When it comes to getting on the property ladder, many of us look solely within the borders of our native lands. Why? Well, generally the reasoning falls down to sticking with what we know or just not even opening our minds to living elsewhere. Let’s take Malaysia as an example. Many of us holiday in this beautiful part of the world, but how many of us have considered making a life for ourselves there? Probably not all that many! But there are so many benefits that come hand in hand with a life in Malaysia. So, if you fancy a change and are brave enough to make the leap, here’s everything that you could possibly need to know to get started with your adventure.
Taking Steps Towards Getting on the Market
In the past, foreign buyers would almost always have to seek FIC (or Foreign Investment Committee) approval to secure a property within Malaysia. However, over the past few years rules in the malaysia property market have changed significantly and many buyers won’t have to engage with the FIC. This can save a lot of time and effort, so is a beneficial change to the system for you! However, bear in mind that you are still likely to have to gain approval from the state authorities before being able to put your name to a property. They will require information like the location and value of the property you are intending to buy and whether a large number of other buildings in the area are already owned by foreigners. If everything is good to go, you will receive approval and be ready to get started! Remember to try to be lenient. Sometimes you may have to compromise or purchase a different property to the one you initially had your eye on. As long as you are patient, the perfect opportunity will eventually arise. We’d advise that the first step that you take when browsing the market is to find yourself a good real estate lawyer. This is highly recommended, as they will be familiar with the region and can give you invaluable advice when it comes to purchasing recommendations and procedures. Rules and regulations regarding property sales also vary between states, so a real estate lawyer will be able to give you advice specific to the region you’re dealing with! They are also likely to have contacts in the country, ranging from real estate agents and bankers, making the entire process more smooth and profitable for you. They will charge a significant fee, but you can guarantee that anything you spend in exchange for their hard work, efforts, and specialist knowledge will be an indispensible investment.
What to Look For and What to Avoid
As you will be in an entirely different country, climate, and culture, you may not be as savvy in regards to what types of properties you should actively seek out and those that you should actively avoid. So, here are a couple of tips to get you started! Terraced houses, high rise residential properties, detached houses and semi-detached houses are all good bets for making a profit. The average price of a terraced house has increased by 5.6%, high rises have experienced a 6.6% increase, detached houses are experiencing a 3.7% increase and semi-detached properties have increased their value by 5%. On the other hand, there are two types of property have seen their value decrease of late in Malaysia: condominiums and bungalows. These types of property have extremely low rental yields at around 2.5% and this seems to be decreasing, so you might want to give them a miss.
Areas to Consider
Now you know the basics, it’s time to start doing a little research and choosing the exact area that you want to settle down in or invest in. Malaysia has an area of over 330,000 kilometres squared, so you need to bear in mind that different regions will vary greatly. There’s also a population of over 31 million, but these people are located in different concentrations, with the majority living in cities and urban centres and more rural areas have a significantly less dense number of inhabitants. So, take a good look at the characteristics of each region, town, or city before visiting or browsing the market online. Here are some popular locations and what you can expect from them!
Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s capital and is also the region’s largest city. It may be urban but this thriving home to over 1.3 million people will welcome you and your family with open arms. Not only do you have all of the benefits of the Western world, but you will also find yourself in one of the most multicultural locations possible. You won’t be short of work opportunities in this major city, so whatever specialism or interest you may have, there’s more than likely going to be something available. This will allow you to comfortably support your family, even with Kuala Lumpur’s relatively high living costs. Finding property in the area is relatively simple too, so the process, if handled correctly, will be fast and painless. From bungalows, to semi-detached properties, terraced homes or detached houses, there will be something large enough to accommodate any individual or even any size of family, which is impressive for such a large city.
If you have kids and Kuala Lumpur isn’t ticking all of your boxes, try out Penang. It has numerous educational institutes that will see your child receive some of the best lessons available, from kindergarten right through to college. It also has plenty of job opportunities, being home to endless thriving small businesses, as well as major corporations. So regardless of the environment, you want to work in, Penang is likely to have something that is perfect for the average family.
The state of Kedah has had the highest annual increase in property values, with an 8.8% increase in the year to end. This is only set to rise, so it’s a perfect spot to snap up a property if you’re looking for a quick resale and maximum profit. Kedah is located in the northwest peninsula of Malaysia and is host to a wide demographic of people. It is multilingual, in which various indigenous and non-indigenous languages are spoken, so it will draw people from various areas around the world. It has unique transport links, including the Langkawi Sky Bridge and cable cars, so is easily accessible.
Selangor has experienced the second highest annual increase in property value, at 7.5%. It is one of only two Malaysian states to have two cities, with Petaling Jaya being awarded city status in 2006. Unsurprisingly, this has drawn more people to the region, seeking jobs and housing. It also has plenty of things to do nearby, including the world famous Batu Caves (a Hindu temple set in limestone caves), Sunway Lagoon (a theme park with rides and water games) and Sepang International Circuit (a Formula One Grand Prix and Superbike circuit).
As you can see, Malaysia holds a lot of potential in terms of a place to live, especially when it comes to its property market. Just make sure to be patient and sensible with your investment. Sometimes it’s better to wait and spend a little more to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you want and aren’t throwing your money down the drain. Do your research and everything should go perfectly!