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Property Developers to enjoy 50% Discount

Property Developers to enjoy 50%Discount on development charges for high-density projects starting this month. Will this translate to more affordable housing ?

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PROPERTY developers are rejoicing as Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has announced a 50% discount on development charges for high-density projects starting this month.

DBKL Urban Planning Department director Sharom Ujang said the discount served as an incentive to encourage developers to continue building the city despite the slow economy.

“Development is very important for the city and its economy. The two qualifying criteria for development charges discount are an increase in allowable density and an upgrade in land zoning.

“To qualify, the approved development’s density or plot ratio must be more than the standard set in the Kuala Lumpur Draft Plan 2020.

 “Alternatively, the development must involve change of land use to a higher status in the zoning hierarchy such as from residential to commercial,” he said.
The 50% discount has so far been given to one mixed-development project in Bukit Jalil.- Filepics

Land use hierarchy starts from facility, institutional, residential, industrial and the highest being commercial.

According to Sharom, DBKL has so far approved discount for one mixed-development project in Bukit Jalil.

“We are in the midst of vetting the other applicants.

“Although this incentive only started this month, we are also considering those who have applied before September but have not received their development order yet.

“However, we are firm about those who have already received their development orders,” he said.

He said the development charge was a big expense for developers.

“The development charge for a project in Bukit Damansara was calculated at RM230mil. It is a very big amount.

“The fee is calculated based on 30% of the enhanced value of the land, before and after development.

“If the land was RM100 per sq ft and would be RM200 per sq ft after development, the enhanced value is RM100. So, 30% from RM100 is RM30 per sq ft and the total sum is calculated accordingly.

“If the amount is less than RM1mil, it must be paid in one lump sum. If it is more than RM1mil, a deposit of RM1mil in cash is required and the balance paid in post-dated cheques up to 24 months.

Tan lauds the move and reckons it will attract more developments back to Kuala Lumpur.

“For charges above RM50mil, a 10% deposit is required followed by the balance also paid in post-dated cheques up to 24 months.

“The development order will only be given once the initial payment is made,” he said.

Sharom said the 50% discount was not for long-term.

“We expect the economy to be stable at the end of 2016, so the offer may be revoked then,” he said.

He explained that DBKL could not continue offering the discount for too long as development charges were the second biggest income-generator for the local authority, after assessment tax.

“But we have always considered discounts for developers that do corporate social responsibility projects for the surrounding community, like building flyovers and public parks,” he said.

Developers laud incentive

Real Estate and Housing Developers Associations Malaysia Kuala Lumpur chairman Tan Ching Meng said it was good news for the industry.

“Many developers are doing projects in other states because Kuala Lumpur has become very expensive.

“This move will be a pull factor to bring them back to developing the capital city.

Sharom says DBKL will also consider giving the discount to those who applied before September.

“The reduction in development charges also goes well with the reduction of developer’s compliance costs, that in turn will reduce property prices, which is good for the buyers,” he noted.

A senior project manager, Alex Foong said high-density development should be encouraged in the city as it was good for the environment.

“I always fight for high-density development in the city and Klang Valley.

“As an environmentalist, I believe that if we were to develop, we need not open up new areas and destroy the natural forest.

“At the same time, the government can invest in a comprehensive public transportation for the city.

“High-density development also makes the city lively at night.

“Giving higher density means allowing building to house more people on the same plinth.

“Vancouver in Canada has implemented this concept for higher density in the city, thus limiting the need to encroach into their forest reserves,” he said.

Foong said the property industry normally was the first to suffer in an economic slowdown.

“Property development brings many downstream economic activities and raise employment,” he said.

He explained that the escalating property prices were a result of the high capital contribution incurred to property developers and subsequently passed on to buyers.

Chang opines that the discount will have a negative social impact on consumers.

“These capital contributions include development charges, infrastructure service funds, capital sewerage contribution and capital water contribution.”

Not favourable to buyers

National House Buyers Association (HBA) honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said the discount would have a negative social impact on consumers.

“The discount promotes high density and commercial development, which are both not favourable to the end user.

Chang also questioned if the infrastructure in Kuala Lumpur could accommodate the increase in density.

“Can the current infrastructure cater to the increase in density? Can the roads be widened?

“Is our transportation system in place to fit the increasing demand of people, vehicles and parking spaces?

“DBKL should study the allowable density before approving on a case-by-case basis.

“The local government must make sure developers cannot increase density just for the sake of being eligible for the discount,” he said.

“Most households have two cars each and DBKL has yet to make a mandatory requirement of two parking bays per unit for condominiums, unlike Subang Jaya Municipal Council.

“If such rule is not in place, there will be a spillover of vehicles from condominiums to the main roads and never-ending problems such as double-parking and congestion.

Commenting on the other discount eligibility criterion, which was the conversion to higher land zoning, Chang said the consumers would be on the losing end too in that situation.

“For example, if a residential land was converted to commercial for development, the developer will enjoy a one-time discount but the end user is going to pay commercial rate for utility, quit rent and assessment tax which are significantly higher than residential rate, for a lifetime,” he pointed out.

A new homeowner, who only wanted to be known as Tan from Jalan Kelang Lama, said the trend of mixed developments on commercial land was forcing young adults like him to purchase such units because it was what they could afford.

“Landed property in the city is too expensive for middle-income families like mine.

“So we have no choice but to settle for cramped living in high-rises and pay commercial rate for everything.

“Every day, I face a gridlock on my way to and from work.

“Quality of life has gone downhill compared to when I was growing up in Kepong where my parents’ house is,” he said.

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WHY INVEST IN REIT’S ?

“Ninety percent of all Millionaires become so through owning real estate” -Andrew Carnegie

Although we don’t realise it, real estate is part of our lives since the day we are born. We come into this world under the shelter of a hospital and then are taken home. We go to school for the large part of our youth and then on to college/university. Then we start working and we have to operate out of an office or work in a factory. It doesn’t stop here. After we get married, we take holidays and get pampered in a hotel or a resort having travelled from airports or train stations. We also shop in malls or high street shops, see our favourite football games in stadiums and then as we come to the end of our lives, we lie to rest in a memorial park.

Yes indeed, we are surrounded by property all our lives, and it’s no wonder that this is a favourite investment tool amongst us Asians.

Let’s look at some of the main reasons for owning real estate;

Buy and sell for fast speculative profits

For long-term investment income and capital appreciation

To hedge our capital against inflation

To let the word know how wealthy we are

To leave an inheritance for our children

To have a permanent abode that is ours

For many years, the only way private investors could own property was to buy into Houses, Shop lots, Office suites, Condominiums or Serviced Apartments. Many investors faced problems obtaining a bank loan, disposing of the property quickly, being exposed to interest rate volatility, being taxed up to 25% on income and finding tenants who will pay a rent that justified the investment.

Until 2005, this was the only real estate investment choice available in Malaysia but the landscape has since changed by having an alternative property investment tool – and that is a REIT.

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WHAT IS A REIT?

A Real Estate Investment Trust (or REIT) is a listed vehicle that invests in a portfolio of income-generating properties. Rents collected from tenants are distributed on a regular basis to provide stable yields to Investors or Unitholders.

This distributed income to Unitholders is subjected to a one-time withholding tax of 10% for individuals. The REIT is not taxed by the Internal Revenue Board (IRB).

Listed REITs are traded on our local Bourse and provide Unitholders with consistent returns in the form of income distributions and capital gains. REIT’s in Asia Pacific evolved from the listed property trust structure introduced in Australia of the 1970’s.

Malaysia is the first country in Asia after Australia to introduce listed property trusts to encourage small investors to invest in the local property sector.  In 1989, the Amanah Harta Tanah PNB debuted on Bursa Malaysia as the first listed property trust in Malaysia, with the Amanah Harta Tanah PNB 2 and Arab Malaysian First Property Trust after it. However, these three listed property trusts did not manage to garner much investor interest due to restrictive rules and low growth.

The earliest markets to embrace REITs as an asset class was Japan in 2000, followed quickly by Korea in 2001, Singapore in 2002, Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2003 and in 2005, the Malaysian Securities Commission announced the Malaysian REIT Guidelines which resulted in the listing of Axis -REIT and Starhill REIT that same year.  

The Malaysian REIT market has seen tremendous achievements over the last ten years.   Today we have a total of 15 REITs with a total market capitalisation of RM38 billion and a total asset size of RM49 billion.


WHAT MAKES A REIT SO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER ASSET CLASSES?

Typically REITs invest in the many asset classes – office, retail, hotels, hospitals, and industrial, logistics, shopping malls, hospitals, colleges and business parks.  Some REITs specialise in one type of asset class while others offer a mixed portfolio. The invested real estate provides steady income generated from rent under lease contracts and potential capital growth.

REITs are not allowed to enter into development projects which can put the trusts income at risk.

In the simplest form, a REIT provides the property investor with an opportunity to own property of a very high standard through a securitised structure where one can own an interest in a portfolio or dispose it in an instant to realise profit.


WHAT MAKES REITS GOOD INVESTMENT CHOICES?

1. It’s professionally run and managed

A REIT is run by a professional management company (The REIT Manager) which is licensed by the Securities Commission under the Capital Market Services Act.  Strict compliance to the Securities Commission and Bursa Securities’s regulations is mandatory.  

The REIT Manager is responsible for asset maintenance, ensuring property vacancies are kept at a minimum, prompt rental collection, dividend payments, prudent capital management of the Trust and take on asset enhancements when needed. Most importantly, the REIT Manager is there to ensure that the tenants are happy and their needs are being attended to on a daily basis. This in fact is a big plus point for all property investors. It eliminates business risk for the investor.

In addition many REITs recognise the importance of best practices and good corporate governance which is important to promoting investor confidence.   A good example here is that of Axis-REIT winning the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association’s (APREA) Best Practices Award, three years running.

So, in summary, investing in a REIT will be your answer to owning real estate without the hassle of attending to your tenants’ demands or managing the property.

2. There are many investment options to choose from With fifteen REITs currently listed on Bursa Securities, investors have options to choose the type of REIT to invest in The Malaysian REITs and their assets classes are listed below:

 

REIT Name

Type of investment

Al Aqar REIT

Hospital

Am First REIT

Office, retail and hotel

Amanahraya REIT

Industrial, office, hotel, educational institution and retail mall

Atrium REIT

Industrial

Axis-REIT

Office and industrial

CMMT REIT

Retail

Hektar REIT

Retail

IGB REIT

Retail

KLCC REIT

Office and retail

Pavilion REIT

Retail

QCT REIT

Commercial properties

Sunway REIT

Retail, hotel and office

Tower REIT

Office

UOA REIT

Office

YTL REIT

Hotel

3. Small start-up investment needed

REITs are unlike any physical real estate investment that REITs are unlike any physical real estate investment that requires a big initial investment outlay.  With a REIT, investors can purchase a partial ownership of a big portfolio of high quality real estate and enjoy the income produced from it as well as its appreciation in value. As these are Trusts, have high quality, well-maintained and sometimes iconic properties, their value are always moving up. Through REITs, investors can lay claim to ownership of such assets like the KLCC twin towers, Pavilion, Sunway Pyramid and the Midvalley shopping malls – properties that would be out of reach of the man on the street before. The minimum subscription a unitholder can invest in a REIT is 100 units and that means for a very small outlay one can get started.

4. It’s easy to buy and sell REIT units

As all REIT units are listed on Bursa Securities they trade like normal equity stocks. They are priced daily and the prices are transparent.  Unlike buying a property which may take more than six months to complete and involves an agency commission; the buying and selling of REIT units can be done almost instantly and is much cheaper to transact.

5. Frequency of your REIT dividend payment

Most of the REITs pay a quarterly dividend, which is as good as collecting monthly rents from tenants from a directly-owned property investment.

6. There is a distinct tax  advantage

The tax advantage is the one of the key attractions of investing in REITs.  For a REIT that distributes at least 90 percent of their total yearly income to unit holders, the REIT itself is eligible for exemption from the corporate tax rate of 25% under Section 61A of the Income Tax Act 1967 for that year of assessment. However, the withholding tax would be applicable on REIT’s dividends that have been exempted at the REIT level, the schedule of which is appended below;

Unitholder Class

Withholding Tax Rate

Resident corporate

Nil^

Resident non-corporate

10%

Non-resident individual

10%

Non-resident corporate

25%

Non-resident institutional

10%

^ Resident corporate investor will enjoy tax transparency but will subject to the prevailing corporate tax rate when it is declared as income

The 10% withholding tax rate is considered low and competitive as compared to a direct property investment where the rental is taxable at the progressive individual rate to a maximum of 25%.

7. REITs sometimes trade their assets like that of a normal property investor

Some REITs occasionally behave like an individual property investor and choose to dispose of an asset when the time and price is right.  Axis-REIT is one such example. In the last ten years it has completed the disposal of three assets, the gains of which were fully distributed back to investors as special tax free dividends, much to the delight of the unitholders.

8. REITs – a hedge against inflation

Investment in a REIT should always be viewed as similar to a direct property investment i.e. it is a long-term investment and is 100% asset-backed. If you look at the value of property as always increasing and the value of money always decreasing over time, it does not make sense to leave your money in the bank to earn the paltry 3-4% interest offered in a fixed deposit. At the end of the year your dollar will probably buy you 5-10% less goods and services depending on inflation. It’s a negative return.

A REIT provides both a cash dividend return every quarter as well as a capital gain if the REIT is well-run and successful. For example for 2014, Axis-REIT provided investors with a total annual return of 30%!

It will always provide the investor an excellent hedge against inflation and a safeguard of your investment.

value-rise

4 Easy Tips To Get Approved For A Home Loan

Remember: while these are tips, its always better to consult a ‪#‎homeloan‬professional.

 

We would like to share with you “4 Easy Tips To Get Approved For A Home Loan”

Buying the right house and home are very important to every single one of us.

And thanks to google or may be our families and friends for providing the basic knowledge that we need.

But, there are also other elements you should factor into your decision making. That is Loan approval.

How to get EASY approval from the banks?

Why does bank reject my application?

These are the common questions we heard from the public.

The Answer is simple. “Understand”

Understand bank’s criteria and what the banks want from you.

Make sense right?

Banks Love Saving.

People with a lot of saving always an ideal customer to the bank.

And bank believe people with saving have less chances of defaulting.

Therefore, provide saving documents to the bank, they will love you.

Provide Accurate And Complete Documents To The Banks.

For example, if you are under employment.

Bank will need latest 3 months payslips and bank statement to show salary credited.

If now is month of October.

You need to provide September, August and July payslips.

DO NOT provide old payslips like month of April or March. Bank will need the latest document.

If you’re not able to find your latest payslip, look again and again or request from HR department.

Don’t be lazy, this extra step will expedite the process.

With a blink of eyes your loan can be easily approved!

Give Clearer Documents To The Banks.

As people say a picture paints 1000 words, by giving blur documents to the banks may create guessing game among the bank officer.

For example, if your payslips are blur, with the number “6” look like “8”. Will waste the bank staff to guess and unsure. Because, “RM6000” and “RM8000” is a huge different.

In bank perspective, everything must be justify, guessing game is not allow. Because, it’s involve a huge amount of money when giving out loan.

Print Your CCRIS before Applying For A Loan

I know some of you may not be comfortable with this idea.

Many of you will say; We do not have time to print ccris report.

Why I need to print it? Bank can retrieve the report right?

Okay, hear me out first.

As you and I know, CCRIS report is Banks “Most Important Documents”.

They will not approve a bank loan without looking at your CCRIS report. They eat and drink with these report.

Before they look at your documents, they will look at the report. If the report show poor conduct, they are not even going to look at your documents to proceed. This show how important is the report.

If the bank review it and do not satisfy with the report, they will immediately reject the application. I don’t think anyone like to be rejected by bank.

However, if you look at the report before hand, and in doubt of the conduct, you can always look for better solution earlier.

Just in case, if you still confuse, contact us and we can help you to analyse and give you the best solutions.

Let’s quickly recap the 4 EASY STEPS for getting Home Loan approved:

– Provide saving proof to the banks

– Provide accurate and complete documents

– Give clear documents to the banks.

– Print your CCRIS report before applying for a loan

Hope this article help to get your home loan process smoother.

*Malaysia Housing Loan

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Malaysia Property Flipping and its Ugly Effect

12011398_537405953079569_8536390378066818546_nIt was the lure of fast and easy money, lots of it, that made James Lam jump at the chance to be a Malaysia property speculator or property flipping. That was two years ago and he immediately signed up for a series of training when his friend told him about it. The thought of buying properties and selling them quick for a good profit excited him.

“I was greedy,” says the 53-year-old who is in the top management of a multinational company. He already has a well-paying job, but the opportunity was too good to resist. In the Malaysia property speculation training, he was taught how to look for good bargains in the secondary residential property and different ways of beating the system. “I managed to sell a couple of houses and made a decent amount of money,” Mr Lam tells The Establishment Post.

One way of beating the system is to secure loans for several properties from as many banks all at the same time. If done all at once, the banks will also do the checks all at once and find that he is creditworthy. In 2010, the central bank Bank Negara Malaysia introduced pre-emptive measures to limit the number of outstanding housing loans so as to cool the Malaysia property market. Once Mr Lam gets the bank loans, he has to make sure he sells the properties quickly and at a higher price before the loan repayment commences. He has a small window period of a few months to get this done.

But this did not happen for the two properties in a prime area in Kuala Lumpur that he now has. “I cannot get a buyer. Not even a tenant (to rent). I have to start paying the banks for the loans with my own money.” He also realises that the property market is slowing down and his chances of selling these properties off is getting slimmer by the day. With Real Property Gains Tax made steeper in 2014 at 30 per cent for properties sold within three years, he would need to have a huge profit margin to offset the tax.

The mighty flippers may flop

Situations like this are nothing new to Siva Shanker. He has seen loads of such cases and he does not see a rosy end to this tale. His 34 years of experience as a real estate agent tells him that Mr Lam will either start cutting down his expenses so he has spare money to service the banks loans until a buyer comes along. “Or he will start borrowing from relatives or, worst still, from loan sharks.”

The number of property speculators, or flippers, caught between a rock and a hard place are likely to increase as the market slows, says the chief executive officer of the Agency of PPC International Sdn Bhd. PPC International is a 24-year-old company that handles a wide range of services from valuation to estate agency, property management, research and consultancy.

“A sharp rise in value (of properties) creates the flipping culture,” he tells The Establishment Post. “In 2010, 2011 and 2012, thousands of properties were sold to flippers. These are people who neither need the property nor can afford to buy it. They buy it purely on speculation,” adds Mr Shanker, the immediate past president of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents.

Getting the DIBS on Malaysia Property Flipping

One of the reasons for a huge rise in flippers is the Developer Interest-Bearing Scheme (Dibs) where a house buyer need not pay down payment upon signing of the sale and purchase agreement. The developer will also bear the other expenses like stamp duty, legal fees and also interest on finance during the project construction period until the handing over of the keys. This is when the buyer will have to come up with the remaining payment. In essence, the buyer only pays for 90 per cent of the property value. In Malaysia, down payment for properties is at 10 per cent.

It may appear to be a win-win situation for all. The buyer thinks he is paying less for a property, and the developer has a marketing tool to sell properties quick. But speculators do not realise is that the value of properties sold under Dibs are actually marked up. This artificially hikes the property value and has caused the property market to rise unnaturally. Dibs was scrapped in Malaysia Budget 2014. Bank Negara was forced to take this measure when household debt soared to 86.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2013.

But the worst is not over. The effect of Malaysia property flipping is going to hit the property market in a bad way, according to Mr Shanker. “We will see a new category in property transactions – properties from flippers.” Presently, all property transactions involve the primary market, which are the newly built units, and the secondary market, which are the houses built and bought long ago that have now been sold.

He feels this category of property transactions will constitute a sizeable “5 to 10 per cent of new stock”. Flippers may be forced to sell their properties at much reduced, or even lower than the purchase price, so not to be saddled with a property they cannot afford to hold. So when a sizeable number of properties are made available in the market at much reduced prices, it is not going to be pretty for property investors and owners.

Iskandar under flipper attack

When talking about the economic region in the southern state of Johor, Iskandar Malaysia, Mr Shanker says that Iskandar is a case of a great development project that is overbuilt in one sector, namely housing. “Everything else is still blue chip.”

He says Iskandar has everything working for it: a state government that is committed towards supporting this region by building good infrastructure; supporting industries and incentives for businesses to start and develop; supported by world-class health and education sectors. It is all that Singapore would need to accommodate its growth.

“But the idea got hijacked. Flippers rushed in and one sector is grossly overbuilt. We should give Iskandar a chance to grow,” he adds.

Elsewhere, property flipping is losing its appeal

Property flipping is fast becoming a thing of the past in the West. “China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong are now where the West have been and gone through,” Vijay Manavalan, a property negotiator in Malaysia involved in promoting properties in UK for investment.

“To get value out of property investment, it is best to get slow income, and not flip. There will not be many more markets around the world to flip. Investors need to look at the rental income that can be generated,” he tells The Establishment Post.

He says that many Malaysians and Singaporeans are starting to see the wisdom in this and are buying properties in the provinces in the United Kingdom. Generally, in places where they had done their tertiary education like Birmingham and Brighton.

“A property in London is like a trophy asset, not purely investment but trophy-led. Yields from rental are not as high as the yields in provinces outside London,” he says. “London experienced the flipping from 2001-2014. Cooling measures have been put in place last year. We’re not predicting too much growth in London.”
With a combination of government measures and diminishing opportunities, Malaysia property flipping may just be a thing of the past and Malaysian property market can be allowed to grow naturally and at a steady pace.

Re-posted from The Establishment Post
By: Vanitha Nadaraj

Malaysia-today

7 POPULAR STATES IN MALAYSIA TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

Malaysia offers an ideal mix of bustling cities and island escapes, jungle adventures and kampungs, as well as the benefit of being superbly connected to the rest of the continent and the world. Renting property can quickly seem like wasting money as the months turn into years, and many foreigners are considering purchasing property, conscious that it offers a wise investment in a country that is on the rise.

One of the key decisions in buying property is deciding where to invest your money, and while no one can offer the golden tip, here is a look at the most popular areas to tempt anyone with an eye on property.

1. Greater Kuala Lumpur

The capital city is the first port of call for most people passing through the country, and many buyers find homes in the various neighbourhoods that surround the capital and form part of Greater KL.

The capital balances the combination of being a modern metropolis and cultural city fairly well and KL offers all the comforts you could wish for, so living within close range of the area is a real plus point. The city is also convenient for KLIA and the KLIA 2 – air links to the region and the world – and has good transport and road connections to the rest of the country and the region. Plus, city living does not necessarily mean living in the manic heart of KL itself; the various surrounding neighbourhoods – the hotspots being Bangsar, Sri Hartamas, and Mont Kiara – can offer a more community-focused life.

It goes without saying that prices are higher in Greater KL than in other areas, and as more and more apartment buildings go up, some may worry that value will drop. Prices vary, but a 5-bedroom house in Mont Kiara starts at RM1.65 million. Be aware that, as the “hotspot” areas continue to change rapidly, there is a chance that an ugly building that disrupts your view may be built.

2. Selangor

Just across the state boundary in Selangor, life feels a little less crazed. There are parts of Petaling Jaya – the most prosperous region in the state for property – where secluded houses with views of lakes and parks exist, offering solitude and yet retaining good links to the highway network.

An increasing number of companies are making their headquarters in Selangor, and with a number of international schools located here, many people are looking to areas such as Ampang and Seri Kembangan to invest their money. Prices can be cheaper here than in places such as Bangsar, but new rules imposed by Selangor regarding property purchases by foreigners largely offsets this.

For those working in the city centre, living in Selangor adds more time to the daily commute, although there is an LRT train line running from Gombak to Kelana Jaya or the KTM which runs all the way to Klang.

3. Penang

More and more expats are choosing to make Penang their home, as the state offers island living in a city rich with heritage and culture and some of the best food in the country. There is also a choice of excellent and well-established international schools and a thriving expat scene, while local Penangites are also becoming increasingly proud of their island.

Penang will be heavily involved in the Northern Corridor Economic Region development plan which is aimed at raising the social and economic
standards of the northern states, and many high-profile projects have already been planned for Penang.

Bearing all this in mind, it comes as little surprise that Penang house and apartment prices are on the rise, and the cost of a 5-bedroom bungalow in the Batu Ferringhi area is comparable to a house in Bangsar in Greater KL, but with a sea view, of course!

4. Johor

The third-largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, Johor has always benefited from its proximity to Singapore and offers a mix of modern culture and rural, coastal life.

Johor is set to become a serious residential and commercial hub thanks to the Iskandar Development, which is already well underway, with superb residential areas being built. The Iskandar region also offers many campuses of various educational institutions from all over the world.

Prices start at around RM300,000 for a 3-bedroom condominium, but can rise to around RM2.3 million for a house in one of the stunning new developments that offer facilities such as golf courses, shops and restaurants, and 24-hour security.

5. Sabah

Sabah is known to tourists and expats alike as a nature lovers’ paradise with its lush rainforests, fascinating wildlife, and stunning beaches. While it may not be a great location for those working – most jobs will be in Peninsular Malaysia – many expats are choosing to retire in Sabah, and property developers have responded by producing exotic properties to tempt those looking to invest.

The state is well-connected to KL and the region via Kota Kinabalu International Airport, and as the area sees a steady stream of tourists, many people are choosing to buy holiday homes. Prices for a 3-bedroom condominium start from around RM450,000 but can rise to RM1.7 million for some of the new developments. Those with an eye for business could snap up a new apartment or two and then see steady returns by renting them out to the constant influx of tourists and expats.

6. Melaka

Melaka attracts millions of tourists who flock there to admire the architecture that is well preserved, as Melaka became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

Melaka is a small, sleepy place during the week, but can turn more frenzied as the visitors descend at the weekends. That said, it still offers a far more relaxed life less than two hours from KL. There are a number of international schools and good hospitals in the area, so while finding work may be difficult, the family is easily provided for.

Property prices are cheaper in Melaka than in the capital: a 3-bedroom condominium starts from RM400,000 and many new development projects are in progress.

7. Perak

Many people – both foreigners and locals – visit Perak to enjoy the cultural and culinary treats on offer in Ipoh, where colonial buildings and a slower pace of life give a glimpse of the Malaysia that used to be. Ipoh is well-connected to KL by the North-South Highway as well as the ETS (Electric Train Service, which can drop you in Ipoh just two hours after leaving KL Sentral).

There are several modern developments in progress offering a high-end option for property seekers, and a 3-bedroom condominium in such a project starts at under RM400,000, still a steal compared with many other regions of the country. Perak state also offers one of the lowest minimum purchase prices for those under the MM2H programme.

While some people watch the alarming rate of construction in the country and worry that this property bubble will burst, there can be no doubt that the numbers looking to invest continue to rise, and Malaysia seems set to enjoy a boom for a time yet. Investing in property is a big decision but one that can be hugely profitable, and by seeking good advice, taking time to look around thoroughly, and asking the right questions of the developers, buyers can cut their risks and put their money into something worthwhile.

source : PropertyInMalaysia, PropertyInvestmentConvention