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Special Report

Buying Property in Malaysia

Langkawi is famed for its spectacular waterfall

Malaysia offers relatively inexpensive real estate deals. A two-bedroom apartment in Kuala Lumpur can be bought, according to local experts, for under $30k, while a bungalow with over 600 sq m of land will cost you anything from $130k and up depending on the location.

A strong economy with GDP growing at between 5% and 6% per year, a favorable exchange rate of 3.7 Malay Ringgit to the USD, and a legal system based on the British model that allows foreigners to have freehold title makes property purchases a viable investment at the moment, as the property market seems depressed.

At the top end, with properties designed to appeal to foreigners and out of the range of most Malays, is the Pandangan Villa development on the island paradise of Langkawi, in the North West of Malaysia close to the Thai border. Langkawi, with its mix of rainforest, tropical wildlife and rice paddy fields, is fast developing from its rural origins into an international resort with world famous hotel brands such as Sheraton and Four Seasons opening resorts. Alongside sailing, diving, rainforest walks, rock climbing and fishing, there are now three high quality golf courses on the island.

Strictly controlled development by a local authority committed to Eco-Tourism makes the Pandangan development of just seven villas with their own plots and 60 sq m swimming pool relatively rare. The asking price, off plan, for the 5-bedroom villas (364 sq m), villas on 900 sq m individual land plots is 2.5 mn MR or about US $675k. With holiday rentals estimated to fetch between US $3,000 to $6,000 a week, it’s a quick payback.

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