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Property in Malaysia - A Good Investment?

Published: 9th September 2013

Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at some of the new 'emerging' markets for property investment, to establish if they really offer the opportunities for sustainable high yields given the current economic climate. Today, we've decided to look at the market for property in Malaysia, one of Asia's most progressive markets, and a region which has recently caught the eye of many international property investors.

A long term favourite of travellers and backpackers, the beautiful beaches and islands of Malaysia have for many years avoided the eye of the overseas property investor. Recent government initiatives and changes in legislation however, coupled with strong growth in the economy and the country's tourism levels have resulted in a change in investors attitudes. Below are a number of the key factors which have resulted in the growth in the investment in property in Malaysia:

The Ninth Plan
A strategic blueprint for the future economic growth and development of Malaysia, the Ninth Plan laid out a number of crucial initiatives which were aimed at increasing the appeal of Malaysia to overseas investors. Wholesale improvements to the country's infrastructure and services were and are being undertaken in Malaysia with considerable success. Initiatives such as new and improved highways have increased the accessibility of major coastal resorts, increasing the appeal to tourists and subsequently overseas investors.

Sustained Economic Growth
Recent years have seen the Malaysian economy deliver good levels of year on year GDP growth, providing a solid foundation for any investment in the country. This growth in GDP (5.8% in the third quarter of 2006) has undoubtedly boosted the Malaysian economy to new levels, and at present shows no signs of slowing.

Foreign Property Ownership Legislation In Malaysia
Modern day Malaysia now offers a clean and attractive model which offers overseas investors the opportunity to own property in Malaysia on a 100% freehold basis. Most importantly, this should be viewed in context of other East Asian property markets such as Thailand, which are restricted by complicated foreign property ownership models.

Relative Value Of The Ringgit Against Other Currencies
The relative weakness of the Ringgit in comparison with the major international currencies such as the US Dollar and Sterling has undoubtedly increased the overall appealing of investing in property in Malaysia. For investors dealing in these major currencies, the relative value of the ringgit has resulted in the property in Malaysia representing exceptionally good value for money.

Looking at all the factors mentioned, coupled with the high rental yields currently being experienced in Malaysia (approx. 7-9%), it is easy to see why the appeal has begun to result in a wider investment process in the region. Today, property investment in Malaysia represents good value for money, and offers the potential for a long term return which would be difficult to find in the majority of many markets.

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