Investing in Malaysia: Should you do it?

With current economic uncertainties nurturing a growing fear of a recession, investors are holding back on their money and keeping a lookout for safer sources. So in a time when real estate sectors the world over, including Singapore, report growth slumps in tandem with the economic slowdown, it comes as a pleasant surprise for investors to see Malaysia’s property industry enjoying a boom during this trying period.

( Learn more about Malaysian property investments at the Expo.)

Europe has already entered a mild recession – according to one Reuters report – and the US could very well join it. While experts like Morgan Stanley Asia do not foresee a global economic turmoil like in the 2008 downturn, recent news of the Singapore property market has not been too positive. Just recently, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has announced a flash estimate of its property index for this year’s Q3 to be at a 1.3% rise, compared to the previous quarter’s 2% increase.

In contrast, residential projects have generally enjoyed success across Malaysia. Take for instance the Klang Valley residential development The Verdana, which was launched in July this year by one of the country’s biggest developers Bandar Raya Developments Bhd. The project had recorded a take-up rate of over 70% within a mere month. In Perak, 10,000 new residential units (up from 4,582 last year) are set to be delivered, according to the Finance Ministry of Malaysia. 60% of the launched units can be found in the state’s Kinta district, which has seen property prices shoot up by around 15% over the past year.

Malaysian property prices have been on a general incline since the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis, according to Global Property Guide. In 2004, housing prices in Kuala Lumpur were rising at 6.3%, capped in 2005 with increases of 7.2%. The following year saw a 6.9% price hike.

Yet despite the constant increase, prices seem to be sustainable. Relatively cheaper housing, low cost of living and a blossoming tourism industry have brought about strong demand for rentals, spurred by the Malaysian government’s relaxed foreign ownership laws and scrapped capital gains tax on property. The result is an annual property growth of between 15% and 30% – and a highly attractive overseas investment option. Those who already have Malaysian investments, especially in upmarket properties in major cities, are currently enjoying yields of 7.4% to 8.7%, says Property Frontiers.

Thanks to the fast-expanding real estate scene in Malaysia, property investment has of recent times become one of the more popular methods investors use to make their money grow. Learn more about the impacts and benefits of overseas property investments – particularly Malaysian properties – and how you can yield greater returns from Mr Danny Goh, Executive Director of the MCT Group of Companies, at the Expo, 29-30 October at Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Visit for more details.