The Standard Editorial - "Real estate agency sees a rosy future for Malaysian property market"
Investors around the world are eyeing the Malaysian market as a preferred destination for property investment. Dr. Theresa Fok, Founder and Managing Director of the award-winning Hong Kong-based boutique real estate agency, Jade Land Properties (HK) Limited, highlights that the appeal of this tropical country comes not only from its natural beauty and rich colonial heritage, but also the prospective opportunities brought upon by China’s Belt and Road initiative. This promises to elevate the quality of the Malaysian infrastructure network and offers Malaysia a competitive advantage among the other South East Asian countries in the foreseeable future.
It is this comprehensive vision of modernisation and development that will serve as a key catalyst for sustainable economic growth in Malaysia. The country can expect additional traction towards its ongoing infrastructure construction, regional connectivity, and a wealth of business opportunities due to the anticipated increase in global trade and investments.
All these elements are ideally suited for property investors looking at diversifying their international property portfolio, as they imply plenty of on-going projects in the next decade, which will offer a steady supply of housing demands thanks to improved living standards. Expatriates brought to help on new projects and other business startups, as well as those retiring in this pristine country, will also encourage a stronger demand for quality housing. What’s more, Malaysia is one of the very few Asian countries that allow foreign ownership of freehold residential developments – a very important factor to consider if you intend to include the owned property in your succession planning.
Ms. Fok observed that savvy investors are shifting their attention to emerging markets like Malaysia because they are where stronger growth potentials and better rental returns are recorded. “Sold at a fraction of the price of a comparable Hong Kong unit, residences in areas such as Penang can easily generate approximately 7 to 10% capital appreciation per annum, which outplays the performance of local apartments. The growth of selected upscale developments has also been very impressive, with many registering over 80% growth over as short as 7 years.” Ms. Fok added that the favourable exchange rate of the Malaysian Ringgit, which is currently on the rise from a 10-year low, is in fact giving Hong Kong buyers an instant discount.
As in every other property investment opportunity, location, location and location is the ultimate deciding factor to support such growth potentials. Ms. Fok recommends interested buyers to look at either prime downtown options such as Kuala Lumpur City Centre or esteemed neighbourhoods like Tanjung Bungah in Penang, the home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Georgetown.
“Although you may not be residing in your property for investment, making sure your purchases offer the right combination of comfort, convenience and prestige will prove to be a winner in creating a steady stream of income as they act like magnets to genuine tenants in search for their home sweet home,” said Ms. Fok, who also reminds investors to screen their choices based on the reputation of the developers. “Always buy from a market leader as their products are preferred by locals. You will be surprised what a big difference it makes when you reap your gains from reselling a few years later.”