The rise and rise of Puchong

IN the early 1980s, Puchong in Selangor primarily consisted of old tin mining land and rubber plantations. According to C H Williams Talhar & Wong Sdn Bhd (WTW), as developers sought more development land beyond Subang Jaya and USJ, they naturally headed towards Puchong.

The development momentum in Puchong increased when the government established Cyberjaya and the new federal administrative capital of Putrajaya.

Infrastructure and accessibility was also improved with the completion of highways such as the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), the Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas) and the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE). Puchong became a centralised location, surrounded by Putrajaya, Subang Jaya and Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen says Puchong is no longer considered a remote location in relation to the Kuala Lumpur city centre and is developing into a satellite city like Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya.

This year alone (2012) has seen 16 new residential and commercial property launches in Puchong, according to WTW data. Among these are launches at D'Alpinia by Hap Seng Land Development Sdn Bhd, D'Island Residences by LBS Bina Group Sdn Bhd and Taman Tasik Prima by Bolton Bhd.

The 255-room Hilton Garden Inn, scheduled to open in 2013 as part of the 100-acre Millennia City developed by The Millennium Group of Companies, indicates that Puchong has reached a reasonably high level of urbanisation, says Foo.

There is room for further growth and development in Puchong as some large tracts of land remain available for development, including in Bandar Bukit Puchong, TTDI Puchong and Bandar Nusantara. These large tracts, however, are held by big developers such as Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, Bukit Hitam Development Sdn Bhd, I&P Group Sdn Bhd and IOI Properties Bhd and are thus not available to others seeking to enter the residential market in Puchong, says Foo.

The availability of land for development would also depend on the definition of the Puchong area and whether or not expansion towards the south to Cyberjaya would extend the boundaries.

To woo buyers, developers in the area are taking a creative approach. "We noted the presence of several large mining pools. One of these has been partly reclaimed by LBS Bina for its D'Island project. There could be further efforts such as this, provided developers are successful in alienating mining land from the state," says Foo.

Once urbanisation reaches near maturity, Foo foresees more "boutique-type" developments in Puchong, especially on parcels of less than five acres.

"We anticipate higher development density with pockets of land earmarked for high density condominium developments as well as more commercial and retail developments," he says. "This has been the development pattern which we are seeing in established suburbs like Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya."

On Glomac Bhd's Lakeside Residences, Foo says the potential will depend on whether neighbouring industrial activities will affect the quality of the environment there in the long term.

Lake Edge by YTL Land & Development Bhd and Mutiara Puchong by Malton Bhd are probably Lakeside Residences' closest competitors as they are located on opposite sides of the lake to the east and closer to the existing Puchong commercial sub-centre such as Tesco and Setia Walk, he notes. D'Island offers products with similar pricing and development profile.

WTW data show that prices in Bandar Puchong Jaya, located within a 2km radius of Lakeside Residences, has appreciated by an average 16% per annum for the past three to four years. In 2009, the average selling price of 2-storey terraced houses with built-ups of 1,100 to 1,500 sq ft was RM230.60 psf but by 2012, it had risen to RM355 psf.

According to Foo, Puchong is unlikely to become "over saturated" anytime soon despite the number of projects completed and under construction over the next three to four years. On whether traffic congestion will affect investment potential, Foo says that "has never been a factor in impacting capital values". "What is important is the wide range of amenities and commercial outlets available in the locality. Nevertheless, the completion of the extended Ampang light rail transit line by 2014 will ease traffic congestion in this area."

This story first appeared in The Edge weekly edition of Nov 26-Dec 2, 2012.

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