This activity is being driven primarily by Singaporean investors, encouraged by recently announced developments that will reduce travel time between Malaysia and Singapore. What's more, investment in new infrastructure in Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar Malaysia are making the areas more attractive. In December 2012, Steve Melhuish, co-founder and chief executive of Property Guru Malaysia, explained to The Edge that it is also cheaper to maintain property in the country, which makes real estate ideal for release into the buy-to-let or holiday rental markets.
However, buyers aren't just looking for any old property and are focusing their attentions on high-end residential real estate. Sarkunan Subramaniam, Knight Frank Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director, explained to FMT News that condominiums in Kuala Lumpur are proving particularly popular, "as the prices are quite cheap for them due to the current exchange rate".
A recent survey by iProperty.com showed that these conditions are also attracting people outside of Malaysia and Singapore, with Britons and Australians now identifying the country as the next top preference for overseas investment. However, a property bubble is unlikely to occur, as buyers are being smart when it comes to property. Seulyn Wong, a property investment strategist at Ironfish Australia, explained to the Borneo Post that there is no mad frenzy for Malaysian property. Instead, investors are being more selective.
“While there are still good factors around, such as the relatively low interest rates in Malaysia, investors are watchful of developments in political and economical fronts in Malaysia, regional and worldwide,” she said.
In February, the Global Property Guide reported that rental yields in the country stood at 6.21 per cent and property price rises are slowing. This makes Malaysia even more attractive to buyers and suggests opportunities still abound, despite the cautious approach of investors.