Top Property Investment Hotspots In Malaysia

Often we regard Greater Kuala Lumpur as the property area where most people would invest in or even work and stay in, but there are other the top hotspots throughout Malaysia for investors to venture in.

First, let’s see what is in store for us in Lembah Klang:

1. KAJANG/SEMENYIH

The southern Klang Valley is getting quite popular nowadays, especially the Kajang/Semenyih area due to the MRT Line currently in construction, which helps in terms accessibility towards Kajang, according to Herbert Leong. To date, media reports indicate that more than 40% of the MRT construction has been completed.

Kajang/Semenyih connectivity is also enhanced by highways such as Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway (SILK), Kajang-Seremban Highway (LEKAS) and Sungai Besi Expressway (SBE).

Another reason behind Kajang being popular is its availability of landed houses, the most sought after type of residential properties. Kajang is also boosted by its short distance to Cyberjaya.

 “Because of the close proximity, people are going into the south since the house price is still lower. It goes without saying that when the price around Cyberjaya increases, people choose to live nearby, if not inside,” Stanley Toh adds.

2. CYBERJAYA

Cyberjaya basically have the infrastructure ready. It has good connectivity and is nearby a major town,” Toh explains. It is connected to Putrajaya and Shah Alam by major highways such as Damansara- Puchong Expressway (DPE) and South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE). “Also, MRT 2 Line will have its station in Cyberjaya,” he adds. As for completed station, Cyberjaya and Putrajaya shares an Express Rail Link (ERL) provided by KLIA Express. Another factor that attracts investors is the completion of retail outlets in Cyberjaya such as Shaftbury Square. Currently also under construction is the 101 City Mall. Toh believes that with the completion of 101 City Mall and its opening in 2015, although not directly located in Cyberjaya, will help attract even more population into the area. Cyberjaya is also nearby Puchong, so whoever is late to enter the market in Puchong will eventually venture to Cyberjaya as a place to live.

3. Sungai Buloh

Again, MRT Line takes its place in booming the growth of an area. With its construction of MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line, Sungai Buloh has made it into the list of top hotspots. Also, its connectivity with Kota Damansara plays an important role, for Kota Damansara is where commercial retails such as Giant, Carrefour, Sunway Giza are located, along with international school such as Sri KDU International School, and for medical needs, the Tropicana Medical Centre.

Sungai Buloh is also within close proximity to Subang Airport. Jalan Sungai Buloh is a busy road with vehicles constantly cruising through between the Subang Airport and Guthrie Corridor to Sungai Buloh town and the North-South highway.

4. Shah Alam

In Shah Alam, highway plays an important role of its development, specifically Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway (DASH).

“DASH will improve congestion and enhance connectivity which will support developments in the vicinity,” Toh explains. The expressway will exist as an alternative route for Persiaran Surian at Kota Damansara which has capped its road capacity. It will become an alternative and easier route to the airport when Subang Airport becomes the main low cost carrier terminal in 2015.

 Also not to forget that RRIM’s development in the area is expected to increase population by 300,000, this will cause congestions to the existing routes and DASH is going to be one of the solution.

5. TANJUNG BUNGAH/BATU FERRINGHI

Let’s go up and visit the land of Penang. Explaining for the north sector is the Knight Frank Malaysia’s Resident Director of Penang Branch Tay Tam. Who provides us with another four hotspots to look at.

Tam’s explanation about the Tanjung Bungah/ Batu Ferringhi is simple: “It is traditionally a much sought after area,” he says. The reason why people like the area is due to the coastline view of Tanjung Tokong-Tanjung Bungah-Batu Ferringhi coastal line.

Toh adds that this area is seen more as a retirement spot or holiday homes. The price is quite high for the area that is about half an hour drive from the city, for RM1,000-plus per sqft.

“People living in Penang are quite different from people living in KL. For us, we can absorb the idea of driving for 30 minutes to get to work but for them, it’s a long drive already. So local market will not be going into Tanjung Bungah much since they don’t prefer that,” he mentions.

6. GEORGETOWN

George Town is in itself a unique blend of the old and the new that is acclaimed by ECA International as the most liveable city in Asia, on par with Kuala Lumpur. In addition, the city, which has received World Heritage status from UNESCO, is praised of being one of the ‘10 Islands to Explore Before You Die’ by Yahoo! Travel.

For Tam, Georgetown is a popular area for investors interested in hotels and conservation properties. Also, after the inscription of the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site, heritage enthusiasts and foreigners are snapping up properties within the heritage zone, particularly within the buffer zone, where the laws on renovating properties is not as strict as within the core zone. With such accolades, George Town, the capital of Penang has put the state on the world map.

7. Batu Kawan

Batu Kawan is an area which is only starting to boom, mainly because of Penang Second Bridge. The area was not brought up before and is quite a remote area since it is like an island of its own, separated by a river. Now that the connectivity to the island is improved, Batu Kawan has started to attract the attention of developers and investors altogether.

The sentiment is echoed by Toh. He also adds that not only Batu Kawan, the surrounding area will also see boom happening as when the land gets scarce, investors and developers will start to go into nearby area. “Penang Second Bridge really helps in boosting the accessibility and visibility of Batu Kawan. It was just a remote area before, but since the bridge is launched, the area started to boom. That goes to show how important accessibility is as to play the role of making an area into a hotspot,” he adds. Toh also says that serious property players are coming in hard; for instance, a project by Ikano will bring the only other IKEA Malaysia besides the one currently in Damansara.

8. BAYAN LEPAS/RELAU/SG. ARA/BATU NIAUNG

“These areas are popular with those working in multi-national companies in the Free Trade Zone bolstered by the close proximity to the second bridge,” Toh says. Penang Second Bridge helps much in boosting the connectivity from the mainland to island to Batu Kawan and these areas.

“These are the areas that got the spillover effect from Batu Kawan,” Toh explains. Ever since Penang Second Bridge was opened, what once took about one hour to reach to the bridge is now reduced to only about 15 minutes of travel. Much like Batu Kawan, these areas are the areas where their accessibility is improved drastically, making it into a sought after area.

9. MEDINI@ISKANDAR, JOHOR

Medini@lskandar being part of ‘Flagship B: Nusajaya’ is a well-planned integrated township development spanning 2,230 acres, occupying slightly less than 10% of Nusajaya’s total land area. “It offers special incentives to approved developers, approved development managers, IDR- status companies, investors and foreign knowledge workers, which include tax exemptions up to year 2020, flexibility on employment and administration of foreign workers and exemption of EPU property acquisition guideline,” explains Ricky Lee.

Positioned as the Central Business District (CBD) of Nusajaya, the outstanding development in Medini is dominated by numerous key players/developers from both the local and international scene. These include WCT Group, Mah Sing, Sunway, Zhuoyuan, Distincti, MCT Group, BCB, Metrolink, IOI Medini, UMLand, Link Group, Sunsuria Group, Kimlun Corp Bhd, Singapore’s Tang Group and more recently, the presence of China developers. “But, since the presence of Chinese developers who develop in bulks with thousands of units offered, the developers are now in safe zone where they are a bit cautious as to develop in Iskandar,” Toh adds.

The proposed construction of Coastal highway southern link, connecting Medini to second link expressway, is expected to benefit properties within the locality in terms of capital value and marketability, while at the same time sending a strong message to investors on the Malaysian government’s determination to transform Iskandar Malaysia into a liveable city and a thriving investment destination. “The high speed rail will be a major game changer for Iskandar. I hope to see this rail be used for people who lived far from KL, but will still work in KL in the future,” says Stanley Toh. For Iskandar Property Inquiry , you can check our website for latest Iskandar Johor Bahru project and news .

10. KOTA KINABALU, SABAH

Last but not least, we go across the sea into Sabah and Sarawak where Ginn Lai and Alexander Lee share with us what is in store for Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

“The fundamentals boosting development in the Sabah property market haven’t been stronger,¡± Lai explains. During the last couple of years, Sabah even more so its capital Kota Kinabalu has knowledgeable fast change throughout several major economic areas. Tourism in Sabah has enjoyed double digit growth rates and means the very best visitors spend worldwide. Raw palm oil manufacturing continues to be largest in Malaysia, while aquaculture and agriculture  industries always strengthen the state’s GDP. In the oil and gas sector, Sabah represents the highest crude oil reserves in Malaysia and with new deepwater discoveries, will increase the country’s reserves of crude oil and natural gas.

Performances across these industries have been a catalyst for urban and rural property development, both for domestic demand and the increasing number of expatriate relocations to Sabah. “What was once a destination only loved by locals and eco-tourists, Sabah today is well on its way to becoming Jesselton Quay, an international hotspot for travellers and savvy investors, blessed with an equatorial climate of year long summer days, amazing sunsets and virgin beaches, the world’s oldest rainforests and cool mountain ranges. It’s hard for Sabah not to be on the radar of neighbouring Asian cities, most of which are within a five hour direct flight of the state’s gateway Kota Kinabalu,” says Lai.

Starting from a lower capital value base, availability of financing, low interest rate environment, and a transparent legal and title system, Sabah is quickly gaining regional interest from major real estate developers and investors. As the rest of developed Asia struggles with heated property markets, Sabah is at tipping point with a confluence of Borneo’s unique offerings and strong property drivers.

Lee, who is handles the territory of Sabah for LaurelCap, explains that Kota Kinabalu is like a smaller KL. Residents brought in their experience of city living from KL into Kota Kinabalu and they are now trying to emulate the city living style of KL, which is why we see more of strata development. “The population is increasing due to the development and people from small towns choose to migrate into Kota Kinabalu,” he concludes.