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7 things in favour of Kota Kinabalu’s future growth

Property Market must be supported by many catalysts. Among them would be people. So, what’s happening to the Kota Kinabalu property market then? Actually, quite a lot. In fact most of these are already happening and we are not speaking about some new townships in the suburb. Kota Kinabalu is already a well established property market. The question is what are the things which are in favour of further growth for Kota Kinabalu when it comes to the property market. Below are 7 reasons why people including me may love KK.

#1 Adventures and Attractions abound. Oh yeah, did you know that I have climbed Mount KK two times? I was successful both times too. Read about my successful adventure yeah. Stay healthy, go climb Mount KK. So, the first thing which is in Kota Kinabalu’s favour is that it has access to both the highest peak in South East Asia and a sea which fronts the South China Sea. Whether high up or a jump into the sea with sandy white beaches and islands to snorkel merely 40 minutes away, KK has them all.

#2 Strategic location for overseas travellers. It’s only a few hours away by flight from China, South Korea and Hong Kong. When tourism prospers, the city prospers because of tourism ringgit. Imagine just 1,000 people arriving daily and all these people need a place to stay. They would need 500 rooms if they shared rooms. What if these tourists do not leave so soon and the next day another 1,000 arrives? KK International Airport is the second busiest airport in Malaysia and it handled 8.6 million travellers in 2019. This is 23,561 travellers DAILY and not the 1,000 I used for my calculation.

#3 Recovery may take time but value has been established. There are expectations that the property market may be recovering in 2H 2021. However, what’s important to note is that even as at today, in popular areas such as Luyang or Likas, the double-storey on the market has an average price of RM650,000 – RM800,000 and semidee units are going for between RM1 million to Rm1.5 million. (source: edgeprop,my). These prices tell us that KK property market is up-to-date with typical landed home prices and that people do recognise home value there.

#4 – Locals, Expats and even Tourists from West Malaysia. We spoke about the international travellers earlier. Actually, the travellers would include locals (from smaller towns in Sabah), expats (not that many but definitely a number) and also lots of tourists from West Malaysia. Beyond just the mountain and the sea, everyone comes to Kota Kinabalu for the seafood too. Let’s understand that siakap (barramundi) is NOT considered a common fish yeah. Typical fish? Garoupa… Typical prawn? Sea prawns. Typical Seafood? Alive and swimming in the tank for many seafood restaurants…

#5 – Connectivity will get better. Pan Borneo highway is now under construction. With more connectivities, the more economic activities will happen. This is 60 percent completed in Sarawak and 40 percent completed in Sabah. Good accessibility is a top consideration for property investors. Flying into KK is one thing but with nearly every Malaysian with a car, roads become that catalyst. The Pan Borneo Highway will open up KK even further, going  through Putatan, right up to Sepanggar.

#6 – Kota Kinabalu is already a city. This is not a small town trying to grow into a city. KK as a city has a population of 500,000 and Greater KK is said to have a population of 900,000. If we count just the 500,000 and a growth of 2% per annum, this is 10,000 new population every year. Demand for everything will continue to increase and do note that population increase does not come from just new births. It’s coming from all other towns in Sabah and this is why urbanisation will always benefit bigger cities.

#7 – Future Proof property market? This is one latest article about East Kalimantan. The Indonesian government is allocating 1.7 TRILLION rupiah (RM481 million) for the development of East Kalimantan this year. Yes, this is only for 2021. Article in So, this is certainly not just all about announcing and nothing about implementing. If anything, this seems like a project which receives the biggest attention from the government and it will have to be successful. KK property market will definitely benefit from being the closest Malaysian city to the new capital city of Indonesia.

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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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