Landed properties within Penang island? Hard to go wrong

Property News/ 14 December 2014 Leave a comment

by Charles Tan

Anyone favouring a landed property within the Penang island? With this question, I can see majority putting up their hands but a few would then ask, which part of Penang island? If it’s Greenlane, I can see 10 / 10. If it’s in Sungai Ara, suddenly, half of the ‘original’ Penangites would put down their hands. Haha. Maybe now the acceptance is higher but when given a choice between Greenlane and Sungai Ara, the choice is obvious. Then the price of the property comes into the picture and suddenly those who put down their hands may put their hands up again. After all, Sungai Ara is pretty close to both the bridges, thus providing access to the world outside, right? Now, what if the area in question is Balik Pulau? Laksa, durians and Ais Kacang comes into the mind but modern housing developments? Not really? I think many would be missing many of the actions if the mindset remain the same as many years ago when Sungai Ara would have elicited the same reaction.

Honestly, have you ever been to some of the Balik Pulau developments before? Going up from the Relau area, it takes about 20-25 minutes, depending on how fast you drive to reach your lower priced landed properties within the island of Penang. If you go up from the Teluk Kumbar side, it should take between 16 – 20 minutes. One such development that I have been to before and is still continuing its development phases would be MTT’s Botanica CT residential project. The price when i visited it many years ago? RM290,000 for landed terrace. There’s no such pricing these days even if it is still considerably lower than other more popular areas. For now, the land availability is still there, thus you do not yet need to picture modern condos. You can think about nice landed developments of terrace houses priced from RM680,000 onwards and with a built up of 1,959sf for the two-storey and up to 2,480sf for the three-storey terraced ones.

Now for the usual question. Can buy for investment? Well if you had asked 5 years ago, the answer is Yes. if you have asked 3 years ago, answer is still Yes and if you ask today, answer is still yes. However, if your investment entails renting out the units, it will not be easy. The whole Penang island itself, rental is never easy. Furthermore, it’s very low and you would not be able to cover your mortgage unless you are very well connected to the new expatriates coming to work in Penang. I feel that the best would still be to buy and stay instead because until today, Balik Pulau has fresher air compared to many congested areas in Penang. I would not mention those areas.

What about the distance and the duration? Well, let’s be objective. If you work in town, get real, Balik Pulau is a tad too far away. This is the same as if you work in Bayan Lepas, why would you want to stay in Tanjung Tokong, even if everyone tells you that the water supply in Tanjung Tokong is cleaner? (Yes, not a joke, my Tanjung Tokong friend told me this when I bought my Sungai Ara condo many years ago). The jams within Penang island between the route from Tanjung Bungah till Bayan Lepas will get worse and not better. Make up your mind and choose accordingly. Oh yeah, please do get ready for the usual 40-minute to reach home journeys moving forward even if the distance is just a few kilometres. If you are working at the other side, buy the other side and if you are working in Bayan Lepas area, then Balik Pulau is indeed another potential choice. Whether it’s the best for you or not, that’s your decision after you have taken a look. Happy ‘Landed’ buying.

>> This opinion article comes courtesy of Charles, the founder of kopiandproperty.com. He is popular for sharing his thought on property investment mostly based on his own 11 years experience as well as from all the readings and conversations with property gurus in the industry. (Source)

  1. Penang
    December 14th, 2014 at 12:20 | #1

    If Greenlane you see 10 / 10 which I don’t prefer such places with many
    traffic lights and the main road always jam.

    Even 20 years from now nothing much is going to happen in B. Pulau.

  2. Jansen
    December 14th, 2014 at 16:47 | #2

    Sg Ara close to the bridge as compared to Greenlane, seriously this writer is a joke

  3. Ah Chai
    December 14th, 2014 at 18:02 | #3

    Writer is trying to sell Balik Pulau properties…..so obvious

  4. Ah Miao
    December 14th, 2014 at 18:26 | #4

    Greenlane all old house.. who wants to move there?

  5. CK
    December 15th, 2014 at 00:37 | #5

    I have invesment in all of your mentioned area… All are are worth seven figures now except those in Balik Pulau… And I think your rating opinion is crap seriously.

  6. Teng
    December 15th, 2014 at 07:57 | #6

    Nowadays, property agent are like GoOGLE search engine, you get all types of property you want. And, Money talks these days.

  7. jon
    December 15th, 2014 at 10:56 | #7

    very obvious, he trying to sell his properties in Balik Pulau. He not ever mention how the traffic situation along Bayan Lepas to Teluk Kumbar. Not 20mins from Bayan Lepas to BP, sometime almost an hour. I used to travel there before. Nice try bro, keep that house for your kids

  8. CCC
    December 15th, 2014 at 11:34 | #8

    no doubt tanjung tokong water supply is cleaner :)
    to me i will definitely say NO on investing in balik pulau. the answer will be the same 5 years ago, 3 years ago and 20 years later…
    i bought a condo in Tanjung Bungah 4 years back and now the property price is almost double.

  9. James
    December 15th, 2014 at 12:29 | #9

    From this comment section, we can see majority of readers here are the non-original Penangites. Many are from migrants worker from other states, which do not value the quality of life we Penangites value. I am sure admin will remove this comment again :)

  10. Chris
    December 15th, 2014 at 18:42 | #10

    James :
    From this comment section, we can see majority of readers here are the non-original Penangites. Many are from migrants worker from other states, which do not value the quality of life we Penangites value. I am sure admin will remove this comment again

    I’m a “migrant worker” from other states. I’m a bit confuse on that statement, I hope you mean we value different things rather than saying we do not value quality of life. If it’s the former then I’d say it’s true, we like and expect different things; If it’s the later, it’s kind of insulting…

    I have measured time taken to travel from Relau to Balik Pulau Prestige III area a while ago just to survey traffic, indeed it took me 15-20 minutes going up and down the hills. How long to Relau area depends on where you work really.

    If I work in Bayan Lepas, it’ll be pretty much the same as living in mainland, minus the bridge. No doubt air is cleaner, but ultimately I’m here to work, what if I was sent to Bukit Minyak to work? Traveling from Balik Pulau would be crazy.

    I’ve been tracking the asking price of properties that I’m interested in, strangely Palmyra’s asking price actually drops. I wonder why…

  11. Investor
    December 15th, 2014 at 22:42 | #11

    Avoid Balik Pulau. U will regret.
    To me, all houses near to Balik Pulau town (around 5 mins driving distance) still can invest due to it’s the cheapest landed properties in Penang island. Furthermore, It is quite near to airport (15 mins) & second bridge (25 mins). Don’t worry about the traffic jam frm Bayan Lepas road to Teluk Kumbar road since JKR is upgrading the road.

    I like the beautiful sunset view in Balik Pulau. U can see it when u drive frm all hill road.

  12. David
    December 16th, 2014 at 01:27 | #12

    Butterworth town area anytime better than Balik Pulau.

  13. James
    December 16th, 2014 at 01:47 | #13

    Personally, property within an island still attractive. why have to pay the bridge toll if you have an option to stay in island.

  14. Ah Chai
    December 16th, 2014 at 04:44 | #14

    David…you are right

  15. Ah Beng
    December 16th, 2014 at 08:37 | #15

    It will take time for Balik Pulau to emerge, but not in the near 30-40 years. so think wisely before you get sweet talked into the commitment.

  16. tan
    December 16th, 2014 at 09:06 | #16

    @Ah Beng

    If you think Balik Pulau needs 40 years to emerge, Batu Kawan will take at least 50 years d..

  17. stephan
    December 16th, 2014 at 13:07 | #17

    Both also have potential.

    For balik pulau, i think it lacks of big masterplan kind of development. Only Botanica CT.

  18. c
    December 17th, 2014 at 10:19 | #18


    The leasehold Putra place condo 1000sft is even pricier than DST FREEHOLD in Palmyra. In fact that condo is older. Even Lavinia is also more expensive than typical BP DST.

    Simple logic, and the most fundamental is Location, location, location. Of course more other reasons that do not need lots of brain to think why.

    Nothing wrong if u like fresh air or water, but stress (root cause of lots of disease) of jam and boredom can kill me.

    BP is a future of d futures development. I love the durian there too

  19. Tan
    December 18th, 2014 at 00:20 | #19

    indeed recent blog write ups sounded bias

  20. wf
    December 18th, 2014 at 14:51 | #20

    bias with lack of fundamentals.

  21. NVM
    December 30th, 2014 at 12:17 | #21

    BP, buy for own stay – YES, if you don’t mind to travel east-west daily if you work in east of Island like Bayan Lepas. For me, noway man! All 15-20mins measurement in here is curious how it was made.

    BP, buy to investment – Forget about it. My friend bought it 10 years ago (landed) and sell it lately. Nett, still loss (after minus up loan interest+ other fees).

    The only solution to booming BP is get another straight road (tunnel thru the hill) to link both East and West of Island. Whatever Teluk Kumbar-BP highway or Relau hill road are none-sense infrastructure. But think it positively, it’s good to keep BP as it is now with “kampung” feel instead of civilize it with big condo, commercial look.

    What you think?

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