If you are tired of ‘gentrified’ looking neighbourhoods and want to move somewhere a little more old-school and homely, you may want to consider the prospects of either PJ or Puchong. Both these towns are old-ish (PJ more so than Puchong) and yes, they still have a lot to offer.
Now since most developing townships and cities in Malaysia are relatively young, we can go ahead and consider Petaling Jaya and Puchong (developed around the 1950s and 1980s respectively) a little more aged than say, Kota Kemuning, Cyberjaya or Seri Kembangan.
At a time when more people are moving away from these older townships and toward newer ones for budgetary or lifestyle reasons, is it still a good idea to consider PJ and Puchong a promising spot to relocate or buy property for investment? Let’s explore the possibilities.
Why look to PJ and Puchong?
While the trend to move out of town due to increasing real estate prices in major cities continues, PJ and Puchong could still be a viable option for new buyers and younger residents who prioritise affordability. Why? Because when ALL costs are calculated – these cities could actually make for a more economical choice.
The incidental costs of living in the ‘outskirts’ can be a rather heavy one to bear. Just consider the expenses associated with commuting alone – tolls, petrol, and hours spent on the road. Sometimes it just makes more sense to live closer to where your life actually is – work, family and friends. If everything you know and love is closer to Puchong or PJ, then why not?
So don’t count these two ‘ageing’ cities out just yet, it still serves as an interesting property option for buyers and renters.
What both these areas have in common?
PJ, Puchong and other major townships or cities in Selangor (and Kuala Lumpur) have a number of similarities which make moving between these areas usually seamless. Here are some ways in which they are quite alike:
1. Choice of malls and proximity to other major shopping centres.
2. Food variety in terms of cuisine choices and cost considerations.
3. Mixed neighbourhoods and developments as well as options for retro-built homes.
4. Easy links to other major townships (Puchong easily connects to Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, Seri Kembangan, Bandar Sunway and Subang Jaya while PJ highways route into Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Damansara, and Bandar Sunway as well).
5. Strong public transport system with buses, taxis and MRT lines.
You may also notice traffic congestion in these areas but it is almost expected of major cities in chief states, especially during peak hours, in more concentrated zones.
The issue of traffic is more severe when you have to commute to distant locations for work. Hence, if you have your eye on PJ or Puchong, be sure to estimate your travel distance with care because extended trips with heavy traffic jams will wear on you faster than you know.
What does the property prices look like in these areas?
For most, this is a key consideration when buying or renting. Now based on the analysis by PropSocial’s Property Info and Ratings Page , Puchong certainly beats out PJ in terms of price but if your pockets are slightly deeper, then PJ could serve as a great investment and lifestyle option.
Here are the big numbers on PJ and Puchong:
What are some of the ‘nicer’, more affordable developments?
Places like Ameera Residences offer quality and affordability while Five Stones appeal to affluent buyers and tenants. These developments, like a lot of PJ areas house a mixed group of locals from different races as well as expats.
On the topic of rental yield, Jaya One garners some of the highest in the area which is likely due to its close proximity to strategic hotspots such as malls, restaurants and commercial buildings.
Here are more price comparisons and rental yields for selected top properties in PJ and its surrounding areas:
Puchong certainly sees a mixed income level group, so naturally the properties in the area tend to reflect these circumstances as well.
Price is the major draw point for a move to Puchong but it does not mean that upscale and luxury homes can’t be found in this area. For instance, Amanria Residence, Zen Residence and Lake Edge are representations of ‘affordable luxury’ while mid-level housing like the Aster, K Boulevard and Lakeside Residences are also available.
Here are more price comparisons and potential rental yields for selected top properties in Puchong:
Note: Sinar Puchong Technology Park is a commercial building (factory) and not a residential property.
Which should you pick?
Both these locations offer a certain element of interest, with Puchong being affordable and PJ appearing more liveable, but when it comes down to it, your reasons for making the purchase may have the final say. For instance, if you are buying a home that you plan to live in; your choices will be dictated by liveability whereas if for investment, you would need to look at the homes’ potential for strong returns or rental yield.
PJ beats out Puchong in some areas in terms of returns on sub-sale profits and rental yields. However, you cannot ignore Puchong’s affordability factor as this makes it a little easier to become a homeowner in the first place.
(Written by: Desiree Nair, 8th April 2016)