Where To Invest In Malaysia Property

Malaysia Property Investment Hotspot


While the property market might be a little soft in the short-run, the long term prospects of the luxury segment are truly enticing in line with the country’s strong economic growth.

In terms of trends in design style and lifestyle concepts, Malaysia is on par with the rest of the world, but offers far greater appreciation potential and lower purchase prices than Hong Kong, Bangkok and neighbouring Singapore. Yet, the lifestyle offerings are second to none.

“So, where do we start?

If you fancy a piece of action in the city, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area with its wide range of luxury high-rise condominiums is an excellent starting point. Luxury condominiums here come in the options of partially and fully furnished units and range from studios to full-scale penthouses complete with luxury lifestyle and recreational facilities.

Here, Suria KLCC shopping centre, the Central Business District (CBD), hotels as well as a host of comprehensive facilities are within walking distance from your abode in the sky. Most offers unobscured vistas of the landmark Petronas Twin Towers as well the rest of the KL skyline while putting you right at the heart of the vibrant city life – day or night. Simply put, the KLCC area is ideal for those who really wish to embrace and immerse themselves in everything the city has to offer.

An alternative for KLCC but equally luxurious are the condominiums within the Jalan Bukit Bintang area. Located just a few kilometers from KLCC, this central district puts you right smack in the middle of one of Southeast Asia’s most desirable shopping and retail districts, named the Golden Triangle.

Indulge in retail therapy and shop till you drop at regionally acclaimed shopping destinations, including Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and Starhill Gallery. A shrine that worships all things retail, the Golden Triangle and KLCC are some of Malaysia’s hottest locations due to large tourist arrivals in addition to the presence of “local” foreigners.

If you would like something more quiet, then head to the Ampang residential area. Well known as a diplomatic enclave, Ampang affords plenty of greenery and is loved for its old school charm – think massive bungalows with ample land – although an increasing number of upscale condominiums have also made their way here in recent years. Ampang is an exclusive address, but above all, it is a piece of heaven – a tranquil paradise amidst the dynamic pulse of the city. From here, a short walk or drive will take you back again to the welcoming bosom of KLCC and the Jalan Bukit Bintang area.

For those who prefer being outside of the city, but still within close proximity, then the exclusive enclave of Mont’ Kiara makes for an ideal choice. It is strategically located close to the city yet a little further away to maintain its own identity. Known for its large expatriate communities, particularly the Japanese and South Korean, Mont’ Kiara boasts exclusive luxury condominiums with a good selection of landed dwellings. This well-developed and self-contained area is also equipped with international schools, an active nightlife scene and plenty of commercial establishments.

Alternatively, you can head to where the old money of KL can be found: the grand and mature suburbs of Bangsar and Damansara as well as certain sections (or precincts) in Petaling Jaya. First established in the 1960s, Bangsar and Damansara are located next to each other and were the residence areas reserved for high-ranking government officials, businessmen and the affluent folk of the time. Today, both locations have grown in exclusivity and remain the purview of those seeking for a more refined place to call home. Homes here are typically landed properties comprising large bungalows on expansive plots.

Shopping, F&B and entertainment offerings are very much geared towards the large expatriate community in both Bangsar and Damansara. A good mix of residence options mean you can decide between landed houses, condominiums, apartments or studio lofts.

Speaking of bungalows, the Melawati township, situated just 15 minutes from KLCC and the city centre, has carved a niche for itself as the place for new money. New bungalow dwellings are available for a slightly lower price than in many other parts of the city without compromising on space, style or concept.

Melawati is also ideal for those who aspire to dwell amongst nature. It is situated adjacent to a forest reserve and is home to the world’s longest Quartz Ridge. Reaching a height of 380 metres, it is the world’s largest natural quartz dyke, estimated to be 170 million years old. Displaying four types of quartz formations, the ridge is home to 265 plant species, five of them endemic to the area, which means they cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Other attractions include Bukit Tabur and Klang Gates Lake, all of which are easily accessible to the public.

On the overall outlook of the luxury property market, Ishmael Ho sums it up the best. “The luxury segment will definitely continue to do well if you’re looking for a 5 to 10-year play or even more. Yields may have dropped from the heady days of a decade ago, but that is to be expected from any maturing market. Still, there is stability and plenty of demand from foreigners and local upgraders.

Urban Redevelopment


KL Sentral View

Throughout the Greater KL region, many established and mature locations are seeing a new lease of life, thanks to various urban renewal programmes jointly undertaken by the local government and private developers.

The redevelopment exercise, however, is not merely focused on new buildings or a face lift operation, but with the goal of place-making – creating sustainable, conducive environments for work, live and play that create a clear balance or equilibrium between people, planet and profit. Such efforts unlock not only the latent or unrealized potential of idle plots of land, but also the city’s fullest potential. It is about creating balance with a long-term view of realising truly liveable cities that will support the community and let the area flourish.

Urban renewal in KL city is gazetted as a National Key Economic Area (NKEA), which means it is a government priority to revitalize the city by redeveloping key pockets. With this, a host of infrastructure projects have been implemented or are being rolled-out in phases, which will elevate KL to world-class status. This results in the renewal of the city by giving it a second wind or a new lease of life.

Malaysia’s track record in urban redevelopment has been sound, as proven by success stories of KL Sentral, Subang Jaya, USJ and many others. Perhaps the most telling of them all is KL Sentral, which has become an iconic destination for work, live, play and more outside of the KLCC district.

With KL Sentral, land largely owned by the Malayan Railways (KTM) at that time containing old warehouses, disused carriages and trains were transformed into an iconic urban destination while retaining the rail infrastructure. The result is KL’s integrated transportation hub and the arrival of Grade A offices and luxury apartments, swanky shopping malls and much more. The project was undertaken by government- linked developer, MRCB, which draws similar parallels to new urban redevelopment projects.

The impact of KL Sentral has been extraordinary to say the least. What used to be a languid location has transformed into a bustling, modern, upmarket and trendy location – an enviable address that offers the best of access, transportation, urban indulgences and other lifestyle comforts.

World-class names such as Kuwait Finance House, St. Regis Hotel and Residences, Capitaland and Quill Group have made KL Sentral their port of call. The multiplier effect of KL Sentral has been phenomenal with businesses around Brickfields and other surrounding areas seeing a new lease of life.

While there are several areas earmarked for urban renewal, some of the most prominent projects to date are the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) – Kuala Lumpur’s new international district for business and finance – and Bandar Malaysia, the new township on the former air force base in the heart of Sungai Besi.

As a mixed development, Bandar Malaysia will promote livability as a distinctive urban character for Greater KL, housing green infrastructure, sustainable housing and a range of commercial and lifestyle facilities. It sets the benchmark for sustainable urban housing within Malaysia by maintaining the standards set by the TRX. It will also cater to affordable urban housing in meeting the government’s aspirations of housing the nation and ensuring the wealth of the nation is equitably distributed to all segments of the populace.

TRX has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM27 billion and will encompass Grade A office spaces as well as world-class residential, hospitality, retail, leisure and cultural components. It will be the new nerve centre for commerce in KL, bringing the city up to par with other world-class metropolitan. The TRX is viewed as an integral component in elevating the city’s status and will constitute the new apex of the Golden Triangle, currently anchored by KLCC to the north and KL Sentral to the west.

The government has injected copious amounts of funds for infrastructure development and these projects are arguably the largest single development projects in Greater KL. They are also developed by the government via 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a strategic development company wholly owned by the government of Malaysia, so unlike a private driven enterprise, Bandar Malaysia is not just about a profit motive, but to fulfill the government’s bigger ambitions. This is an important factor for investors to consider as you are buying not just a property, but a vision.

Properties here will not be low-priced, that is for sure, but considering the potential, it is value for investment. High profile projects such as TRX, Bandar Malaysia and Iskandar Malaysia in Johor will bring the world to our shores. Many companies see Malaysia as the perfect destination for their regional hub. The TRX caters perfectly to this market.

Suburban Living

Suburban Living Kuala Lumpur

Located within a 20 km to 30 km radius from the city centre, the suburbs offer an ideal balance between having relative proximity yet enjoying the tranquility and serenity that comes from being just slightly away from the city.

This translates to more spacious dwellings, less hectic traffic, a slower paced lifestyle and a greener environment. On top of it all, prices are comparatively lower than the city centre.

The suburbs are also poised for transformation with the arrival of the two MRT lines with the first one scheduled for completion in 2015. This is a key indicator of growth trends and directions, simply because how the government strategies transportation infrastructure is an important indicator of an area’s significance and potential for growth. With three MRT lines expected to traverse through Greater KL – linking up the existing rail and bus systems – it offers foresight on how significant Greater KL is poised to be.

The experts concur that the south of Greater KL holds slightly more promise than the north due to several reasons. The KL South is relatively close to the city with excellent accessibility via a network of inter-connected highways. This contributes to a fast-growing population base that is set to fuel demand for real estate. KL South is also close to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Cyberjaya and the nation’s administrative centre of Putrajaya. It is also situated along the way to the established city of Seremban and just hours away from the tourist magnet of Melaka and Iskandar Malaysia.

Top spots within KL South are Sungai Besi, the adjacent Seri Kembangan as well as Cheras, Kajang and Semenyih. The Semenyih Corridor consisting of Bangi. Pajam, and Berangan are also signaling themselves as future hotspots.

To the west, Setia Alam has undoubtedly made a name for itself as arguably one of Malaysia’s best property success stories, where the former plantation land has been redeveloped into a new self-contained enclave to rival more mature developments in Greater KL. In the span of a decade, the area has expanded beyond expectations. Today, Setia Alam is a complete proposition with plenty of commercial and residential elements. Affording plenty of greenery and spacious homes, it has been likened as the new Petaling Jaya of the west.

Next to Setia Alam is Puchong. which has also seen some rapid progress over the years and is one of the nation’s fastest developing areas. It is strategically located close to Petaling Jaya, Shah Alarm and Seri Kembangan as well as Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. The area is well served by several highways and in the near future, will benefit from the extension of the light rail transit (LRT) line.

To the north. Sungai Buloh and Rawang come to mind. Since 2004, Sungai Buloh has been one of the areas with very encouraging growth and appreciation potential. Once a backwater of sorts, the area has become a reputable address with houses fetching well over a million ringgit and more in key areas. Sungai Buloh has another unbeatable advantage. Both MRT Lines 1 and 2 terminate at this location.

Rawang remains an untapped area with rapid development only really taking place in the last four to five years. However, Rawang could be the next Setia Alam while the uncertainty is slowly changing to belief as Malaysians move to buy homes in a big way, Rawang also benefits from the presence of several townships by established developers, where a handful of projects launched within the area have seen good take-up rates.

When it comes to the east of KL, specifically in the northeast, Setapak, Wangsa Maju and the areas in proximity to the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) and Karak Highway could also be good choices. As the resort hilltop destination Genting Highlands grows, there is likely to be a spillover effect on these areas too. Within this area also lies Melawati, where its contiguity to the city centre and lush greenery could lead to a renaissance of sorts. Interestingly, Melawati is one locale earmarked for urban renewal.

Township Living

The township model of property development presents another unique feature of the Malaysian real estate sector. Since independence in 1957, townships have been a common feature on the Malaysian landscape and some of the initial developments from that time have grown to become very successful urban living locales. Petaling Jaya, Cheras and Subang Jaya are just some of the examples that come to mind.

However, with increasing land prices and construction costs as well as the lack of sizeable vacant plots within the city, new township developments are much harder to build within the mature and highly urbanised areas of the greater Klang Valley. Most projects found within these areas are high- rise, high-density developments on small vacant parcels.

However, townships continue to be built outside of the urbanised heart of the Greater KL. From townships in Sungai Buloh and Rawang in the north, to Seri Kembangan. Sungai Besi and Bandar Malaysia in the south, townships continue to make their presence felt in Malaysia. Not to be outdone, Setia Alam in the west has carved a niche for itself while in the east, Melawati is also home to several successful township developments.

The benefits of township living is the availability of more space and greenery compared to a high-rise project closer to the city centre. Generally, land prices situated further from the city are relatively lower, allowing bigger and landed homes to be built. Most sites located at the fringe of the city are former plantation land, therefore more greenery can be found. Townships such Setia Alam and Kota Kemuning provide a chance for families to relive the good old days of green pastures, where they can reside close to nature.

Customary drawbacks such as accessibility and travelling distance have been well addressed with a network of highways and the construction of the MRT. Both allow for fast, cost-effective and hassle free travel to the city centre and other parts of the country. Going forward, most townships are poised to be conceived as Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) or Transit Adjacent Developments (TAD).

TOD and TAD styled townships are essentially locations that are integrated or located close to the public transportation network. Specifically. TODs are within 400m of transit points or about five minutes’ walk from public transportation access, while TADs are within a 800m radius or ten minutes’ walk.

One should also be aware that as the Greater KL region grows and continues to urbanise rapidly, townships on the fringes eventually come into the expanded urban sphere. This has been the case for Melawati, Kota Damansara (now part of Petaling Jaya), Subang Jaya, USJ, Puchong. and more. Today, these locations are some of the most sought- after and livable areas in the Klang Valley. Apart from sheer expansion in size, capital appreciation has been remarkable with escalating rentals in tandem with the rising guality and standard of living.

A good example is Setia Alam. Circa 2003, when the township had just started, land and house prices were sold below the RM500.000 mark. Today, just a decade later, prices have grown by tenfold. Setia Alam is a bustling, self-contained development, perfectly designed for work, play and live with everything that one could possibly want in a modern urban lifestyle setting.

So, armed with all that information, which township developments offer the best prospects for both a pleasurable lifestyle and handsome return on investment (ROI)? If you are looking at township living or as an investment, what are some of your options?

Well, choices abound. Ultimately, it depends on whether you are in the market for a property in a mature township with stable and proven returns but less exciting growth, or in a new area, where prospects for appreciation are much higher.

If you prefer the former, there are several options. These include the aforementioned Setia Alam, Ara Damansara, Kota Kemuning, Melawati and Puchong – all presenting excellent choices. If you prefer the latter, then Rawang, Semenyih, Seri Kembangan, Wangsa Maju and Kajang come to mind.

While you would be hard pressed to find a new township option within the city centre, never fret. There are plenty more options that offer relishing prospects for the investor. With good accessibility, more space and plenty of facilities, townships hold great potential as a better investment alternative than a city condominium.



Penang, fondly known as the Pearl of the Orient, continues to glisten with opportunity as both the island and the mainland offer bright investment prospects.

With land becoming scarcer, especially on the island, the past few years have been marked by strong appreciation on the northern and eastern coasts. From the capital of Georgetown to the beach resorts of Batu Ferringhi at the uppermost tip, Penang has been a real investor’s jewel.

Penang is also one of Malaysia’s most liveable destinations with great food, sunshine, beachfront pursuits, heritage and unmistakable charm. A large part of Georgetown has been gazetted as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Whether for your own stay, a holiday home or for investment, what are Penang’s most exciting hotspots?

You need not look far. Seaside Batu Ferringhi is always a great option if you like to include the beachfront aspect to your investment. As proven around the world, properties with a sea view or beach access tend to fetch higher prices.

One unigue option is converting your house into a vacation home and renting it out to vacationers. Penang sees a large arrival of tourists – both local and foreign – and leveraging on this market is another return on investment (ROI) alternative to consider.

In the city centre of the island, supply of new properties making their entries into the market is small. However, you may find existing ones – usually from owners wishing to cash in or move out to further areas. Opportunities to take profit in five to ten years down the road are aplenty as new investors move in, seeking to reap the rewards of Penang’s vibrant tourism economy.

For something less pricey, look to Balik Pulau and Tanjung Tokong. What generally used to be the backwaters of the island are gradually transformed into gated and guarded, resort style private enclaves complete with modern facilities.

Rather than venturing into a stable and proven market, it is a growth game here. However, the island only has so much land and with little developable land left in the east and north, one must look elsewhere, such as the west.

Tracts of land are opening for development on the west of the island. It is true that the island still fetches better returns compared to the mainland in Prai or Butterworth. Yet, before you turn a blind eye to the latter, consider that the mainland is well connected and is still the industrial heartland of Malaysia, let alone the state.

As developers look for less expensive alternatives, Prai proves to be an ideal choice for its more affordable land costs. Ultimately, it offers a gateway to the Penang real estate sector without having to fork out a premium.

Furthermore, with the excellent accessibility from the two crossings, the mainland and island are effectively only 10 minutes apart bar peak traffic hours. There is also the option of a ferry and while the undersea tunnel is yet to materialise, it is very possible that it could become an eventuality, which will provide mainland properties an added advantage in terms of investment potential.

Connectivity in Penang has also been given a further boost with the Penang Sentral project. Upon its completion at the end of 2017, the RM230 million project is slated to create a central hub, similar to KL Sentral, for the state’s ferry, rail, taxi and bus services.

This provides seamless travel for passengers arriving and leaving the island. The terminal, which is located on a 2.83ha site, is expected to cater to 25,000 to 30,000 commuters per day. The project will have a multiplier effect, contributing to the further rise in land values in the surrounding Butterworth town where the terminal is to be situated.

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Development in Penang and KL have constantly outpaced Ipoh, yet the capital of Malaysia’s former silver state of Perak continues to retain its appeal. The very fact that the environment is more laidback and relaxed may have something to do with its popularity. Ipoh’s strategic location halfway between Penang in the north and the central region of KL, which puts it at just a two-hour drive to both destinations, is also a further advantage to investors.

Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS), the world’s first theme park dedicated to animation, is slated to open its doors at the end of 2015 in Ipoh.

One aspect that makes Ipoh unique is the retirement home perspective. Many Malaysians and those on the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) bandwagon are looking at the city as the ideal spot for their golden years.

The gated and guarded concept is catching on and many investors, even those from Singapore, buy homes here either as a weekend holiday home or as a future retirement home.

Although property investment in Perak is mostly driven by effective home ownership demand with little speculative element, the demand is also contributed by those who work outside of the state. This phenomenon is spurred by the need to upgrade the lifestyle of family members back home and as a retirement home. Ipohs improved connectivity has also seen increased demand from out of state purchasers both for residential as well as commercial properties.

While condominiums are making their way into the property landscape in Ipoh, landed properties still make up the large chunk of the supply. Locals also are more accustomed to such dwellings, uirtiilike urban KL folk who are flexible to either.

Hotspots in Ipoh include Tiger Lane, Canning Garden, Ipoh Garden South and Bercham. Other good locations are Ipoh Garden East, Greentown, Jelapang, Meru, Station 18, Meru Perdana and Sunway Ipoh.

The state government’s Amanjaya project will further help to tap the current market of travellers utilising the North-South Expressway, which receives an average of 60 million travellers a month. If Ipoh can tap into just a slice of that lucrative pie, the market will no doubt take off further.

Iskandar Malaysia


It is almost impossible to talk about Johor’s fortune and investment potential without making reference to the special economic region of Iskandar Malaysia. Ultimately, almost anywhere you look in Iskandar Malaysia, there is real estate opportunity.

Ushering a new era of prosperity and growth in the southernmost tip of Peninsular Malaysia, as well as the mainland Asian continent, Iskandar Malaysia is arguably the most exciting growth horizon in the region – and this naturally involves a burgeoning real estate sector.

Located just ten minutes from Singapore (via the Malaysia- Singapore Second Link), Iskandar Johor Bahru Malaysia is a government driven masterplan to create a world-class epicentre for international trade and commerce and to position southern Malaysia in the global platform. Strategised into five flagship zones spread over 8,000 acres, it will create new industries and jobs to stimulate the economy and ultimately to develop a new gravitational pull for the area in terms of living, working and entertainment sectors.

Iskandar Malaysia reached its turning point in 2010. Thus far, it has received over RM131 billion in direct investment, both local and foreign, by global names including LEGOLAND, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, and more. Imagine if you could invest in KL when the city was at the cusp of urbanisation – in essence, this is what Iskandar Malaysia offers.

At present, each flagship zone of Iskandar Malaysia presents unique investment opportunities, whether for residential or commercial properties.

Flagship A provides the opportunity to invest in Johor Bahru city centre, the state capital which is undergoing much welcomed urban renewal. As the city transforms itself, new investment opportunities rise to the fore. This includes investing in Grade A office buildings and high- rise condominiums. The Johor Bahru waterfront has seen a galore of foreign property developers looking to change the landscape into one of the most vibrant beachfront locations in the region. Various high-end condominium projects have been launched and successfully sold out in the last few years.

Not to be outdone, the flagship zone of Nusajaya in Zone B is also receiving plenty of attention. This comes as no surprise as it holds a unique position as an administrative, education and recreation hub, prompting developers to jump onto the locale with numerous apartment and landed residential projects. As both the local and foreign population grows, so will the demand for housing.

Flagship C, the Western Gate Development, is the maritime hub of Iskandar Malaysia that caters to the shipping industry. Similarly, housing demands will increase to support the rising employment prospects.

Experts concur that Flagship Zone D, the Eastern Gate Development, is a very interesting prospect. Flagzhip Zone D includes the Pasir Gudang Industrial Park, which is home to more than 300 manufacturing establishments. Under the Iskandar Malaysia blueprint, the 3,674-acre industrial heartland receives further impetus to become a regional centre for heavy industries and manufacturing.

Flagship Zone E Senai-Skudai, touted as the aviation hub, will also see plenty of development with plans for aviation infrastructure and facilities – leveraging on its precious advantage of the Senai International Airport.

Unbeknownst to most, the growth of the industrial zone and Iskandar Malaysia as a whole will also stimulate growth of the real estate sector in other surrounding areas. This is something investors should take serious note of.

The confidence also stems from the incentivised environment of the region, which is a lodestone in attracting the biggest and brightest corporate brand names. In return, investors benefit from a wide range of incentives and fiscal advantages. For starters, businesses who move into Iskandar Malaysia are allowed 100% foreign equity ownership as well as purchase of property, exemption from RM500,000 property purchase cap for foreigners, ten-year tax exemption on income and Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) until 2015 and the sale of buildings until 2020.

Just look at the positive news stemming from Iskandar Malaysia: billion dollar infrastructure, mega projects, international property developers, world acclaimed universities and global brands. At the end of the day, you just need to focus on the correct flagship zone that best suits your investment strategy.



With Iskandar Malaysia occupying the limelight in the South, it is quite easy to miss out on other investment areas such as Melaka. Like Penang, Melaka is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

It is estimated that more than half of Malaysia’s 25.72 million tourist arrivals had visited Melaka. In 2013, the number was approximately 13.52 million. That is a very big number for one of Malaysia’s smallest states. In fact, the state government expects 15 million domestic and foreign tourist arrivals for 2014 – a huge jump of 1.5 million more than 2013.

The recent launch of the RM40 billion Melaka Gateway project lends further credence to the potential of the Southern state’s potential a tourist magnet. The tourism factor works well in Melaka’s favour proven by Penang and Sabah, where tourism is strong, resulting in pperty markets that consistently do well.

So, where does one invest in Melaka?

The Dataran Pahlawan area has become a popular choice for investors looking for commercial real estate, as the area is perhaps the closest thing Melaka has to a retail hotspot.

One can also consider Durian Tunggal and Batu Berendam, which are situated in the suburbs and in close proximity to the city centre. On the other hand, you can look at Ayer Keroh, situated just 13km away from Melaka City. Ayer Keroh is a fast-growing alternative that puts you slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the state capital, but close enough to enjoy the various lifestyle offerings. It is strategically located along the North-South Expressway, enjoying good accessibility and connectivity.

At Ayer Keroh, you may consider locations close to the soon to be completed Melaka International Trade Center (MITC) or Plaza MITC. Housing a four-star Best Western International hotel, service apartments and a retail shopping precinct (with a total gross development value of RM300 million), The Plaza is a lodestone – attracting people and business activity to the area in addition to creating an economic multiplier effect on the Ayer Keroh area.

If you prefer a beachfront real estate, the Impiana Klebang area is worth some thought. Located on an island just offshore, but just minutes from Melaka City, it is home to a world-class destination resort that caters to the tourist market. You can select from a host of luxury apartments, landed homes and more, while it also provides a great option for investment with rental opportunities to holiday makers.

Sabah & Sarawak

Flanegan Bainon Properties

In the span of just five to ten years, the capital cities of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and Kuching in Sarawak have experienced rising property prices that match appreciation in Peninsular Malaysia. Fuelled by rising government injection of funds. East Malaysia is finally opening up to the world and seeing a rise in its fortunes. The new 1000km Pan Borneo highway is one example of how the landscape of the east is changing rapidly.

As a leading tourist destination – offering the gateway to the states aquatic sights and the famous Mount Kinabalu – Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah, is abound with enticing opportunities.

Prices are growing because there is continuous demand. Although prices have doubled in the city across the board, investors are still flocking there in droves resulting in new launches constantly being snapped up like hot cakes.

Kota Kinabalu also benefits from the scarcity or usable land. With its natural mountainous terrain, there really is not much flat land available and hence, this also has played a factor in fast appreciating land prices.

Kuching’s allure is its greenery and generally laidback lifestyle compared to Kota Kinabalu. Here, the good old days of calmness and serenity with a slower paced lifestyle can still be enjoyed. For this reason, retirees and MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home programme for non- Malaysians who wish to retire or spend extended periods in Malaysia) applicants would find “Cat City” (in reference to Kuching, which means cat in Malay language) a viable option.

Kuching is also home to a number of universities, a hub for medical tourism and a major beneficiary of the government driven Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative, which is one of Malaysia’s five economic corridors that focuses on developing the energy sector in the state. This gives Kuching as well as the satellite towns plenty of impetus to grow. SCORE has been reported to inject over RM8.3 billion in investments to date.

The convenience of air travel also means that East Malaysia, especially Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, are just hours away from Kuala Lumpur and other regional capitals. Easy accessibility has increased the appeal of East Malaysia, contributing to further increase in property prices.

Aside from Kota Kinabalu, you can also consider Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak. The Sarawak property sector is expected to register steady growth with the residential sector as the mainstay of the industry.

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