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Affordability, Availability vs Salary

What kind of property can a couple with a household net income of RM8,000 buy today in Penang? My assumption is simple, both are working adults with 5 years experience. Wife is a manager and husband is a senior engineer. 🙂   Who says man must earn more than his wife?
We also assume both do not simply buy whatever they like and does not buy things to show off to their friends and colleagues that they are so amazingly successful. Together, both of them collectively save just RM1,000 per month for the last 5 years. Thus, their total savings come up to RM60,000.
Considering this is their first purchase, they can choose to pay 10% downpayment for a RM600,000 condo. Wait a minute, they cannot afford a RM600,000 condo. Is it not too highly priced for them?
The below is a home loan calculator which is publicly available in
Based on a typical BLR – 2.2%, 35 year repayment period, the monthly repayment for a RM600,000 is just RM2,522. With some banks, it may be lower. This is 31% of their monthly net income which will grow if they work hard while their mortgage may stay almost the same unless the interest rate suddenly rises tremendously.
Now do we know why for a few years, condo prices continued to rise from RM250,000 up to current RM600,000? Having said that I believe there’s a limit to how fast prices can go up. That’s why if you look at new launches recently in Penang, a few developers have gone back to more modest condos in Relau, Sg. Ara and pricing their condos at between RM450 – RM500 psf. Thus, the condo prices now start below RM500,000 and goes up from there.
If you have yet to afford a condo, fret not, there are a lot of choices for 700sf apartments in Penang. The mortgage definitely looks attractive. Again, home loan calculator from
The important thing about property is, you, should buy one based on affordability, availability and your current salary. It is not about wait and see.

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0 Responses

  1. Absolute agree with you. Some people think on buy a high price house for example 600-800k, which the income temporary for this moment unable to afford. My suggestion will be go for affordable monthly loan installment that could pay first, then slowly change to another high value house when affordable, which will more better than keep waiting and accumulate the cash.
    I have two friends. Both at beginning prefer 500k condo. One keep waiting until today, haven’t buy any house yet. What he did is do more saving, investment to grow the capital. While another friend who purchase Asia Height in 3 years ago in RM180k, today grow to nearly RM300k. Then she now looking for 700-800k condo to move in and sell the existing Asia Height apartment. So, whom way most efficient? 🙂
    As a conclusion, for my opinion, we should buy the house based on our affordability first, then slowly in future change to another high value house, rather than waste time on waiting. As Penang property value keep growing, for those that buy an affordable house at beginning, no loss right 🙂

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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