Penang Property Guide: Tips on Making a Good Property Investment

Penang Property Guide: Tips on Making a Good Property Investment

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If you’re planning to rent, buy, sell or rent out your property in Penang, regardless of whether it is a residential, commercial or industrial unit, you are in the right place. This guide will help you make a more informed choice as a buyer, seller, tenant or a landlord.

In recent years, upcoming population in Penang have drifted from opting to invest and/or stay in city centre to the suburbs, where living costs and prices are cheaper, and greenery and space are more abundant. That being said, Penang is a small state, compared to its neighbours, and so a shortage of land has had developers build higher and higher, with new residential projects reaching up to 40 storeys tall. Besides that, a new trend is picking up – local and foreign investors are opting to buy up the pre-war shop lot townhouses that are in the inner city of Georgetown. Being limited in numbers, these townhouses are being snapped up quickly and offers a plethora of potential things that can be done with them.

The iconic pre-war shoplot houses are being breathed a new life

There are a few things to consider before making a property decision. Firstly, is the property in consideration is a new property from the developer, or a completed property from an existing owner. A new property is almost always cheaper compared to a resold one. Plus, with government schemes like the My First Home Scheme (MFHS) and the 1Malaysia Housing Programme (PR1MA) projects in Bukit Gelugor, Penang Island and Permatang Pauh at the Penang mainland, houses are cheaper than ever and buyers are able to get 100% financing for their first home.

However, new homes and properties have their downsides as a property development project takes time to be completed. There are cases in the past of unfinished projects by developers, although new legislations have curbed this unethical act. Meanwhile, properties for resale tend to be more varied in its design, layout and location. You can take your time to shop for a resale home or unit till you find the perfect one for you. Besides that, units or homes for resale tend to come furnished, with decorations, shelves and kitchen cabinets in place, which saves you some hassle. Fully furnished houses and units for sale are common in Penang, as many people would fork out to do it, an investment when reselling the unit in the future. Do research on the property you are interested in carefully. Don’t make decisions based on brochures, and words from your agent. Check out the property yourself and check through all the details. In fact, you can get in touch with us, and we’ll advice you on the property you’ve chosen, so that you’ll be making the right choice.

PR1MA project in Permatang Pauh, Penang is close to completion

Second, look for a property agent you can trust. The agent must be someone that you can trust and must be willing to provide you with useful advice that brings you the most value for your time, money and investment. Take note that there is a difference between a real estate agent and a real estate negotiator. An agent is licensed by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents while a real estate negotiator is not required to. Also, with any property investment that you make in Penang, real estate agents are only allowed to profit up to 3% of the transaction’s value.

Third, location, location, location. It is importance that you understand fully the neighbourhood that you are planning to invest in. This is something that your property agent will advise you on.  Prolution, as your real estate agent, will attempt to understand your needs first before advising on which property you would need to invest in. If you are treating this property investment as something purely transactional, and you’re seeking to profit from it, then the next thing we would consider is your intent with the property. If you’re only seeking to sell the property to the next property investor at the highest price, hence profit will be your main consideration. If you intend to rent it out, then depending on what sort of a tenant you are looking for, we will advise on which neighbourhood to invest in.

If you are buying this property for your own use, then a whole bunch of other factors come into play. Depending on if you’re working or retiring in Penang, where your workplace is, and what lifestyle you would like, your purchase decision would differ. Many would-be property owners tend to inquire on the distance of the property to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone and the Georgetown city centre is, as this especially appeals to those that are working in these areas. Unfortunately, there are no neighbourhoods that are traffic congestion-free, especially at the east coast side of the island, so rush hour traffic congestions are just something people that live in Penang have adapted to.

The Lim Chong Eu Expressway connects Georgetown City to the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone

Fourth, amenities, facilities and public transportation available. Staying or investing in a neighbourhood that has access to these things are fantastic as they make the experience of living there much better and they increase the value of the properties in their proximity. One reason why houses in Georgetown are more expensive is because of the abundance of shops, banks, offices and eateries there, some even within walking distance. Neighbourhoods like Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi, Sungai Pinang and Jelutong are just at the outskirts of the city centre and is worth exploring to invest in. While areas like Air Itam, Sungai Nibong, Balik Pulau and Telok Bahang are far from the city centre, they are small developed town themselves which provide most of the amenities and facilities that are available in the city. Travelling to city centre from these areas is not a hard task as well as the public buses does well to connect these areas, but do expect a longer commute time.

Many locals and expatriates rely on the Rapid Penang buses to travel around

We hope we have given you a brief overview on what to expect when you invest in properties in Penang. If you have more questions that you need answers for, talk to us directly. We will gladly answer your queries to ensure that you get the most out of your investment here in Penang.

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