Investing in real estate is a great idea for anyone intending to make a career out of selling or renting property or even those just looking to make a little extra cash on the side of an alternative career. But when it comes to getting on the property ladder there are endless things that you should know first. Any property is going to cost a significant amount to purchase in the first place, not to mention any renovations. So do your research and take careful considerations before putting any lump sum of money down or signing any contracts. The first thing you need to consider is where you want to purchase a property. For now, let’s focus on Malaysia. Read on for a complete guide to getting on the Malaysian property ladder.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. The region is highly desirable, playing host to some of the most stunning natural and urban landscapes in the world. There are prehistoric rainforests and inner city entertainment that rivals that of major Western cities like New York. Though Malaysia’s house prices have slowed recently, properties are still accruing value at a more stable and reliable pace, making it a good place for people to start investing in property.
Where in Malaysia?
When people talk about Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur tends to be the first city that jumps to mind and for good reason. Not only is it the region’s capital city, but it is also the largest covering over 94 square miles. It is an alpha world city, with skylines peppered with skyscrapers, such as the Petronas Towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower. 1.73 million people call it home and it remains one of the fastest growing metropolitan regions in Southeast Asia in regards to both economic growth and population growth. So there’s plenty of demand for high quality housing. While prices average out at the most expensive in Malaysia, they will maintain their value and see you rake in the profits.
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).
Perlis has the lowest average house prices in Malaysia, with a standard property costing around MYR 153,472 (or US$ 34,566). So if you’re looking to start out cheap, this may be the perfect destination to search for a property. It is the region’s smallest state but has huge potential. It borders the Thai Provinces Satun and Songkhla on one side and has Kedah to the South.
Properties to Seek Out
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%.
Properties to Avoid
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, once you’ve decided where you’d most like to invest, it’s time to get started on your real estate adventure! First things first, you need 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. They are also likely to have contacts in the country, ranging from real estate agents and bankers. This individual will be worth every cent of investment. Rules and regulations regarding property sales vary between states, so a real estate lawyer will be able to give you advice specific to the region you’re dealing with!
Nowadays, foreign buyers rarely have to have a FIC (Foreign Investment Committee) approval. You are still likely to have to gain approval from the state authorities. They will take 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. Once you receive approval, you’re good to go. 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. Be patient and the perfect opportunity will arise soon enough.
If possible, try to invest in a property that is already in a condition that you’d be happy to sell or rent it out in. Unless you fancy taking time out and regular trips to Malaysia to supervise work and renovations, you want to avoid building works and alterations as much as possible. If you do decide to change a property, ensure that you have the necessary permits and licenses and use a reliable, recommended company to take the work on. You don’t want to wind up losing time and money for substandard jobs.