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Penang property versus KL, which is more expensive?

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My old friend asked this in Facebook today. He wanted to know which is a better to buy location. If you ask Penangites, they would tell you that Penang properties are too expensive. If you ask KL people, they will tell you look at Bangsar, Desa Parkcity or even nearby KLCC. How can Penang properties beat KL in terms of price psf? Let’s look at it from three perspective. Urbanisation, Jobs and international city.

In Malaysia, urbanisation continue to happen at a fast pace. KL + Greater KL is expected to grow from current 6 million to 10 million by 2020. Penang meanwhile would grow by another 400,000 population by 2020. If we compare these two we can see that the potential for higher capital appreciation is definitely KL. For those who say Penang is a small island state, please reminded that good location scarcity is not just in Penang but also in KL. Given a choice, people would love to stay in Bangsar rather than Sungai Buloh or Rawang. Thus, do you now know why prices in Bangsar is much higher than Rawang? This is what I term as good location scarcity. Is there such aterm? I don’t know.

In terms of jobs, it really depends. When my brother and my brother in law graduated with engineering degrees, I told them, Penang is the best. It proved to be true.  Both are doing exceptionally well and earning above the typical average salary of a salaried worker. However, if you are in IT, in Finance, in any other fields, it is almost always KL wins hands down. The opportunity is much higher if you want to climb the corporate ladder. For this, I would rate KL as superior.

Georgetown has UNESCO Heritage city status and will continue to attract huge number of tourists. KL is the capital city of Malaysia, has the largest international airport plus another spanking new Low Cost Airport. These are ahead of Penang. MRT is being built feverishly as we speak. Economic activities in KL is also much higher. Thus, for this aspect I would rate KL higher.

My personal opinion is, both places have great potential to continue growing. It will only stop if Malaysia have a huge ageing population which is unlikely to happen for now but may happen in the future. For the question of which is more expensive, based on the properties I own, Penang at this point is more expensive. Note that some other investors may have different opinion. It is ok, we need diversity or else everyone would chase after the same property which is again not good.


written on 12th dec 2013.

Suggested next Article: Gloom and Doom for Penang property? 

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