A Toastmaster friend asked, ‘please comment on mainland properties’. I sent Whats App message to 10 friends, half of whom are Penangites and another half non Penangites. ‘With new bridge, would you be willing to move to mainland since it’s just around 20 minutes to places like Bayan Baru, Batu Maung?’ The property prices there are so much lower than Penang island. The answers I got was, 100%, NO. After listening to their reasons, I have come to 3 conclusions. Oh yeah, the focus for this short article is mostly on Batu Kawan.
Perception is not something which can change easily. For people who are staying in island, they already have the mindset that island was much better, more convenient and a lot of their friends stay in island. They already know that prices are much more expensive but since they already have a place, it would never work for them to sell the property and use the money for investment while getting a new and bigger place in mainland. Little worry though as some time back, Batu Maung had the same laidback perception. So did Sg. Ara, Relau.
Mainland, especially the Batu Kawan area is still very under developed. Even developers have yet to really make their presence felt over there and there are also no plans for any huge catalyst based projects as yet except for the opening of the new 2nd Bridge. In Penang, there are also such areas such as Balik Pulau. Nevertheless this is also changing a lot. There are even famous international school there now; Prince of Wales.
Majority of the population even those from outside Penang are all staying in island. Thus they have grew accustomed to the island. This is especially so if you have been staying for many years. Even in terms of rental for these non Penangites, it is still very affordable. RM550 is all you need to rent one whole apartment to yourself and if you share, the costs becomes even lower.
For Batu Kawan to grow, there has to be a catalyst project. Perhaps moving the airport over? I would fully support this. However, if I am a non Penangite who is moving to Penang for the first time and I stay in mainland, chances are, I will continue to stay in mainland. In fact if developers launch very nice projects such as some of those in Butterworth, I will most likely buy them if it’s my first property. I have been to my friend’s condo which is right next to Carrerfour. I think the condo’s great. The question for Batu Kawan for now is just, ‘WHEN’ will it increase in price faster. It is not ‘IF’. Taking a longer term view and buying a landed property, it may be worth considering.
written on 18th dec 2013
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