Cover Story: Prices and rents growing steadily

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on December 14, 2020 - December 20, 2020.
Putra Heights, launched in 1999 by Sime UEP Properties, is a  self-contained township with a total land area of 727ha,  comprising a mix of residential and commercial properties (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Putra Heights, launched in 1999 by Sime UEP Properties, is a self-contained township with a total land area of 727ha, comprising a mix of residential and commercial properties (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

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Located in the foothills of Bukit Cermin, the township of Putra Heights has held its own since it was first developed in 1999. Comprising mainly residential properties, it has gained in value and is giving other townships such as Puchong and Cyberjaya a run for their money.

Enveloped by greenery, Putra Heights is bordered by Subang Jaya and USJ to the north and Bukit Lanchong to the south while the North-South Expressway Central Link (Elite Highway) cuts through the eastern part of the township.

Landserve Sdn Bhd managing director Chen King Hoaw provides a bit of background information on the development. “Putra Heights, launched in 1999  by Sime UEP Properties, is a self-contained township with a total land area of 727ha (1,796 acres). It is also part of the city of Subang Jaya,” he says.

“Located to the south of the older part of Subang Jaya, which is known for its educational institutions, private hospital, hypermarkets, malls and other commercial properties, Putra Heights comprises a range of residential properties, including apartments and terraced, semi-detached and detached houses.”

Some of the noteworthy ongoing and upcoming residential projects in Putra Heights are Sime Darby Property’s The Alcove @ The Glades, The Residences @ The Glades, The Serenade @ The Glades and Putra Heights Residence; and B&G Property’s Bungalow @ Kingsley Hills and Beaumont @ Kingsley Hills.

Apart from residential property, the township also has low-rise commercial developments and shopoffices such as Sime Darby Property’s Irama Square. On weekends, residents in the area tend to frequent its array of cafés such as Jiju’s Café and Emery School of Coffee.

Notable amenities nearby include Putra Point Commercial Centre, One City, Giant Hypermarket, Main Place Mall, Jaya Grocer, Maple Leaf Kingsley International School, Fairview International School, Hicom Primary School, SJK (C) Tun Tan Siew Sin, Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (10km away) and Columbia Asia Hospital Bukit Rimau (11.8km away).

Good demand with steady growth

Owing to its strategic location and amenities, there is demand for property in Putra Heights, with prices and rents growing steadily over the years.

According to Landserve’s Chen, landed homes are the most popular type of residential property. “Homebuyers looking for residential properties in Putra Heights prefer landed homes such as 2-storey terraced houses, which are more affordable than the semi-detached and detached houses.”

LaurelCap Sdn Bhd executive director Stanley Toh concurs. “In Putra Heights, the demand is mainly for landed properties. There aren’t many non-landed properties in Putra Heights with the exception of low- and medium-cost apartments such as Seri Mutiara Apartments,” he says.

“For high-rise luxury living, there are almost no existing projects apart from the new launches by Sime Darby Property. People who live in Putra Heights are mainly interested in the suburban lifestyle, with more open spaces, public facilities and amenities and good road connectivity to commute to their workplace.”

Toh says Putra Heights attracts mainly ­owner-occupiers with medium-sized and large families. “They are mostly middle- to upper-middle-class folks. The people who would want to live in Putra Heights are mainly those with medium-sized and large families who want a more wholesome suburban township lifestyle.”

(Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Says Chen: “Demand is mainly from people working and living in Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Puchong and Petaling Jaya as Putra Heights lies adjacent and is well connected to these established cities and neighbourhoods by a modern network of highways and roads. Apart from low- and ­medium-cost apartments, demand for strata properties such as condominiums is soft.”

For the residential segment, landed properties fetch an average price of between RM430 and RM490 psf while rent psf per month is between RM1.10 and RM1.50.

Meanwhile, the price of non-landed properties may vary. “For the medium-cost ones, the price is RM200 to RM250 psf. For The Alcove, a new project by Sime Darby Property, units are selling at RM750 to RM850 psf depending on size, level and so on,” says Toh. He adds that the rent for non-landed properties is between RM0.90 and RM1.20 psf per month.

Demand for property in the commercial segment is fairly moderate. “We have seen a steady increase in the value psf over the last 10 years. However, it took the rental market a while to reach the current levels owing to the population growth in the area,” says Toh.”

For commercial developments in Putra Heights, the average price psf is RM450 to RM530 based on built-up area. “The rent on average for the entire shoplot is RM1.50 to RM2 psf per month,” Toh adds.

Key drivers and outlook

There are several key drivers that contribute to the demand in Putra Heights. “First, its location just south of Subang Jaya and west of Puchong is a natural key driver. At the time when Putra Heights was launched, Subang Jaya was fully developed while Puchong was under rapid development up to its boundaries. These two adjoining mature townships offer a host of shopping, educational, medical and recreational amenities,” says Landserve’s Chen.

“Second, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport are just 30 minutes’ drive to the southeast of Putra Heights. Geographically, Putra Heights is located right at the centre of the Klang Valley, with Petaling Jaya to the north, Putrajaya to the south, Cheras and Kajang to the east and Klang to the west,” he adds. “Apart from roads and amenities, Putra Heights has a peaceful setting, which appeals to homebuyers looking for a place that is conducive to family living.”

In addition, Putra Heights is accessible from the Elite Highway, which in turn is directly connected to six major highways providing access from all parts of the Klang Valley. “These highways are the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), Federal Highway, Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), Kuala Lumpur-Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) and South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE). In 2016, the township was connected through the LRT line with the completion of the Putra Heights LRT interchange,” says Chen.

Nonetheless, there are a few challenges faced by the township’s residents. “One of the key challenges in Putra Heights is travelling by public transport to the Kuala Lumpur city centre, ­Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and so on. There is a lack of public transport for residents to travel to their workplace despite the existence of the Putra Heights LRT station. They need to rely on e-hailing services,” notes Chen.

“Another challenge is competition from newer township developments, especially along the Elite Highway. There is also physical and functional obsolescence of the properties. Traffic congestion is also an issue,” says Laurelcap’s Toh.

One of the noteworthy projects in Putra Heights is Kingsley Hills by B&G Property (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Despite the obstacles, the future appears bright for the township. “Putra Heights is an established self-contained township. Given the developments that took place within and around this township over the last two decades, we believe it will continue to attract demand from homebuyers looking for landed homes in the Klang Valley,” says Chen.

“The outlook is promising. The current economic turmoil, exacerbated by the pandemic, has affected the number of transactions, but I envisage demand to grow in the long term,” concludes Toh.