As Malaysia’s financial centre and commercial hub, Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL) is somewhat of an undiscovered gem compared to other major cities in Asia. Property investment consultant Dato Sri Gavin Tee lists down 10 reasons why GKL should be on every investor’s radar.
1. GKL has the fastest population growth among all the states in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s population is currently at 30,768,200 million out of which 23% (7 million) of this total population currently resides in GKL. Due to the high migration rate and urbanisation (contributed by the abundance of job opportunities and well-integrated public transportation system), this figure is projected to grow to 10 million by 2020. Malaysia is also the only country among the developed and developing countries in Asia with a projected increase of working-age population in 2050—it is safe to say that there is a strong future demand for housing in the years to come.
2. It is the greatest investment opportunity as GKL is going to experience the greatest changes in real estate market in 2018.
The continuing market slowdown will see an upturn sometime in 2018 due to the natural cycle of the market. As demand for property slumps, it will result in less supply in the market. But population and job growth will start driving demand, not to mention, demand from foreigners.
3. GKL, as the capital of the country is the political and financial centre thus it will remain as the leading economic engine.
GKL has been enjoying exponential growth since its transformation into a metropolis and an international business hub. Even when the property market was experiencing a slump during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, property prices in GKL still significantly outperformed the rest of the country. GKL is without a doubt the main driver of the Malaysian economy; it contributes to 37% of the nation’s GNP annually. And now, with the development of Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) as a leading centre for international finance and business, GKL’s role as the country’s financial capital will be further strengthened.
4. There are numerous upcoming mega developments in the pipeline.
Although there is a reduction in transaction volume in the past two years, it is important to note that it is mostly the high-end high-rise market that made up this number. The medium cost high-rise homes, landed properties and secondary market stayed robust throughout that period of time.
There is a slew of anticipated mega projects underway in 2016 which is expected to yield RM200 billion of cumulative GDV when completed. These projects include KL118, The Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Bandar Malaysia, KL Metropolis, Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), KL101, Sunway Velocity & MyTOWN project.
5. GKL is one of the most vibrant and investable cities not only in Malaysia, but also Southeast Asia.
Presently, there are a few upcoming projects that are poised to attract a lot of foreign investments upon completion. TRX for instance is touted to be the next International Finance district of Malaysia and is expected to strengthen GKL’s position as one of the top 10 business centres and commercial cities in Southeast Asia. Multiplier effects on the economy include job creation and business spending. The first phase of TRX is slated for completion in 2017, which will coincide with the opening of the new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line.
6. Most recession-proof area giving the most stable returns in the nation.
As proven by previous recessions, GKL properties especially those sited in choice locations continue to retain their value despite declining values elsewhere. In fact, after each recession, prices have scaled higher than previous levels.
7. Provision of MRT/LRT/rail and air transport will speed up the urbanisation and centralisation process thus facilitating population growth.
Apart from the world-class international airports (KLIA1 and 2), the ongoing MRT line construction and LRT line extention as well as the upcoming Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR line will improve the economic dynamism of Kuala Lumpur and its livability rankings relative to other ASEAN countries. This will make GKL an attractive choice for expatriates and the working age population who are looking for job opportunities. The KL-Singapore HSR link especially is the most anticipated future project— once completed, the game-changing project is expected to spur new opportunities in logistics, port and property development.
8. GKL enjoys the greatest amenities/facilities in education, medical, cultural, and business.
One of GKL’s biggest attractions is its ability to offer investors a top notch lifestyle at an affordable price. It has first class infrastructure, world class shopping malls, and some of the best hospitals, educational institutions and entertainment outlets in the region.
9. Growing satellite cities further enhance commercial value of the city.
GKL is made up of 10 municipalities: Kuala Lumpur, Ampang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Kajang, Putrajaya, Klang, Selayang and Sepang. The improved reach and connectivity within these municipalities will create a massive economic spillover effect to the satelite cities.
10. No added state guidelines or taxes applicable, and stable policies especially for foreign investors.
Although the minimum purchase price of residential properties in Kuala Lumpur for foreigners has been raised to RM1 million, and RM2 million in Selangor (Zones 1 & 2), no other policies or additional taxes that restrict foreign ownership has been imposed. Currently, GKL remains the most foreign investor-friendly city in Southeast Asia.