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As people age, they may prefer condo lifestyle instead

A close friend asked me a few days ago about a luxury condo project in Malaysia. Currently priced at over RM1.4 million. Yes, a luxury condo in Penang priced at over RM700 psf. My friend is over 40 years old and thus you may ask, but if she is able to pay for a RM1.4 million property, why not a landed property instead? After all, surely landed properties will increase in price faster than any condo since a few hundred units share one piece of land? Let’s focus on the following few reasons why i told her that she should proceed and not be influenced too much with the ‘landed mentality.’
Condo lifestyle is a real trend. This is not just in Malaysia but is happening worldwide. Many years ago, condos were always smaller. Perhaps 1,000 sf and somehow the management of the condo is always problematic to say the least. In fact majority if not all would give you just one car park. People who started staying there were also those who felt that landed was too expensive and thus they chose to buy condo instead.   Condos were also thought of as a secondary home, especially the older generation who just can’t bear having other people staying on top of them and lots of many other reasons.
Diversity in choices. Today, the variety of condos available meant that your choices would just be filled. For example, 2 car parks are minimum and some gives 3 car parks today. The management of the condo is now better as it is a joint management and if you are staying there, of course you want the best for your home. Today, even my parents would agree there are advantages to condos even if they still prefer landed as at today. Many years ago, they think condos are for poor people! A condo may even be bigger in terms of built up than many of the terrace houses today which are already above RM1 million easily. My current condo is 1,750sf and this is without any doubt bigger than many of the newer terrace houses in the market today.
Location, Location, Location. My close friend said she wanted to stay close to her family. For this reason, there were only condo choices because the area her family was staying was a very matured area. Those ares which are full of, ‘born here, studied here, stayed here and will die here’ type. In Penang there are many such areas and for these areas, typically new properties would be just condos as the developer can then maximise the piece of land they bought. This is the reason why most of the time, when the price is right and the location is great, the choices available would be just condos. There could never be new landed properties in old housing areas. Please stop dreaming.
Her final choice? Yes, she’s getting that condo because truth is, even if she were to argue with me, her options were limited. She either pays so much that she feel tensed every month or she buys a condo which is much bigger than any terrace houses nearby and gets to stay just a few minutes from her family home. As for me, until today, I have only bought condos. I know, it’s HIGH RISK since only landed properties would be considered a safe investment. It’s ok, there are people who just want only landed and there are those who prefers huge potential condos. That’s me.
written on 29 July 2014
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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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0 Responses

  1. 1750sqft condo is still very rare. So your condo might fetch very high price akin to landed property in the future.

    1. As long as maintenance done properly, I hav same thinking as you. It does not need to be close to landed pricing. As long as it is rm500psf as per std price I m ok already. Will Giv it three years or four even. Since I m staying there, no issues to wait for a longer period of time.

  2. Hi Chialih,
    Partially agreed with you, however, any decision made always has its reflection of different result or outcome, as matter of truth, every one has its own point of preference, there is no right or wrong, everyone has the difference answer, it is truly depend on individual risk appetite, liking, security,objective and what kind of life you are going to be.
    Nevertheless, if we evaluate the aspect specifically toward this manner from business/investment standpoint, that should be difference way of discussion and be differentiated for easy in decision making. my 2cents.

    1. Ang, your opinion is worth 500% more, 10 cents. Very true indeed. It depends on preference. Thats what makes the whole market vibrant. Or else, if everyone buys only one type of property in just one location, I think all the other people like me can forget about investing. How could we ever beat the super rich investors if this is the situation!

  3. In my personal experience, I choose condo over a house because condo is easy to maintain. I don’t need to worry about flooding, roof leakage,sewer backing up and other expenses. That’s why I bought a unit at highline residences condo. Lifestyle in condo is plain is simple.

    1. Hi Joanna,
      Condo has the most commn area and it always create a lot of unnecessary problem, for instance, lack of maintenance, water leaking, parking problem, rubbish management, illegal wall extention and etc, overall, i see condo has more potential issue than landed, at least, for landed, you have better control in term of maintenance. i am not sure , are you local or foreigner by looking at your name, ithink you might not familiar with the local in term of high rise project, requirement. and etc, nevertheless, the only problem with landed is security concern where the rest is considered advantage from investment standpoint. Of course, there are advantages for condo also, like, facilities, good location with convenience, usually, it is much more suitable for senior citizen accessible with food, medical and so on.
      As local, if financial is allowed, landed is the first choice.

      1. I like your comments Ang. I also seriously think landed will continue to increase in price faster than condo. 🙂 Thats why I only can buy condo. Haha.

  4. Hi Chialih,
    Thanks for your feedback, ^_^, however, there is also problem for landed as it is getting unaffordable, it is a huge investment being made. the risk appetite also quite high… for those who had entered into landed market early, I think they are the group who benefit the most from investment standpoint. nevertheless, for security reason, there is huge space for improvement. any product has its own advantage/disadvantage. nothing is perfect. the good thing of staying in condo is… the risk of security is lower, with facilities and easy to maintain, it is very suitable for family of 3-5 members. difference product varies, there are condo can be very luxury even much more expensive than landed, ultimately, it is difference lifestyle and expectation or market.
    Personally, there are also disadvantage for landed as well, for instance, overhead in term of housekeeping, electricity and etc, it is quite tedious and headache for long term. for small family, it is too big. ultimately,security concern is the main factor. usually, landed is the preference point for majority of local, besides, perception is also another pull factor, human tend to classify himself by comparing the type of house you stay in term of wealth, I would like to say that it solely from expenses standpoint, however, in reality, this type of people really exist. personally, I would rather buy a property objectively and not over commit.
    Please correct me if I have any mislead statement : ) , thanks

  5. But maintenance fees for condos are killing compared to landed property. Monthly maintenance for life. Landed property no need to pay monthly maintenance. In terms of assessment rates my studio apartment in Tun Razak KL costs RM1000 plus compared to landed terrace in Selangor which is just over RM350 yearly.

  6. There are also landed property has to pay maintenance fee, for instance, to those gated and guarded, generally, the maintenance fee is worth paying as it covers a series of facilities, like.. swimming pool, security guard, gardening and etc. especially security guard is an essiantial service for those stay in landed, personally, i rather to pay a little of maintenance fee to mitigate any risk, although, it doesn’t mean to be 100%, at least, it has extra protection. Besides, the gated facility makes a difference by having more control in term of parking which only allow resident within the taman to come in for parking, actually, it saves a lot of common issue, especially parking matter is always the most headache topic. I have seen the selfish landed owner who stay in a Taman (without gated and guarded) took thing for their own granted by putting signboard or chair to occupy the space in front of his gate as their personal car park. what a shame. they are unhappy if you park your car in that area, worse case, your car may become a victim : ) . it was a really incident happened to me, i parked my car opposite of Taman Perkaka apartment (Penang) where across a road with terrance houses near to a field. beware ….

    1. The issue is not about paying. The issue is willingness to pay for what we intend to get. I cannot accept just a playground with grasses. I need facilities and even a park which my kids can run freely and safely.

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