Survey conducted by real estate consultancy Knight Frank, meanwhile, found that Asian buyers maintain a preference for urban living, whilst the rest of the world is increasingly eyeing and buying in suburban, resort, and coastal destinations.
In many ways, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for changing purchasing patterns, with homeowners increasingly inclined towards high-quality developments with integrated infrastructure.
Indeed, a global report earlier this year by PWC claimed that families in most emerging economies would prefer moving to a gated community — a trend evidenced by the array of diverse offerings recognised at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) 2021.
Call them urban townships, integrated communities or cities within cities, demand for developments comprising hospitals, schools, retail, and green space are encouraging developers to become more innovative about how they design and build commercial and residential real estate.
With that in mind, we round up some of Malaysia’s top urban townships and landed developments in 2022.
Freesia Residences is an exclusive collection of leasehold villas with lake or park views in the 863-acre Tropicana Aman township. Developed by Tropicana Corporation Berhad, this Kota Kemuning-based project enjoys a strategic location surrounded by lifestyle amenities, providing residents conveniences without leaving the lap of nature.
The nature-centric development emphasises multigenerational family living. Spread over 5.2 acres, the gated-and-guarded community features a host of safety features, as well as spacious living areas, well-situated openings for natural sunlight, and maximised ventilation across all double-storey bungalows and semi-detached properties.
Notably, the 198-unit project, which was awarded Best High End Landed Development (Malaysia) at the 2021 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia), features a home customisation service that allows homeowners to select personalised layouts, colour palettes, select fittings, and smart home features.
Elmina Green 4
Elmina Green 4, located in the new master-planned Elmina township, is a wellness-centric development with community and sustainability at its heart. Featuring 349 practically designed linked homes in two lot sizes, the project targets young and multi-generational families, as well as those looking for a home upgrade.
Flexibility and function characterise the four-bedroom homes, offering versatility within a suite with a private terrace on the ground floor, a family room upstairs, and an open staircase with a nook area underneath. The open-plan layouts allow more natural light and airflow into the home, improving comfort while reducing energy consumption.
The conveniences of Klang Valley — including top education institutes, lifestyle amenities, retail outlets, eateries, and neighbouring Subang Dam Forest Reserve — are easily accessible via an extensive network of highways, while Petaling Jaya and KLCC are respectively just 20 and 30 kilometres away.
With all these advantages in mind, the judging panel named the property Best Landed Development (Central) and the highly coveted Best Housing/Landed Development (Malaysia).
118 Residence @ Kinrara by Mahajaya Berhad
118 Residence is nestled in the heart of Kinrara in Puchong. Situated strategically in the Klang Valley, this vibrant township boasts excellent connectivity, accessibility to major highways and proximity to public transport.
It also features ample amenities, malls, restaurants, and recreational facilities, including the nearby 18-hole Kinrara Golf Club and Kinrara Academy Oval, which regularly hosts international cricket matches.
With a built-up area that starts at 2,251sq ft featuring high ceilings of 11ft (3.4m), the 118 double-storey terrace houses are designed to capitalise on natural light and the breathtaking views of Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve.
Indeed, Puchong’s abundance of green spaces, including residences and parks, as well as onsite lifestyle amenities, is undoubtedly a boon for prospective buyers.
Nature also makes its way into the heart of the project, which picked up a Highly Commended in the Best Landed Development (Central) category at last year’s programme, with the addition of landscape furnishings like tree-lined pedestrian walkways, garden parks, and kids playground.
Mutiara Hills by Boustead Properties Berhad
Envisioned to surpass the typical expectations of a township, this freehold mixed-use development from one of Malaysia’s oldest conglomerates features a collection of 230 freehold double-storey terrace homes ranging from 1,512 to 1,978 square feet.
Situated next to the iconic Broga Hill with vistas of the Titiwangsa Mountains, Mutiara Hills caters to families who appreciate mother nature.
A highly commended winner in the Awards’ 2021 Best Landed Development (Central) category, the property is ideal for families, especially those with an eye on quality education institutes. It is directly beside the University of Nottingham, Malaysia.
It is close to other well-established universities, including Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Universiti Putra Malaysia — all of which are within 30 kilometres. Recreational amenities are also abundant, with farms, golf clubs, and lake gardens nearby.
Mutiara Rini Skudai by Boustead Properties Berhad
Another award-winning development from one of the country’s real estate stalwarts, this JB-based project is geared towards small families and first-time homeowners. Its location in one of Malaysia’s hottest property markets is reason enough to consider the expansive nature-forward development, featuring easy access to restaurants, shopping malls, schools, hospitals, cinemas, and parks.
The strategic location also means transport is a highlight at Mutiara Rini — winner of the Best Mega Township Development (Malaysia) — with several taxi stands and bus hubs within walking distance.
Onsite, contemporary minimalist architecture frames the façade of the township’s partially-furnished houses. The layout arrangement is practical and spacious, accommodating everyday needs in addition to an array of upscale facilities.
These include extensive landscaped green areas, bicycle and jogging tracks linking every parcel, a 62-acre Urban Forest & Recreational Centre, an international-standard cricket pitch (Mutiara Rini Oval), retail outlets, and schools.
Bandar Sri Sendayan by Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad
Located within the Greater Klang Valley, close to major roads and the soon-to-be-developed high-speed train to Singapore, the self-contained, self-sustaining lifestyle community is part of the wider Malaysia Vision Valley integrated economic region.
Across 6,270 acres, spacious, landscaped phases are dedicated to residences, recreational facilities, and commercial amenities targetting multi-generational homeowners, investors, and the local workforce.
More than 13,000 units, including single-storey villas, two-storey storey link houses and semi-detached bungalows, have already been completed, with plans afoot to add a further 8,000 homes in the coming years.
Meanwhile, residents at Bandar Sri Sendayan – which was awarded a Highly Commended accolade in the Best Mega Township Development category – have access to an array of adrenaline-fuelled pursuits at the X Park extreme sports facility, including a paintball field, electric go-karting, playgrounds, jogging and reflexology paths, and the private gazebos that serve each residential parcel.
At the heart of the development sits Sendayan MetroPark, Bandar Sri Sendayan’s central retail hub with 132 outlets, while the nearby Sendayan TechValley is geared towards attracting businesses focused on sustainability and renewable resources.
Taman Impian Emas, Johor Bahru by Gunung Impian Development Sdn Bhd
The self-contained township, featuring residential, commercial, and industrial components, is located in the heart of Iskandar Malaysia, only moments from Johor Bahru City Centre. Residents here, therefore, benefit from excellent connectivity via major highways, including Skudai Highway, North-South Highway, Pasir Gudang Highway, Eastern Dispersal Link, and Tebrau Highway.
Awarded Highly Commended in the Best Mega Township Development category, Gunung Impian Development set out to create a community that prioritises civic and social life, and promotes a sustainable lifestyle amongst residents.
To achieve this, the developer placed nature at the heart of the 2,953-acre project, including bodies of water and woodlands, as well as dedicated pedestrian routes and green lanes.
Meanwhile, the residential units — featuring 144 two-storey terrace and 28 two-storey semi-detached homes — incorporate a multi-generational concept with highlights ranging from the ground-level ‘granny suites’ to Universal Design components to ensure accessibility for all people, regardless of age and disability.
Aurora Resort Villas by Country View Berhad
Located in Iskandar Puteri, Southeast Asia’s urban integrated development, Aurora Resort Villas is a contemporary residential concept characterised by lush parks and gardens. The 464-unit project, due for completion in 2025, connects via green jogging tracks to a state-of-the-art clubhouse and extensive outdoor recreational facilities.
These include pools, indoor badminton, an outdoor gym, playground, event lawn, and BBQ area. In fact, the MYR20 million clubhouse stood out enough with the Awards judges to win Best Club House Design in 2021.
As the first landed strata development in Iskandar Puteri with concierge service, the villas are inevitably geared towards short-term, second-home living, and staycations. Each of the resort-style villas features four en-suite rooms plus powder and utility rooms.
The resort theme also influences the design, with the architects emphasising features that promote nature, peace, and calm through spacious indoor areas awash with natural lighting.