Home to many mega malls, Puchong has over the years transformed itself from a backwater area to a highly sought after address with a strong middle class population. We trace its history from a kampung settlement to one of the fastest growing developing areas in Selangor.
By Khalil Adis
Mention Puchong and the first thing that comes to mind is the abundant Lok Lok food trucks serving delicious local fares along Lok Lok Street till the wee hours of the morning. Indeed, Puchong has come a long way since 2005 when it was considered by many back then as an ‘ulu’ area.
Located some 28km away from Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Puchong was previously only accessible by cars and taxis. In order to get there, for example, one will need to brave through the bottle neck traffic via the Shah Alam-Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya and Bukit Jalil Expressways just to get home. Being a relatively up and coming area with very few amenities to speak of, it was no wonder home prices then were priced on the cheap – at around RM190 per sq ft.
However, over the years, developments within Puchong have gathered pace with established developers like TAHPS Group, IOI and SP Setia making in roads in this once desolate area. From IOI Mall to Puchong Parade, Puchong suddenly became a hip enclave surrounded by trendy cafes and plenty of lifestyle offerings.
The buzz surrounding Puchong has upped its hip quotient and helped put it on investors’ radar, attracting a strong middle class population. With the upwardly mobile now calling Puchong home, this has created a positive spillover impact on its property market. For example, in 2013, the average housing prices here soared to around RM700 plus per sq ft – representing more than double in capital appreciation within a span of eight years.
With the Ampang LRT Extension Line now opened with five of them serving the vicinity – IOI Puchong Jaya, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Taman Perindustrian Puchong, Bandar Puteri and Puchong Perdana – property prices here are expected to rise even further.
We list down six reasons why Puchong has become one of the fastest growing developing areas in Selangor and a much sought after address.
Reason 1: Plenty of amenities and shopping malls
Residents living within Puchong are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping and day-to-day activities. From banking to fitness, the township has a huge concentration of shopping malls such as the IOI Mall, TESCO, GIANT, JUSCO, Puchong Parade and Puchong Plaza. With all the modern conveniences and trendy lifestyle offerings right at residents’ doorstep, it is no wonder Puchong has become a magnet among the middle class.
Reason 2: Enhanced accessibility with the Ampang LRT Extension Line project
With a growing population by 2006, it thus came as no surprise when the federal government announced the RM10 billion Ampang LRT Extension Line project to better serve this township. Fast forward ten years later, the infrastructure project has made significant progress. A few of the LRT stations were opened in phases between 31 October 2015 to 31 March 2016. Of the 12 stations, nine are currently in operation spanning from Awan Besar to Bandar Puteri. As a result, this once ‘ulu’ area has become highly accessible. You can now hop onto the train to get to the city centre in around 40 minutes.
Reason 3: High capital appreciation for properties
The combination of infrastructure developments like the Ampang LRT Extension Line project and the mushrooming of shopping malls in Puchong, have created the perfect alchemy resulting in high capital appreciation of properties here. In 2013, for example, the average houses in Puchong rose to around RM700 plus per sq ft, representing more than three times in capital appreciation within a span of eight years. As more and more LRT stations will be opened progressively this year, this will help to further unlock property values for existing and future homes in Puchong. This is definitely something to cheer about amid a weak property market.
Reason 4: High demand for the rental market
With enhanced accessibility and plenty of amenities within the doorstep, it is no wonder properties in Puchong have also become highly sought after by rent seekers. For example, data from PropertyGuru Malaysia’s first quarter of 2016 survey showed that Puchong topped the list as the most rented location in Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley, beating perennial favourites like KLCC, Bukit Bintang and Mont Kiara. Now, that is quite a feat considering it was once a kampung area.
Reason 5: Relatively cheaper cost of housing and living
The trend in the property market in Greater Kuala Lumpur is towards the Southern growth corridor where property prices and cost of living are still relatively affordable. In KLCC, for example, the average price per sq ft for non-landed homes hovers at around the RM1,400 mark. In comparison, the average price per sq ft for non-landed homes in Puchong is around RM700. Likewise, a bowl of Fishbowl Noodle Soup in KLCC will cost around RM12 while in Puchong, the same dish costs almost half the price at RM5.50. With its lower cost of living, plenty of amenities and enhanced accessibility via the Ampang LRT Extension Line, it is no wonder Puchong has become a magnet among the upwardly mobile Gen Ys and middle class.
Reason 6: A cleaner and greener township with better quality of life
The great thing about living in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur is the lower acquisition land cost which translates to low density developments. This is the case for Puchong where you can enjoy a bigger living space with plenty of nature and lush surroundings. With less pollution and a much cleaner and greener environment, your quality of life greatly enhances. This is something money cannot buy when living within the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, which has perhaps explained Puchong’s popularity among the more discerning buyers.