Well-planned Putrajaya presents itself as a suitable place to call home
HAT was once oil palm and rubber estates, Putrajaya began to grow as soon as the federal government decided to relocate its administrative offices from Kuala Lumpur. The brainchild of Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad has come into its own as a city that offers holistic living for young families and upgraders.
To further understand what makes this dynamic and green enclave an attractive place to call home, StarProperty.my spoke to iRealty Sdn Bhd managing director Muhazrol Muhamad. “When talking about real estate, Putrajaya is unique because the town-planning has made it a suitable place to live,” he said.
“Every precinct has shoplots, sports facilities such as swimming pool and badminton courts, neighbourhood areas, halls, waterpark and gardens. And people in Putrajaya hardly face traffic jams because of wide roads.”
Muhazrol points out that most people who buy property in Putrajaya intend to live there – and retire there too.
“At the mosques, elderly folk who gather there are people who used to hold positions of power or are successful in their own right. They chose Putrajaya because of how it was built,” he said.
Connectivity options make it easier for residents to either go to Kuala Lumpur via the MEX highway or Seremban via the PLUS highway.
“KLIA is just 30 minutes away, and you can travel smoothly by ERL to and from Putrajaya. Many pilots, frequent travellers, businessmen and foreigners live in Putrajaya,” said Muhazrol.
Rising property values
In its early days, Putrajaya was labelled as a place for government servants. Not anymore – people are now showing more interest in buying property in Putrajaya.
Muhazrol said that in 2010-2011, a double-storey home (20’ x 70’) in Precinct 9 could be bought for RM330,000 to RM350,000. Today, the price of the same unit has shot up to RM690,000 or RM700,000.
He said there is strong rental demand for high-rise properties, such as Apartment Putra Harmoni in Precinct 9.
“Most of the residents there are locals or foreign workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal. In 2010, these apartments were sold for RM130,000 to RM140,000. Now, the market price is RM290,000. Even if the apartment is auctioned, the price would still be at about RM250,000,” he added.
Muhazrol reckons that Putrajaya lacks established hotels, so there is demand for homestays.
“Small investors would buy apartments and rent or sublet them. At Putra Harmoni, I’ve come across investors who own quite a number of units which they convert into a rental business.”
He said it was a trend for owners to rent to people who would sublet the properties to tenants.
Muhazrol said developers were focused on building high-rises because of decreasing acreage for residential property. Thus,the number of semi-D units and bungalows in Putrajaya is lesser.
As for investment in commercial property, he said there aren’t many opportunities for businesses but the success of Shaftsbury Putrajaya – which has been sold out– is an indication of the demand for commercial space.
Local and foreign dwellers
Demographically, most property buyers are Malays because Putrajaya is a government centre and many of them are civil servants, said Muhazrol.
“There are also Chinese and Indian residents, and quite a number of foreigners. Putrajaya residents are served by two international schools and the Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.
“The government used to put a limitation on foreign ownership in Putrajaya – a 5% quota for landed property. They could only buy property priced RM2,000,000 and above. But in 2016, foreigners were restricted from buying landed property in the enclave.
“It showed that there is demand from foreigners. Without the 5%quota, we believe that more units could have been sold to foreigners,” he said.
Many of the foreigners living in Putrajaya are Chinese-Muslims and Pakistanis, said Muhazrol. “For these Chinese, they feel it’s easier to be a Muslim here compared to China. Other foreigners residing in Putrajaya include Muslim scholars.”
He related the case of his client, a Chinese-Muslim who grew up in New Zealand. The client decided to move to Putrajaya and was one of the last foreigners who managed to buy a landed property here.
The most popular type of business in Putrajaya is being a supplier to the government. These are usually companies who have government contracts, said Muhazrol.
“Putrajaya is a better registration address for your business compared to Bangi or Kajang. However, Putrajaya pales in comparison to Kuala Lumpur when it comes to business.
“There is no factory in Putrajaya; no shop that sells second-hand cars. The type of business that is most likely to survive here involves food as Putrajaya is home to some well-known eateries.
“Aside from retail outlets such as Mydin, there is no shop that sells gadgets, telco or mobile phones unless you go to Alamanda,” he said.
Living the quality life
Traffic jams are uncommon in Putrajaya even on weekdays, giving the enclave a relaxing vibe. “We only face traffic jams after we get out of Putrajaya,” Muhazrol quipped.
“Putrajaya is a great place to raise children because the crime rate is very low even though houses don’t have gates. The roads are also monitored by CCTV.”
With many recreational parks located around Putrajaya, such as Taman Warisan Pertanian, water activities at some lakes, and neighbourhood jogging tracks, residents are able to escape from thebusy life and enjoy quality time with family and friends.
Since Putrajaya doesn’t have many malls, pubs and clubs, social problems among teenagers and youngsters are few.
“Liquor cannot be sold here, that’s why parents love Putrajaya. The behaviour of children here, the way they talk, is different from kids in other places such as Ampang and Subang,” said Muhazrol.
Putrajaya now offers affordable housing as most residential areas have been developed.
“Terrace houses are still available in Putrajaya but bungalows and semi-D units are limited. Lately, PR1MA was introduced here and we were asked to help promote these homes. Many units are still available,”said Muhazrol.
One of the factors why these units are still available is because the interested buyers could not get their bank loans approved due to poor financial management.
Muhazrol added: “The turnover for PR1MA is high. For every 100 applications, around 80 will be rejected. The process to own a PR1MA unit is long. Potential buyers have to get approval from the authorities on their eligibility to purchase before they can apply for a loan. Most clients can’t wait that long.”
The civil servant reserve unit(CSRU), a government initiative, is attracting buyers to Putrajaya.
“Whenever developers launch their projects here, a small percentage will be prioritised for government workers. If civil servants want to buy from the developers, they can get a discount of up to 45% subject to certain terms and conditions such as the property can’t be sold for a certain number of years. A penalty will be imposed if the ownerwants to sell early,” said Muhazrol.
He added that the CSRU is the fastest selling in Putrajaya because of the discount.
“If no government servant wants to own the CSRU, then it will be made available to the public. But most CSRU is sold out. All projects in Putrajaya must have CSRU, no matter the price,” he said.
Muhazrol Muhamad is iRealty Sdn Bhd managing director
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