Saturday, 2 April 2011

Property Ponderings (4)

As prices continue to rise for condos in the popular locations of Gurney, Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi there comes a point when it is perhaps pertinent to question at what stage these condos cease to be good value for money. Whether you can afford the prices is neither here or there IMHO as all areas for me have a price 'ceiling' above which I consider it to be poor value for money and which I will refuse to pay. The other big issue I have is that I have always been fortunate to live in a nice detached home, often with some land, and not too many close neighbours. As such, the prospect of a condo with neighbours above, below and likely to the left and right, does concern me, and it concerns me a lot.

Contrast the prices then for these 'desirable' condos in Penang with some of the developments which are springing up off the beaten track both in Penang and, for instance, Ipoh in Perak and for RM 500K (the price at which many of these Penang condos now seem to be hovering) you can get a LOT more for your money. Checking out (see links) provides details of a number of projects which I won't bore you with the in depth details of but, as an example, a luxury 4 bedroom bungalow in Seberang Perai Tengah, Penang can be had for RM 486K and a palatial 5 bedroom, 5 bath 2 storey detached in Ipoh, Perak will set you back RM 523K. Given the choice on what to own for my RM 500K, in terms of the property only, and for me it's a no brainer.

There is however a but (isn't there always!!!!). In this case the 'but' is about the ease of access to amenities, nightlife and such like. The Penang condos are popular for a number of reasons and one of them is location, location, location. Batu Ferringhi has the nearby beach and is not TOO far from Gurney and Georgetown and the 'Tanjungs' are not far from either. I live in a peaceful rural village now and in all honesty, fancy a change, for a few years at least. As I have mentioned before, the last thing I want when I feel like popping out, on the spur of the moment, to a restaurant or bar is for it to be SO much of major undertaking that you end up not bothering. The house, its location, and even its view are important but they are not everything. Indeed, as I made reference to in an earlier post, in the UAE I found I had 'highlights' but no 'life' whereas in the UK I find I have 'life' but no 'highlights'. I don't want to replicate that in Malaysia and, another consideration when buying a landed property, I equally don't want to be cutting lawns, treating fences and painting woodwork on a regular basis!!! Life is simply too short!!!

Two other considerations have been flagged up to me that may affect property prices and are worth bearing in mind, both general economic issues. Firstly is the potential for the Bank Negara (Malaysian Central Bank) to raise interest rates, this will often take the heat out of the property market. The second is the planned introduction of VAT, anticipated at around 4%, likely in 2012. This will clearly have an impact on materials, fees and such like, all of which will likely filter through to the buyer.

So, yet more to check out. Who knows, over time this might become "Pick of Perak" yet confused


  1. Tricky. If the GST (VAT) is like Australia, where it replaced existing tax, then prices should drop. Remember Selangor also has an MM2H starting property price of RM250k.
    Agree better value for money can be found around. My other choice to Penang is Sri Manjung area. Way better everyday shopping than Penang, close to sea and many islands including Pangkor...and easy traffic. Property while min RM500k, you can get a lot for your money...and looks like the coastal expressway will go ahead, which will make for very fast trip to both KL and Penang, plus possibly a new airport around Taiping. So property prices I suggest will go up rapidly once these changes come. I have already bought and values already going up.

  2. Sri Manjung may well be worth adding to the list then? Question is, what is the social scene/nightlife like?


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