Puchong: Town that keeps expanding

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 19, 2019 - August 25, 2019.

The extension of the LRT (right) has made Puchong more accessible while residential values in the area (bottom) have been rising

Puchong developed rapidly when the Damansara-Puchong Expressway was built in 2002.” — Wong

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Puchong is a town that never seems to stop expanding and a popular location to set up home for many.

“Puchong developed rapidly when the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) was built in 2002. The extension of the light rail transit (LRT) has made this area more accessible,” says Savills Malaysia director of research and consultancy Amy Wong.

There are now seven LRT stations in Puchong. The area is accessible via the Maju Expressway, Damansara-Puchong Expressway and NKVE-Elite Expressway and with convenient access to the Kuala Lumpur city centre and other parts of the Klang Valley such as Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya, says Wong.

One of the earliest developments in Puchong is the self-contained 374ha Bandar Puchong Jaya, launched by IOI Properties Group Bhd in 1990. Considered the pioneer developer in the area, IOI Properties opened IOI Mall in Bandar Puchong Jaya in 1996 and launched Bandar Puteri Puchong in 2000 and 16 Sierra in Puchong South in 2010. In 2013, it unveiled the Puchong Financial Corporate Centre on a 3.24ha parcel in Bandar Puteri Puchong, comprising four corporate offices and a business hotel run by Four Points by Sheraton, which began operations in 2014.

Development is nowhere near coming to an end. IOI Properties’ latest project is the 72-acre IOI Rio City, an integrated mixed-use development in Bandar Puteri Puchong that will comprise offices and retail and residential properties.

Apart from IOI Properties, other property players in Puchong include Glomac Bhd, LBS Bina Group Bhd, S P Setia Bhd and YTL Land & Development Bhd.

Strategically positioned close to Bandar Sunway , Putrajaya, Old Klang Road and Bukit Jalil, Puchong is a favourite with homeowners and investors. The demand for residential properties in the area has seen the development of many townships, including Pusat Bandar Puchong, Puchong Intan, Puchong Utama, Puchong Perdana, Puchong Hartamas, Bandar Bukit Puchong and Saujana Puchong.

Puchong today features many bustling commercial centres, with modern amenities and facilities such as schools, hospitals, offices, hotels, shopping centres and hypermarkets.

“Bandar Kinrara by I&P Group (now a member of S P Setia Bhd) is one of the townships in Puchong that has seen high capital appreciation since its launch in 1991. The township is served by the LRT Ampang Line under the LRT extension project. Recently, there have been many developments in the southern part of Puchong such as 16 Sierra by IOI Properties and Sunway Eastwood by Sunway Bhd, which are close to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya,” says Wong.

Residential values have been on the rise. Data from Savills Malaysia reveal that Koi Kinrara by Masteron Group has seen a capital appreciation of 15% from 2014 to 2018, while Vista Prima by Kumpulan SPL Development has risen 11% over the same period. The transacted prices at Koi Kinrara rose from RM381 psf in 2014 to RM438 psf in 2018, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5%, while at Vista Prima, prices increased from RM271 psf to RM299 psf, for a CAGR of 2.5%.

Data from EdgeProp.my and the National Property Information Centre show that a 1,399 sq ft terraced house in Bandar Bukit Puchong by Ayer Holdings Bhd was sold for RM510,000 psf or RM364 psf in March. Meanwhile, a 1,539 sq ft house in Bandar Puchong Jaya by IOI Properties was sold for RM830,000 or RM539 psf in the same month.

As for high-rises, a 1,076 sq ft unit in Koi Kinrara was sold for RM535,000 or RM497 psf in December last year, and a 1,087 sq ft unit in Vista Millennium Condo by Millennium Land Sdn Bhd fetched RM220,000 or RM202 psf in February.

A search of EdgeProp.my listings reveal that landed properties of 900 to 3,000 sq ft in size have asking rents of RM500 to RM3,500 per month, and for high-rise units of the same size, RM750 to RM7,500 psf.

The average selling price psf for non landed is RM247 compared to the state average of RM237, while the average selling price psf for landed is RM1,963, compared to the state average of RM2,085.


A tale of food and traffic woes

Mention Puchong and more often than not, the conversation will turn to food as well as traffic woes — both of which are signs of a booming town. Said to be named after Burung Pucung, a type of heron, Puchong was once a rubber plantation and tin-mining town that was established in the early 20th century.

To delve into a bit of history, many local Chinese companies acquired mining companies in Puchong from the British after indepenence in 1957. In the mid-1980s, the collapse of international tin prices resulted in many residents and workers shifting to rubber and palm oil plantations. In the early 1990s, Puchong’s strategic location between Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya attracted a wave of development and led to a rapid rise in its population.

The growth of the area was further spurred when Putrajaya became the federal administrative capital while neighbouring Cyberjaya began to flourish.

There are many things to do in Puchong, from enjoying the outdoors at the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve or Taman Wawasan, to sports activities at Spacerubix community centre or Kinrara Oval Cricket field.

However, the biggest draw for many would be the food. Puchong is known as a food paradise and a regular haunt of foodies and bloggers. It has a vast selection of eateries, especially in the busy commercial centres.

Bandar Puchong Utama offers many Chinese food options. Based on recommendations and reviews, here are some of the more popular eating spots.

A local favourite is Yap Chuan Restaurant, which is famous for its dry bak kut teh, though Puchong has many bak kut teh outlets.

Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga, also in Bandar Puchong Utama, is known for its steamed fish, especially its Specialty Steamed Seafood King — a steamed fish dish similar to the classic xiong tong la la (superior clam soup), topped with squid, prawns and clams. As its name proclaims, it is also well known for its signature curry fish head.

Along the same road is Patin Place, which serves brick oven-baked Patin fish in various styles, including Patin Ketuhar Tempoyak Pekat, a combination of fermented durian and Patin.

Puchong is also famous for yong tau foo. Puchong Yong Tau Fu and Kedai Mee Siew at Kampung Baru Puchong are among the top restaurants that whip up this Hakka treat.

At Pusat Bandar Puchong, Wai Kei Wantan Mee stall, which relocated from Fatt Kee restaurant to Everyday Food Court in Jalan Bandar 1, is a household name for its springy noodles and thick caramelised char siew.

For crab and seafood dishes, head to Fish Village Steamboat Restaurant in Pusat Bandar Puchong. Apart from crabs, other popular items include la la mee hoon and steamed prawns.

At bustling Bandar Puteri Puchong, Restaurant Fu Gua Thong is where bitter gourd fans flock to for the bitter gourd soup, chicken with black bean sauce and bitter gourd slices, and pork belly yam.

Among other food options is a wide selection of dim sum restaurants. At Foo Hing Dim Sum House in Jalan Puteri 2/6, one invariably finds long queues patiently waiting for a table to sample, among other treats, its Macau-inspired Portugese egg tarts. Over at Jalan Puteri 1/6 is another widely praised dim sum place, Jin Xuan.

Over at Bandar Bukit Puchong, Warung Cikgu’s Nasi Mmanggey draws the crowds. Commonly known as nasi kukus ayam berempah, the dish comprises steamed rice drenched in gulai ayam and topped with fried chicken pieces and sambal.

Apart from local treats Puchong also serves up a myriad of other cuisines, including Korean, Japanese and western, as well as other F&B options such as cafés and bars.

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