When one talks about upmarket and exclusive landed residential enclaves in Kuala Lumpur, the addresses that come to mind include Kenny Hills, Damansara Heights and U-Thant.

There is one other place that is just as exclusive, but which has remained hidden. In the words of some real-estate agents, Pantai Hill or Bukit Pantai is probably one of the country's best-kept secrets in terms of exclusivity.

Located between Bangsar and the part of the SPRINT Highway that runs next to the grounds of Universiti Malaya, Pantai Hill covers about 120 acres of mainly freehold land, estimates real estate consultancy Rahim & Co.

Pantai Hill is appealing, especially to owner-occupiers, given its centralised location with easy access to Petaling Jaya and the city centre. While the area enjoys the benefits of being neighbours with popular Bangsar in terms of accessibility and amenities, it remains relatively private, Robert Ang, managing director of Rahim & Co, tells City & Country.

Not only that, the homes on Pantai Hill sit on sizeable plots. "We are talking about an average 10,000 sq ft of land for the bungalows here. Some even have up to 20,000 sq ft of land," Ang points out.

In comparison, the average land area for bungalows in Damansara Heights is between 5,000 and 6,000 sq ft. Value-wise, on a per sq ft basis, Damansara Heights is more expensive.

With such appealing features, why has Pantai Hill been so "quiet"?

Pantai Hill is not as well known because there are not as many houses on sale here, reasons Ang. This could be because, as resident Katherine Lim emphatically declares, "once you have lived here, you don't want to move".

Lim, who is also a real-estate agent, has been living in Pantai Hill for 16 years, since relocating from Damansara Heights.

"I love the place. It is centralised. It is also extremely convenient; you want to get a bottle of milk, just go down the road. We go to Bangsar for everything and yet we are away from the hustle and bustle of Bangsar," she says.

"My house is on top of a hill, so it is quiet and the view is great. We have tree-lined roads and lots of cul-de-sacs. Many of the residents here are from the older generation and have been in the area for a long time. There are quite a number of doctors who own houses here, maybe because of the hospital nearby," she adds.

For Prasad Pillai, managing director of Pillai Properties, Pantai Hill's success is thanks to neighbouring Bangsar with its excellent amenities, including thriving retail offerings such as Bangsar Shopping Centre and Bangsar Village 1 and 2.

However, unlike Bangsar, Pantai Hill has lower density and is quieter. Its busiest part would be the houses along the main road of Jalan Bukti Pantai, Pillai points out.

The view seen from Lim's house, says Pillai, is one of the area's selling points.

"The houses are, after all, on a hill. So, many of them have magnificent views. There are actually not many high-rises here getting in the way of these views. One of the high-rises is the rather old Pantai Towers and the other is the spanking new Zehn Bukit Pantai, which has received tremendous response," he adds.

Pantai Hill is about 35 years old and its values have been climbing at no less than 10% per annum over the last five years, Pillai says, adding that today's prices are as high as RM350 to RM400 psf, depending on the location and condition of the property. His office is in the vicinity.

Rahim & Co's Yap Kong Keong says the average price of a bungalow that is more than 10 years old averages around RM2.5 million, while it is around RM3.5 million for a newer one (based on transactions handled by the agency over the last five years). This works out to about RM250 to RM350 psf. The average growth in property values here is about 10% a year but just over the last one year, there has been a jump of as high as 50%, notes Yap. Prices are certainly rising fast.

"One landowner in Pantai Hill recently even asked for RM350 psf just for the land and he is not settling for anything less," he adds.

Although the hilly terrain here is quite challenging, most of the land here has already been carved out, with houses on them. So, "one good thing about the area is you won't find a condo suddenly in front of you," offers Rahim & Co's Ang.

The recent jump in prices, he says, is in tandem with the rise in value of high-end residential properties across the Klang Valley. This is mainly due to the various government incentives for the property market and resultant influx of foreign investors, and the generally positive outlook for the economy, buoyed by a strong stock market.

For example, Rahim & Co sold a property for RM5 million in Kenny Hills a few months ago and the owner is now looking to selling it for RM7 million. This is a potential gain of 30% to 40% in less than six months.

Clearly, more investors are looking at Pantai Hill for its potential upside. Resident and property agent Lim sold a bungalow here for RM4.3 million early this year. The property had a land area of 9,000 sq ft, with a built-up of 4,000 sq ft and a swimming pool, but it still needed doing up.

Lim herself paid RM180 psf for a parcel here early last year. She sees the land going for probably RM300 psf now. She also believes that property prices here will eventually be on a par with those in Damansara Heights.