Its rapid growth was driven primarily by the massive rural-urban migration experienced by the country between the 1970s and 90s while its economic sustainability came from its position as Malaysia’s leading manufacturing hub of the 1980s which provided ample employment opportunities for its then young population. As Petaling Jaya’s population grew, its development was accelerated to include a comprehensive infrastructure system to cater to the increasing sophistication of its residents. This bustling metropolis was granted city status in 2006 and continues to draw the interest of investors, despite being in the shadow Kuala Lumpur for more than 50 years.
Sustained Investor Interest
With decades of urbanisation, many of Petaling Jaya’s neighbourhoods have become self-contained townships with sought after addresses such as Damansara Jaya, SS1, SS2, SS23, Taman Megah, Damansara Utama, Kampung Sungai Ara, Kelana Jaya and Bandar Sunway. In addition to corporate investors keen to tap into Petaling Jaya’s skilled talent pool, investment interest is being driven primarily by second and third generation families of its pioneer residents.
Demand for residential and commercial properties remain high in these areas. Data from iProperty iQ which tracked interest in the two main types of residential property i.e. double storey houses and condominium for the last 3 years based on pricing clearly indicates sustained interest. Double storey homes in the RM700,000 to RM1 million range and the RM1 million to RM1.5 million range reflect the highest interest. Although there is a slight dip from 38.28% in 2014 to 28.21% in 2015 in interest for homes in the RM700,000 to RM1 million range, the spike in interest in homes in the RM1 million to RM1.5 million from only 17.42% in 2013 to 26.31% in 2015 is highly reflective of both the sustained demand in this category as well as the growing affluence of Petaling Jaya’s residents.
Interest in condominiums too indicate a decreasing demand for units priced between RM500,000 and RM700,000. Interest in this range steadied from 2013 to 2014 at 20% and stands at 18.23% in 2015. Demand for mid-range condominiums in the price range of RM300,000 to RM500,000 however shows a downward trend from 26.81% in 2013 to 20.75% in 2014 and continues to decrease in 2015 to 15%. However in both types of residential property, there is an increasing demand for homes below RM200,000. Interest for double storey homes in this range has hovered between 22% to 30% for the last three years. While for condominiums, it has grown from 34.15% in 2013 to 50.82% in 2015. This demand is likely attributed to the influx of foreign workers into Petaling Jaya to support its rapid economic growth.
James Tan of in a recent email interview with iProperty said that Petaling Jaya was affected to a certain extent by the market slowdown particularly in the secondary market as buyers are facing tremendous difficulty in getting loans. However, he described the current situation as, “the market taking a bit of a breather at the moment”, and felt that prices have dropped only as expectations of owners are lower due to the socio-political environment and the world economy in general.
Regeneration of Prime Areas
An inevitable drawback of Petaling Jaya’s growing maturity is its scarcity of vacant land for new Much of Petaling Jaya’s industrial land has been converted into commercial areas that allowed developers to build retail centres and office buildings. Jaya 1, Jaya 33 and 3 Two Square as examples of successful conversions to commercial areas with a much-increased value. Section 13 which was one Petaling Jaya’s prime light industrial developments areas has also been identified for transformation into a mixed-use with a residential component development enclave.
Petaling Jaya’s growth from its early days as a township of an assortment of residential precincts, small industrial areas, inadequate infrastructure and limited commercial centres to a full-fledged city, complete with modern residential, commercial, healthcare and educational facilities can only be described as phenomenal. Today, it is regarded as an affluent city and is home to professionals from the middle and upper-income segments.
Happening Around Petaling Jaya Now