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Cover Story: Outlook for Puchong remains bright

TheEdge Tue, Jun 11, 2019 04:00pm - 5 months ago


A busy and thriving area with a lot of traffic, Puchong is a mature urban area with residential, commercial, office and industrial components. Marcus Huang, who has lived there with his family for more than a decade, says it is a vibrant place that is “well known for having really good food. However, it is becoming too congested, there are too many developments and the green open spaces are disappearing”.

Hartamas Real Estate (M) Sdn Bhd group managing director Eric Lim concurs that Puchong is known for its wide selection of good food. “It has many restaurants, which are mainly concentrated in Bandar Puchong Jaya and Bandar Puteri Puchong, though there are many decent and less visible food vendors and restaurants elsewhere.”

The area is accessible via a number of highways — Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), Shah Alam Expressway, North-South Expressway Central Link, South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), Maju Expressway, New Pantai Expressway and Federal Highway — and is serviced by the Ampang/Sri Petaling light rail transit (LRT) line.

Puchong is bounded on the north by Bandar Sunway, on the south by Bandar Saujana Putra, on the east by the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve and on the west by Putra Heights and Kota Kemuning.

Neighbourhoods that make up the township include Bandar Puchong Jaya, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Puchong Hartamas and Bandar Puteri Puchong.

There are many well-known landmarks in the area, such as IOI Mall Puchong, Puchong Financial Corporate Centre, SetiaWalk and As-Salam Mosque, also known as “the floating mosque”.

As with any successful and popular urban area, traffic congestion is a common occurrence. “The parking situation is getting worse as well. There does not appear to be any enforcement of rules and cars frequently double-park on the side of the roads, leading to more traffic jams,” Huang laments.

Having seen many high-rise developments in the area, he believes that there will be more to come. This could mean that more people would move to Puchong, thereby increasing the traffic there.

“There are plans to change the road system but the municipal council has not sought the opinions of the existing residents on this matter. I think they should ask for feedback from us before doing anything,” Huang remarks.

As for Puchong’s plus points, he says it is a lively area with plenty of food choices. According to him, some of the well-known restaurants are Puchong Yong Tau Fu @ Batu 14, Restoran Foo Hing Dim Sum House, Puchong Mess Banana Leaf Rice and Mimi Nguyen Café.

Fellow resident Wong Fei Long recalls when the vicinity was a new and up-and-coming area about 20 years ago, with no flyovers in sight. “It was not so busy then. But now, many people drive through Puchong to get to other places and this has caused traffic to build up.”

He says some pubs and food outlets have set up their operations at the industrial area and this is a good thing. “Both vehicular and human traffic are moving towards there, away from the commercial area, thereby reducing congestion.”

The LRT, Wong says, is good as it allows people to travel around easily and conveniently. However, he opines that there should be a station between the Kinrara BK5 and IOI Puchong Jaya stops.

“In the initial plan, there was a station there. But it was shelved when the residents nearby protested. I think there should be a station there as it is in a factory area and there are plenty of parking spaces. Also, the distance between Kinrara BK5 and IOI Puchong Jaya is quite long,” he points out.

Property experts say the main challenges in Puchong are traffic congestion and flash floods.

Lim says the LRT stations with Park N’ Ride facilities and the free bus service provided by the Selangor government have helped to encourage motorists to use public transport.

As for flash floods, they tend to happen during heavy downpours, especially in the area around IOI Mall Puchong, say property experts.

This, though, has been mitigated by the construction of barrier walls along drains, service holes along drainage culverts and larger outlets to the main drainage system, says Jerome Hong, managing director of PA International Property Consultants (KL) Sdn Bhd.

Lim concurs, saying that the problem has been minimised “but has not been entirely solved”.

 

The development of the township

Based on historical information provided by several property experts, it is believed that the name “Puchong” is derived from the green heron — known as burung pucung in Malay — which was once found in abundance in the area.

The development of Puchong — formerly a tin mining and rubber plantation area — began to gain momentum in the 1980s, when Putrajaya became the new federal administrative capital and Cyberjaya started to grow.

By the 1990s, Puchong had become a central location and more neighbourhoods began to emerge in the area, resulting in a population explosion. Its position, between Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, and close to Bandar Sunway, Putrajaya, Old Klang Road and Bukit Jalil, made it popular with homeowners and investors alike.

Prior to 2005, the main developers of the township were Talam Corp Bhd (now known as Talam Transform Bhd), IOI Properties Group Bhd and Bukit Hitam Development Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of AYER Holdings Bhd. Later on, developers such as Glomac Bhd, LBS Bina Group Bhd, S P Setia Bhd and YTL Land & Development Bhd entered the scene.

Having ventured into the area in the late 1990s, IOI’s first project comprised 2-storey, 18ft by 20ft terraced houses.

Iconic projects by the developer include IOI Mall Puchong (opened in 1996), Puteri Mart (Puchong’s first private wet market, which opened in June 2007) and The Cube (the first boutique, 3-storey semi-detached and bungalow commercial offices in the area).

Among its upcoming projects there are IOI Rio City (a 72-acre mixed-use development), Stellar Suites (small offices/versatile offices) and The Cruise (serviced apartments).

Established in 1992, Bukit Hitam Development entered the Puchong market with its flagship project, the 1,290-acre Bukit Puchong. It comprises residential, commercial and industrial components as well as various public facilities.

According to a news report by EdgeProp.my, about 600 acres of Bukit Puchong had yet to be developed in 2017. At press time, there were about 5,400 residential, 500 commercial and 441 industrial properties there.

S P Setia, via its subsidiary I&P Group Sdn Bhd, has been developing the 1,904-acre Bandar Kinrara since 1991. It features the Kinrara Golf Club, with an 18-hole golf course and club facilities that are open to the public, as well as a cricket pitch of international standard. It also has a variety of properties, including residential, commercial and retail.

One of the completed projects of note in Bandar Kinrara is the Eight Kinrara Serviced Apartment, according to the developer. Located in the heart of the BK5 commercial centre, it serves as a landmark as it is the only high-rise in the precinct. The building has its own lifestyle mall and is linked to the Kinrara BK5 LRT station via a bridge.

To date, there are 83.07 acres of residential and 27.33 acres of commercial land that have yet to be developed in Bandar Kinrara. Upcoming projects there comprise semidees and 2-storey terraced houses.

In 2007, S P Setia decided to venture into the Puchong market directly with a 21-acre mixed-use development known as SetiaWalk. The RM977 million project was completed in 2016 and comprises shopoffices, a hotel, serviced apartments and a mall.

 

Buyers’ profile and property transactions

According to PA International’s Hong, Puchong has many types of properties and diverse income levels among its population given its vast footprint.

“The area comprises a mixture of lower-end properties built in the 1990s that were then upgraded to mid-priced properties when Bandar Kinrara was developed in the mid-1990s. High-end developments only started coming into the market in the last eight to nine years,” he says.

Hartamas’ Lim says buyers of residential developments in Puchong are mostly homeowners. Meanwhile, investors there are mainly Malaysians as the area does not garner much interest from foreigners, he adds.

“Landed properties in Puchong have always seen good demand, although there are many high-rise developments too,” he continues.

Transaction records provided by PA International show that property values in the area have appreciated over the years.

For comparison of residential prices, the consultancy firm uses data collected from Bandar Puchong Jaya, Taman Lestari Puchong, Taman Puchong Utama, Bandar Metro Puchong and Taman Puchong Prima.

Two-storey terraced houses with built-ups of 882 to 887 sq ft were transacted at an average price of RM267,000 per unit in 2011 and RM457,600 per unit last year. Those with built-ups of 1,142 to 1,181 sq ft were sold at an average price per unit of RM221,500 in 2011 and RM443,333 last year.

Similar houses with built-ups of 1,213 to 1,248 sq ft were transacted at an average price of RM241,233 per unit in 2011 and RM448,750 per unit last year. Those with built-ups of 1,328 to 1,398 sq ft were sold at an average price per unit of RM469,600 in 2011 and RM710,000 last year.

The average transacted price of 2½-storey semidees with built-ups of 2,995 to 3,012 sq ft was RM1.78 million per unit in 2011 and RM2.37 million per unit in 2017.

Condominiums in Desa Impiana and Avilla Apartments with built-ups of 1,044 to 1,068 sq ft were sold at an average price per unit of RM233,713 in 2011 and RM357,500 last year. Those with smaller built-ups of 969 to 1,033 sq ft were transacted at an average price per unit of RM290,375 in 2011 and RM457,500 last year.

For commercial properties, the consultancy firm looked at Bandar Puchong Utama and Pusat Bandar Puchong.

Three-storey shopoffices with built-ups of 3,650 to 5,030 sq ft were transacted at an average price of RM882,000 per unit in 2011 and RM1.29 million per unit last year.

Meanwhile, 4-storey shopoffices with built-ups of 6,380 sq ft were sold at an average price per unit of RM2.51 million in 2012 and RM2.67 million last year.

For industrial properties, the consultancy firm focused on Taman Perindustrian Maju Jaya and Bandar Bukit Puchong.

The average transacted price per unit of 1½-storey semidee factories with built-ups of 4,100 sq ft was RM2.12 million in 2011 and RM2.82 million last year. For 1½-storey terraced factories with built-ups of 3,990 sq ft, the average transacted price per unit was RM1.08 million in 2011 and RM1.66 million last year.

 

LRT extension to the area

In 2016, the Ampang/Sri Petaling LRT line opened with 11 stations and seven of them are in Puchong. They are Kinrara BK5, IOI Puchong Jaya, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Taman Perindustrian Puchong, Bandar Puteri, Puchong Perdana and Puchong Prima.

Since then, the traffic condition in the urban area has improved, say property experts.

“In the past, commuters could only rely on buses or their own transport,” says Lim.

Hong says the LRT stations will also help to bring attention to undeveloped areas, such as IOI’s Stellar Suites, a small office/versatile office development close to the Bandar Puteri LRT station.

Furthermore, areas within an 800m radius of the LRT stations can now be considered transit-oriented developments, which are eligible for a higher plot ratio of 1:8, he adds.

“The development of public transport, such as the LRT and MRT (mass rapid transit) in the Klang Valley, has brought about economic growth,” says Raine & Horne International Zaki + Partners Sdn Bhd associate director James Tan.

He adds that the Sungai Besi station in the upcoming MRT2 development will be linked to the Ampang/Sri Petaling LRT line, thus increasing the accessibility of Puchong.

Existing buildings located close to the LRT stations in Puchong include Giant Bandar Kinrara, IOI Mall Puchong, Tesco Extra Puchong and SetiaWalk.

 

Future prospects

Property experts believe that Puchong has great prospects, mainly thanks to the LRT extension.

“Puchong has traditionally been a middle-class area. It has seen tremendous growth since the completion of the LDP in the late 1990s. The highway spurred developments from the Sunway toll plaza to Universiti Putra Malaysia in Seri Kembangan, and it connects to the SKVE. These two highways, together with the LRT, have greatly enhanced the accessibility of this area,” says Tan.

He opines that the urban area will continue to grow due to its connectivity and the growing middle-class population. “There are still some undeveloped parcels behind IOI Mall Puchong and a few other pockets of land.”

Tan says the MRT will have a positive impact on the area as it will cut travelling time and further enhance accessibility.

Meanwhile, Lim says with the continuous improvement of infrastructure, property values in Puchong will hold up well. “Further developments will be focused on the southern area.”

Hong believes the LRT has helped to keep property prices stable, particularly those close to the stations. “Puchong’s outlook is expected to remain stable and healthy. There seems to be a slowdown in the volume of transactions but this has been mainly due to the overall market sentiment.”








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