Given free time, it’s not unusual to find me scouting for different KL property sales offers in the different neighbourhoods of the great Malaysian capital. Ever since I set foot here I have always felt that the place was made for me. While the heat can be truly daunting, Kuala Lumpur still remains my most favourite place to be. I wrote this article as an overview of the Kuala Lumpur Real estate market.
In the late hours, you are sure to see the communication tower shimmering tall over the city. There is also a very high likelihood that you will spot the Petronas Twin Towers seeing that they stand at a staggering 1,483 ft. These twins were once accorded the title of the tallest standing towers and are to date the tallest twin buildings still standing.
KL is definitely a dream destination and anyone looking to find house or condominium for sale can get one at the suburb at RM 400,000 or less. Property located at the centre of the city will go for higher price. Considering this is Malaysia’s capital, that’s not surprising.
A good example is the growing popularity of garden homes. They do not have a tainted record and the developers responsible for raising the Garden chain of hotels are developing a 37 storey building comprising of condo housing. These condo towers were unveiled in May, 2013 and already one tower has already been sold out and 70% of the second tower has already been occupied. The tower is due for completion mid – 2015.
The apartments themselves offer a gym and pool area and have a one bedroom unit on the 10th floor measuring 550 sq. ft. at RM 550,000. Studios were priced at RM 400,000 but were already sold out. If you are thinking of opting for rent, Jenny Yap, my trusted property agent informs me that developers will give a guaranteed 7 percent gross for the initial three years. She also keeps me update with launch of new property in KL.
There are more examples to come moving forward but just before that, if there is one thing I enjoy immensely about Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur is its infrastructure. Truth is, not all parts of the city are delightful and every once in a while you may run into issues. That said, the highways, monorail and airports are the more friendly and modern than most countries. Everything that you would need to make your life easier is also easily accessible. You will find hospitals of international standards, internet café , schools, cinemas, bookstores and branches of western shopping malls that include IKEA or Tesco.
Malaysia is also keen to bring in retirees from foreign countries and this is mainly through the “My Second Home” Program. That said, one does not have to be part of the program for them to purchase property in KL or Malaysia in general. In fact, majority of the expats who have retired and are on a long stay visa still prefer to rent.
The Property Market in Kuala Lumpur
The population of KL stands at approximately 1.8 million but increases to 7.2 million if it’s inclusive of the entire metropolitan region. Expats and well to do locals are mostly found within the Bangsar, Mont Kiara, Ampang and Damansara Heights regions. All of these areas have malls, posh entertainment places and restaurants.
If you look through KL property listings, you can also find nice condominiums for sale at a rate of RM 350 per sq.ft in a town like Petaling Jaya (PJ) which is considered as a satellite town. Such condos with pools are available at RM 300,600 for a 1,408 sq.ft at Lavender Towers and at RM 380,400 at 1,478 sq.ft at Villa Flora residence.
Malaysia has done away with capital tax grains on profits earned from the sale of property. Even though there has been a diminishing number of buyers willing to invest and the stalling of some projects, the local market has continued to thrive.
The managing editor at Savilla Equator Group a Mr. Roberto gave me the inside knowledge about what is really going on. The real estate agency he runs mostly deals wish prestigious rentals and sales. One of his luxury property listings for example is a detached home with a palatial garden and a pool in the upper-class area of Damansara located 2 miles west of the capital city. The home sits on a large area of 8,000 sq.ft and has in it a home theatre and bar as part of the lounge.
Information for Foreigners
International Living Index has highlighted that Malaysia is the most ideal country for retirees right now with KL being one of the favourite location, and that does not seem to be changing any time soon. It is one of the countries where there are very liberal laws governing foreigners ability to buy property. That said, the rules have seen some reforms over the years and the process can seem daunting at times.
So, just what kind of property can you purchase? If you are an expat in Kuala Lumpur there is one limitation that you should know about in regards purchasing property which is under freehold (which I will explain later). As an expat you can buy commercial and landed offices and shops, land and condos. You can also buy as many properties as you want. In the event that you want to sell your property, you can send the funds to another country just as you did when bringing the fund in.
That said, there’s a set price for a non-resident of Malaysia buying property in the country and it stands at RM 500,000. The amount is set by federal law and all the states are required to follow this guideline. However, every individual state can stipulate its own minimum amount at which foreigners can buy property.
Information for Locals
Most of the local Malaysians purchase property for rental, to live in or to generate as capital when the value of the property appreciates. If you are purchasing for the capital, you can always get a better deal if you buy properties that are being sold off incomplete or under construction. These are known as off plan properties. This is a wise investment choice because one parts with a low down payment and zero payments during the construction period. In most cases a developer selling off such a property will put “freebies” as part of the offer, things like absorption of S&P agreements and legal costs.
Some buyers however like to look around for rental modes of income. This mode is growing in popularity mostly because of the rising number of student population and expats in KL. The rise in numbers has led to a demand in rental housing. Depending on the current market trends, it’s always a better idea to choose properties that will serve the masses.
Here are some things to put into consideration:
– Working infrastructure
– A price valued at lower than RM 500,000
– A location that is central
if all the above stated factors are considered, you can be assured of finding a property that will give you back as much as 8% in yield returns. For this reason, apartments in KL have been hugely popular amongst real estate investors and most strive to make their space, highly liveable conditions for potential tenants.
The biggest issue when it comes to finding the ideal property is finding a real estate agent who you can trust and who has a clean reputation. The best agent to work with is one that will assist with the different tasks like valuing the property and the people or person selling the same, getting the right price for the property and launching it. They may even help you cut your transportation costs drastically.
If you do have any tips on KL real estate market, do share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Malaysia loves acronyms and they are used all the time. Here is your guide to common acronyms:
KLCC stands for Kuala Lumpur’s city center
KLIA stands for the International airport.
PJ stands for Petaling Jaya