penang residential market


Malaysia 2023 Market Overview

An in-depth analysis of the performance of both the economy and property market in Penang, Malaysia, with a particular focus on our company’s exclusive developer-appointed landmark development, Penang International Commercial City (PICC)

At Jade Land Properties, we are an experienced boutique real estate agency with a focus on marketing and selling international properties. With a portfolio that includes properties in Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, the UK, Malaysia, and Thailand, we have built a strong reputation over our 30 years of operation.

Based on our expertise and experience, we highly recommend considering Penang, Malaysia as a prime investment destination. Kindly see below for a comprehensive analysis of Malaysia’s thriving economy and robust property market, with a particular emphasis on the highly promising investment opportunities in the state of Penang. We are excited to introduce our exclusive developer-appointed project, Penang International Commercial City (PICC), and we are proud of our track record of successfully selling Penang properties to investors from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Indonesia over the past few years. 

According to Morgan Stanley and Bain & Company, Southeast Asia’s economic growth is projected to surpass that of markets such as the US, the EU, and China. Malaysia in particular stands out as a geopolitical haven for investors looking to capitalize on the country’s strong economic growth, low inflation rates, and attractive real estate investment policies for foreigners.

Unlocking Investment Opportunities in Southeast Asia:
A Geopolitical Haven for Investors

According to Morgan Stanley and Bain & Company, Southeast Asia’s economic growth is projected to surpass that of markets such as the US, the EU, and China. Additionally, the region boasts relatively lower inflation rates for energy prices and wages.

Southeast Asia Malaysia Map Jade Land Properties

US-China trade war and Covid-19 drive investors to Malaysia as an alternative manufacturing base to China for diversifying operations and securing supply chains

The ongoing US-China trade war (particularly the US-China Chip War) have prompted companies to consider Southeast Asia as an alternative manufacturing base to secure their supply chains and diversify operations. This trend was further amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted China to enforce a strict zero-Covid public health policy, closing its international borders and enforcing the world’s most draconian movement control restrictions for an extended period from March 2020 to April 2023. Southeast Asia’s strategic location and comparatively lower wages present significant advantages for businesses.

Among the Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia stands out with its steady economic growth and mild inflation rate of only 3.3%. As a major net exporter of oil and gas in Asia with a relatively larger workforce due to its young population of only 30.3 years of median age, this has enabled Malaysia to counter the impact of inflation of energy prices and wages.

Foreign investors attracted to Malaysia’s skilled workforce and high value-added activities in semiconductor manufacturing

0 %

Malaysia's contribution to the global semiconductor supply

Semiconductors are essential to the functioning of any advanced economy, as they are needed in electronic devices, computing, healthcare, military systems, transportation, clean energy, and countless other applications. The 2021 chip shortage occurred due to global supply chain disruptions for the production of semiconductors during the Covid-19pandemic, leading to insufficient supply to keep up with the sudden surge in demand caused by work from home trends.

Additionally, the US-China Chip War has resulted in the East and West competing for technological dominance, with the US enacting export control bans that crippled the production capabilities of Chinese firms, and China retaliating with import bans accordingly.

Malaysia plays a crucial role in the global semiconductor supply chain, contributing 13% of the worldwide supply, with 80% of it coming from the state of Penang alone. Malaysia has a mature Electrical & Electronics (E&E) ecosystem, making it an ideal candidate to capture Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by conglomerates as a politically neutral supply hub. With geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea, Malaysia is well-positioned as a manufacturing base for semiconductor companies in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan as well.

Malaysia’s skilled, educated, and multi-lingual workforce has attracted FDI into its E&E industry, creating job opportunities, and strengthening its position as a key player in the global supply chain. As a result, Malaysia has become a hub for semiconductor manufacturing, with companies such as Intel, TF AMD, and Boston Scientific expanding their existing operations in the country.

Malaysia records an impressive 8.7% GDP Growth making it Asia’s fastest growing economy in 2022

In 2022, Malaysia’s GDP grew robustly by 8.7%, making it the fastest-growing economy in Asia. The impressive GDP growth was supported by a strong economic performance in the fourth quarter of 2022. The economy saw the recovery of private spending and investment, a decrease in unemployment, and the strengthening of the ringgit. Private consumption continues to drive domestic demand, supported by better labor market prospects and positive business confidence.

Malaysia’s ability to achieve such remarkable growth is noteworthy, given the challenges faced by other economies, such as the rising worldwide energy prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine and inflation driven by the services sector in terms of wages. In contrast to countries in Europe, the UK, and the US, Malaysia has managed to maintain relatively low inflation rates.

Malaysia's legal system provides a strong framework for foreign investors seeking a secure environment for investment.

Malaysia’s common law legal system, inherited from its colonial past, is a compelling reason for international investors to consider it as an attractive investment destination. The system provides a strong framework that ensures the protection of the interests of foreign investors. Foreigners can purchase freehold apartments and land under their own names, while obtaining mortgage loans is simple and straightforward. Furthermore, Malaysia’s zero inheritance tax policies make it a desirable location for those seeking to transfer their wealth to future generations without incurring additional costs. In addition to these benefits, Malaysia’s use of English in legal agreements promotes clarity and transparency in communications between foreign investors and local authorities. This simplifies the process for foreign investors and ensures that agreements are easily understood by all parties involved. Overall, Malaysia offers a stable and secure environment for investment, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to expand their portfolios.

malaysia common law system jade land properties

Penang: A Coastal Gem with a Thriving Real Estate Market and Strong Economic Growth Attracting Chinese Investors


Penang is a scenic coastal city located on the north-western part of Malaysia comprising of Penang Island and Seberang Perai on the Malay peninsula. It is one of the most developed and economically vital regions in the country with the fastest GDP growth of 6.8% in 2021. Penang’s real estate market is particularly outstanding among the states of Malaysia, attracting a wealth of investment from investors in the region, particularly China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia. This is due to a combination of factors, including the city’s large ethnic Chinese population, affordable property prices, delicious food, and pleasant warm climate. 

The real estate market is further supported by Penang’s strong and growing economy, specializing in semiconductor manufacturing, leisure, and medical tourism. Major upcoming infrastructure upgrades, such as the expansion of Penang International Airport and the Penang Transport Master Plan, are expected to further boost the city’s real estate market and make it an attractive investment opportunity for investors.

Penang's 65% Chinese ethnic population makes it an attractive destination for real estate investment by Chinese investors

Penang is a highly sought-after real estate investment destination among investors of Chinese ethnicity for several reasons. With close to 65% of the population on Penang Island being of Chinese descent, Mandarin and other dialects such as Hokkien and Cantonese are widely spoken, making communication easy and eliminating any language barriers. The cultural similarities between Chinese Penangites and Chinese communities in East and Southeast Asia make it a highly liveable and desirable environment.

Penang is also the only state in Malaysia where an ethnic Chinese has continuously held the position of Chief Minister since independence in 1957. As Penang grew into a major entrepôt towards the end of the 19th century, the influx of various cultures and religions created a melting pot where the multi-ethnic and multi-religious society could exist in harmony. Most Chinese Penangites are descendants of Chinese colonists, traders, accountants, merchants, labourers, and immigrants from southern China who moved to Penang between the 18th and 20th centuries. These factors have contributed to Penang’s status as a highly liveable and attractive location for Chinese investors seeking real estate investment opportunities.

penang jade land properties

Penang Island's Limited Developable Land and High Demand Create Resilient Property Prices

Penang Island is a highly sought-after location for property investment due to attractive living environment. The state of Penang comprises of two components, Penang Island and Seberang Perai on the Malay Peninsula. In particular, developable land on Penang Island is limited due to its limited land mass and mountainous terrain. Demand for real estate on Penang Island is very high as it hosts the states’ essential amenities, including the government administrative headquarters of George Town, and the majority of international schools, shopping malls, and hospitals. The government’s restrictions on building real estate on mountainous terrain have limited the amount of land available for development, making developable land a rare and valuable commodity.

Withstanding economic downturns and market volatility, property prices on the island have remained resilient with strong capital appreciation potential. This makes Penang Island a unique and attractive investment destination for investors seeking real estate opportunities with limited developable land and high demand for properties.

A popular investment destination for affordable luxury properties and relatively high rental yields

Penang offers affordable luxury properties that stand out in Asia. Foreigners looking to purchase apartments on the island have a minimum entry price of only MYR1,000,000. Additionally, firsthand property prices range from MYR800 to MYR1,300 per sq.ft, making it an attractive destination for those seeking luxury properties at a reasonable cost. What’s more, property prices typically include parking spaces. The island’s high building quality and spacious living areas make it an ideal choice for those seeking a holiday home or investment. With a rental yield of 4 to 5%, Penang is an excellent option for investors looking to diversify their portfolio. Overall, Penang Island’s affordability and relatively high rental yield make it a prime investment destination in Asia.


Penang’s semiconductor industry:
a catalyst for real estate demand and growth

0 %

Of global semiconductor supply


Multinational corporations in operation

0 %

Of Malaysia's total E&E exports (E&E exports account for 38% of Malaysia's total exports)

0 %

Of Malaysia's total E&E external trade surplus (the E&E industry account for 78% of Malaysia's external trade surplus)

0 %

Of Malaysia's total E&E Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) (the E&E industry contributes 81% of Malaysia's total FDI)

檳城國際商業城 PICC Penang International Commercial City Central Park Bayan Lepas Location Penang's Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone

Malaysia plays a critical role in the global semiconductor supply chain, contributing 13% of the worldwide supply, with 80% of it coming from the state of Penang alone. The Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is Penang’s economic lifeblood and Malaysia’s first FTZ, established in 1972. Currently, over 350 multinational corporations and 4,000 small and medium-sized enterprises operate in Penang, specializing in the manufacturing of semiconductors.

In 2021, Penang received a record-breaking investment of MYR76.2 billion, a surge of 440% year-on-year, including notable Foreign Direct Investment by Intel of USD7 billion to expand its facility in the FTZ, creating over 4,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

These developments are set to have a positive impact on Penang’s real estate market, with increased demand for commercial and residential properties from both locals and foreign investors looking to capitalize on the city’s economic growth.

Penang’s Booming Medical Tourism Industry

0 %

Of Malaysia's total medical tourism revenue in 2019


Medical tourism revenue generated in 2019

0 %

Medical tourism average growth rate from 2015 to 2019

Malaysia’s thriving medical tourism industry is also prominent in Penang. Penang’s medical tourism industry has experienced exponential growth in revenue, from RM66 million in 2021 to RM285 million in 2022, following the reopening of the country’s international borders. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has stated that while the numbers achieved last year had yet to surpass that of pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels, the resurgence of medical tourists to Penang had been very encouraging, attaining nearly 50% of revenues in 2019.

Indonesia has always been the major market for medical tourism in Penang, given the language and cultural similarity. In the first 11 months of 2022, Penang welcomed almost 144,975 international medical arrivals, of which Indonesia contributed 54%, followed closely by Bangladesh and India.

Penang’s transformation into a world-class city with mega infrastructure upgrades

Expansion of Penang International Airport (PIA)

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd is investing MYR1.2 billion to expand Penang International Airport (PIA), which is the third busiest airport in the country. The scope of work includes the construction of a new terminal, infrastructure, and other facilities for passengers, expanding floor space by 100%. The expansion aims to increase capacity from 6.5 million to 12 million annual visitors, and construction is set to begin this year, with completion expected in 2027. In 2022, despite Malaysia’s international borders only opening in April, PIA recorded 4.27 million passengers per annum. This number is expected to increase in 2023, surpassing the existing capacity.

Penang International Airport
Expansion of Penang International Airport (PIA)

Additionally, the MYR46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan is set to incorporate a range of public transportation routes, including LRTs, monorails, tram lines, and even an underwater tunnel.

These upgrades are expected to transform Penang into a world-class city with improved connectivity and accessibility, making it an even more desirable destination for tourists and investors alike.

Penang Master Transport Plan

In conclusion, Penang’s real estate market is a lucrative investment opportunity for investors seeking to diversify their portfolio and capitalize on the city’s economic growth. With its strategic location, affordable prices, and strong demand for properties, Penang is an excellent destination for both locals and foreign investors seeking to invest in commercial and residential properties. The city’s mega infrastructure upgrades and improvements in transportation are set to further boost its real estate market, making it a wise investment choice for those looking for long-term returns.

Malaysia’s residential property market on the rise: Penang leads with highest increase in transactions

penang residential market
0 %

Year-on-year increase in property transaction volume in 2022

0 %

Year-on-year rise in value in 2022

0 %

The residential segments contribution to total real estate transactions

0 %

The residential segments year-on-year rise in value

Malaysia’s real estate market is showing signs of recovery in line with the country’s economic growth. According to the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH), there were over 389,000 property transactions in 2022, totalling MYR179.07 billion. This marks a 29.5% increase in volume and a 23.6% rise in value compared to 2021.

The residential segment was the primary driver of the improvement in sales, accounting for 62.5% of the total transactions. This segment saw a year-on-year increase of 22.3% in sales volume and 22.6% in value, with transactions valued at RM94.28 billion. The Penang property market was the most vibrant, recording the highest increase in sales transactions at 31.1% compared to the rest of the country, followed by Johor (24.3%), Perak (18.9%), Kuala Lumpur (18.4%), and Selangor (15.9%). The recovery of the residential market is also reflected in the substantial increase in the value of loans approved for the purchase of residential property, as reported by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Deputy finance minister II Steven Sim stated that the primary market segment saw the launch of more than 54,000 new residential units in 2022, compared with 43,860 units in 2021. He also noted that the initiatives under Budget 2023 and accommodative policies under the 12th Malaysia Plan would support the growth of the real estate market. With the market showing signs of recovery and the government’s support, the real estate market is expected to continue to improve in the coming years.

office jade land properties

In 2022, the commercial segment saw a significant increase in both volume and value of transactions. Specifically, there were a total of 32,809 transactions worth RM32.61 billion, representing a 46.3% increase in volume and a 16.7% increase in value year-on-year. In terms of occupancy rates in the purpose-built offices segment, Penang took the lead with an impressive 80.9% occupancy rate. Following closely behind were Kuala Lumpur with a 72.1% occupancy rate, Selangor with 67.3%, and Johor with 59.1%.


Penang’s strong economic growth has had a significant impact on the real estate market, with increased demand and greater transaction volumes being observed in both the residential and commercial sectors. This has resulted in new residential property launches and high office occupancy rates being recorded.

Penang International Commercial City (PICC)

檳城國際商業城 PICC Penang International Commercial City Master Plan

Penang International Commercial City (PICC) is a stunning landmark smart city development crafted by renowned Penang-based developer, Hunza Properties Group.


PICC is a green, smart, and family-focused integrated estate in line with Penang’s Vision 2030. The development implements the latest in smart home technologies, offering personalised control of your home, and optimises operations through innovative features such as mobile booking for healthcare facilities, smart public lighting, parking management, digital wayfinding, and predictive maintenance for building management.

Own a piece of rare freehold land in Penang Island's
new business district of Bayan Lepas

PICC Penang International Commercial City location

The Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone is the economic lifeblood of Penang, housing the operations of over 100 multinational corporations specialising in the production of semiconductors. It is also where Intel has confirmed to further expand their existing operations by investing USD7 billion.

The government has designated Bayan Lepas as the new business district of Penang. PICC, located on a rare 43 acres of freehold land on Penang Island in Bayan Lepas, is positioned to capture demand by expatriates working at these multinational corporations looking to live close to their workplace. PICC is adjacent to the Penang Golf Club, SPICE Convention Centre, and the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone. The development is only a 10-minute drive from the Penang International Airport and is seamlessly connected to the SPICE Convention Centre through its LRT connection.

PICC's Master Plan
The first comprehensive mixed-use development in Penang

PICC Penang International Commercial City master plan schedule

Penang International Commercial City (PICC) is a comprehensive mixed-use development that is the first of its kind in the region, offering direct access to a shopping mall, 5-star hotel, park, medical centre, residences, residences with hotel service, and A-grade offices, making it a perfect location for those who crave convenience.

The advantages of a mixed-use development like PICC are manifold, with multiple phases facilitating a high volume of transactions and creating a self-contained community that is attractive to both residents and businesses. This type of development is also beneficial to enabling capital appreciation, as the diverse range of properties and amenities can help to create a stable and thriving real estate market.

Penang International Commercial City (PICC) is a comprehensive mixed-use development that is the first of its kind in the region, offering direct access to a shopping mall, 5-star hotel, park, medical centre, residences, residences with hotel service, and A-grade offices, making it a perfect location for those who crave convenience.

The advantages of a mixed-use development like PICC are manifold, with multiple phases facilitating a high volume of transactions and creating a self-contained community that is attractive to both residents and businesses. This type of development is also beneficial to enabling capital appreciation, as the diverse range of properties and amenities can help to create a stable and thriving real estate market.

Muze @PICC


Muze @PICC is a luxurious residential development that offers an array of world-class facilities spread across seven floors. The development features over 70 world-class facilities spread across seven floors, including an infinity pool, sky garden, e-games room, mini-theatre, and more. With sizes ranging from 1,087 to 1,862 sq.ft., the apartments at Muze offer spectacular open views of the Penang Golf Club, Convention Centre, and the sea. Muze is on track to complete in July 2023.

Muze Signature VI
Six bespoke duplex penthouses designed by YOO

Jade Land Properties has announced the launch of six bespoke duplex penthouse apartments located within Muze @PICC in early 2023. These apartments come fully furnished with interiors designed by YOO Studio. The penthouses offer a choice of three design styles – “eclectic”, “lux”, and “serene”, each evoking a sense of place and a feeling of home away from home. Each home looks onto the outstanding lush greenery of the Penang Golf Club and stunning open city views of the Convention Centre. The apartments feature an open-plan design ranging from 3,778 to 5,263 sq.ft. in three to four-bedroom layouts with private rooftops and inclusive of three parking spaces plus one tandem parking space.


YOO is a design and development company founded in 1999 by international property entrepreneur John Hitchcox and the world’s most celebrated designer, Philippe Starck. YOO delivers sophistication and style to landmark developments internationally, making it the perfect partner for the Muze @PICC project.

Muze @ PICC’s Sales Stats

Muze at PICC has been a popular choice among buyers, with 70% of its 846 units sold out. Of the total units sold, 56% or 331 units were sold domestically, while 44% or 261 units were sold overseas. The development has sold a total of 592 units, indicating a strong demand for luxury residential properties in Penang. Two penthouse units were recently sold in May 2023 at MYR1,700 per sq.ft., setting a record-breaking transaction for Bayan Lepas. The first launch price for Muze was MYR800 per sq.ft., and the current selling price ranges from MYR1,200 to MYR1,300 per sq.ft. In December 2021, Jade Land Properties sold a bulk of 20 units to UK private equity firm Shojin Property Partners, indicating a growing interest in Malaysian real estate among foreign investors.

Hunza Properties Group

Hunza-Properties-developer-Team-Photo-Muze-Picc-penang-international-commercial-city-malaysia-smart-city-jade-land-properties-international-overseas-investment-滙華產業-malaysia tourism檳城國際商業城-馬來西亞-海外物業-投資-翡翠島

With over 45 years of experience in real estate development, Hunza has created a project that offers unparalleled accessibility, convenience, and luxury. Hunza’s portfolio of over 20,000 properties throughout Malaysia, including the flagship development Gurney Paragon Mall waterfront complex, has greatly contributed to the transformation of Penang’s skyline. The developer’s Hunza Care property management department offers a comprehensive range of after-sales services, including leasing, re-sale, maintenance, and more.

Jade Land Properties: Exclusive Agent for PICC and a Trusted Advisor for Global Real Estate Investment

  • Jade Land Properties is an award-winning boutique real estate agency based in Hong Kong, founded in 1993.


  • The agency specialises in marketing and selling international properties in Hong Kong and is the only real estate agency in Hong Kong with weekly radio programs specialising in international property investment since 2016.


  • Jade Land Properties has a long-standing reputation as a purveyor of overseas properties, having been among the first to market and sell Canadian properties to the Hong Kong public 1995 prior to Hong Kong’s colonial handover


  • In 2016, the agency made its grand foray into the emerging economy of Malaysia, sparking public interest as well as industry-wide recognition.


Learn more about our exclusive developments

Penang, Malaysia

Muze at Penang International Commercial City (PICC)

A landmark smart city development

A 43-acre comprehensive mixed-use development with smart city features in the heart of Penang, the “Silicon Valley of the East”.

1,087 - 1,862 sq.ft. / Prices from HK$2M

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

YOO8 Serviced by Kempinski
at 8 Conlay

Fully furnished Kuala Lumpur City Centre branded residences with 5-star service by Kempinski Hotels.

A mixed-use development located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Malaysia’s most sought-after neighbourhood.

705 - 1,328 sq.ft. / Prices from HK$4M

Inquire about our Malaysia Property Offerings