Petaling Jaya: changing with the times and flourishing

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Petaling Jaya offers a wide variety of property types that suit budget buyers as well as those with deeper pockets. (Property Advisor pic)

Petaling Jaya has come a long way since it was built to function as a satellite township for Kuala Lumpur. When PJ was first developed on about 485ha in 1952, there were only 800 houses in the area that is now known as “Old Town”.

Today, it has an estimated size of 9,700ha with a total population of over 600,000. It was granted city status in June 2006.

Petaling Jaya is bordered by Kuala Lumpur to the east, Sungai Buloh to the north, Shah Alam and Subang Jaya to the west and Puchong to the south.

Its development concept is similar to that of Kuala Lumpur, populated as it is with numerous commercial, residential and business districts.

Apart from the convenience of travelling to and from Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya’s wide variety of shopping malls as well as food and beverage options makes it a popular choice for city dwellers and visitors.

A Property Advisor analysis reveals that despite the global pandemic, high-rise residences in Petaling Jaya are still in demand, with transaction volume growing 5.61% in the first half of the year (1H2020) compared with 1H2019.

In comparison, the number of high-rise transactions had fallen 30.48% from 1H2018 to 1H2019.

Another interesting observation from the analysis is that median prices for both high-rise and landed properties have been on an upward trend since 2018.

From 1H2018 to 1H2019, the median price for high-rise properties rose 5%, followed by a 4.96% increase from 1H2019 to 1H2020.

The median price of landed properties saw a significant surge of 19.05% from 1H2018 to 1H2019, with a smaller increment of 0.28% from 1H2019 to 1H2020.

A closer analysis of the transactions by buyer profile indicates that the median price for first-home buyers (FHB) in Petaling Jaya saw a higher increase than that for investors.

From 1H2019 to 1H2020, the median price for FHB had spiked 26.98% while the median price for investors only increased by 3.03%.

Interestingly, the same trend was seen in the previous year, from 1H2018 to 1H2019, when the median price increase on the FHB market was also higher than that for investors at 12.5% and 11.86% respectively.

What does the expert say?

In an era of unprecedented change stemming from rapid progress, PJ has remained a popular location among serious buyers and investors, Reapfield Properties Sdn Bhd senior real estate negotiator Anita Sharma told Property Advisor.

“This rapid growth is due to its vast network of connected highways, the wide range of amenities and property types and prices that cater to different budgets. PJ has always been a family-orientated town. I grew up and went to school here.”

Anita said PJ has evolved and improved tremendously over the last two decades and will progress further, especially with landed property.

“The prices for landed properties have mostly remained steady, although some neighbourhoods have seen significant increases, such as SS1, SS3 and Section 5.”

She added that the city offers a sense of community.

“This means the city has an overall good level of safety in almost all neighbourhoods. These are factors that attract the young with new families, as well as those seeking to retire or to set up homes for the elderly.”

Room for improvement

However, she said traffic management and parking in PJ needed to be improved to ease congestion.

“PJ boasts a well-connected light rail transit system, but more can be done to ensure that commuters are comfortable and safe. The same could be done for the road public transport system.”

She pointed out that road conditions in some areas could be significantly improved.

“Repairs and upgrades … sometimes take a while to be sorted. The PJ City Council should conduct more frequent checks and ensure timely work and maintenance procedures.”

Healthy demand

Anita said one-and two-storey link/terraced houses are in high demand. “These are the most sought-after properties in PJ. The prices range from RM650,000 to RM1.5 million, depending on the property type and condition.”

Nonetheless, as amenities and facilities improve, she believes PJ will always remain an attractive option — both for those who are looking for their own stay or an investment.

“Despite the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, current trends show buyers view this as an opportune time to seek out good property deals on the secondary market. An upward trend is only natural in the long term when the economy recovers.”

Anita said the pandemic has not adversely affected the demand for and prices of properties in PJ, or the state for that matter.

“If month-on-month increases in property searches in Selangor are anything to go by, a healthy demand remains, with an almost 50% increase in searches or enquiries. Values have not dropped either, and most of the demand leans towards link houses.

“However, also notable is the interest in new developments, most of which are located in Selangor.

“Property developers’ aggressive digital marketing of upcoming condominium projects is producing results. As a real estate negotiator also actively marketing new projects, I have seen interest in new condos growing too.”

This article was written by Sharina Ahmad of PropertyAdvisor.my, Malaysia’s most comprehensive source of property data, property analytics and insights.