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Penang Island vs Mainland (Part 1) – Location branding

May 15th, 2015 Leave a comment

by Ken Lim

In Penang, one of the most intense debated topic is the property investment and purchase decision between the properties in island and mainland. The island which is well-known for its “scarcity of land” has always been the top property investment choice for both locals and foreigners, whereas the mainland is always named as the secondary option for a bigger house or an affordable alternative.

Many people told me that they prefer to invest into property in the island due to its limited land, higher-class shopping malls, well-known tourist hotspot, beautiful beaches and not forgetting the good food. I would have to agree that these are some valid reasons. But if we are buying a property for own stay, how much does it really matter to us?

A branded location

The branding of a location can give it a competitive edge. Sometimes this can be one of the most powerful factors in a property investment decision. When we mention “Penang”, the first thing that comes to our mind is the Penang Island – A glamorous location that is well known for land scarcity. To some people, Penang Island is a branded city with pride in its properties, beaches and food.

Georgetown, Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong and Gurney Drive are some of the top location brands in Penang Island. Properties in those areas are usually at least ~30% more expensive than the properties of similar density in other locations within the Island. RM800k is the sweet spot. Anything around this price range would likely to see a respectable take up rate.

Mainland on the other hand, has always been perceived as an affordable alternative for those who cannot afford a landed in the island. Most people knew Butterworth, Perai, Seberang Jaya and Bukit Mertajam. But none of them is perceived as a prominent brand to the penangites.

However, things has started to change in the recent years. Developers have started to focus into the mainland, taking advantage of the cheaper land cost that they have purchased many years back. For example, Alma, some used to have a certain perception about it. But DNP has changed the perception of that area with series of well planned residential and commercial developments such as AEON mall and Tesco hypermarket along Jalan Rozhan. Landed property at a strategic location in mainland is no longer cheap. Newly launched terrace houses are mostly more than RM600K. If you are looking for something less than RM500K, you would have to go to the southern part of Seberang Perai, namely Simpang Ampat, Jawi and Sungai Bakap.

For Batu Kawan, the upcoming development by Eco World, Aspen Group and PE Land is expected to have a positive and transformative effect on the property market in the region. The rapid development toward urbanization makes location branding an important determinant of its success over the next decade. Desa ParkCity is one unique example how Perdana ParkCity Sdn. Bhd. has transformed a piece of vacant land in Kepong into one of the most sought after self-contained township in Klang Valley. Who knows? May be one day you will feel proud to have owned a property at Batu Kawan.:)

Coming back to the reality, today there is nothing wrong if you were to choose a branded location like Gurney Drive, or a less-branded location like Simpang Ampat, or a new brand at Batu Kawan. Most importantly it fits your budget and suits your lifestyles. At the end, we may be working at the same place, eating in the same restaurant, shopping in the same mall and watching movie in the same cinema.

OTHER TOPICS:
Penang Island vs Mainland (Part 2) – Land scarcity or abundant?
Penang Island vs Mainland (Part 3) – Connectivity & Accessiblity
Penang Island vs Mainland (Part 4) – Population

– Ken Lim
(Founder and Principal Reviewer, PenangPropertyTalk.com)

Categories: Featured Articles, Property News Tags:
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  1. Penang 1
    May 15th, 2015 at 09:48 | #1

    Batu Kawan already dead.

  2. Buyer
    May 15th, 2015 at 10:02 | #2

    The development in batu Kawan has just started, more & more projects will materialize in next few years, IKEA, KDU, HULL, DESIGNER VILLAGE, ECO MARINA, INVESTMENT BY HP , E-GATE, JABIL etc. This is development supported by Penang Govt & the trend is irreversible ! A lot of investment has already invested in this area.

    @Penang 1
    pls give some facts to support your opinion !

  3. squirty
    May 15th, 2015 at 11:40 | #3

    @Buyer

    You should not have asked Penang 1 for facts to support his opinion, because you’re going to end up listening to all his non-sense!….Hahaha.

    It’s true that Batu Kawan is coming up slowly, with the pace picking up in the coming 5 years. More investment for commercial, residential and factories will surely go there, no doubt. The gap between Batu Kawan vs Sg. Ara and the surrounding areas will narrow surely, whereas the northern part of the island will remain the pearl, an attraction for foreigners.

    The delicate combination of sea, hills, winding coastline, modern super condos surrounded by pockets of rustic local eateries and pasar malams with it’s multinational “leisurely” residents in Tanjung Bunga/Tokong is truly unique, impossible to emulate anywhere else.

  4. kplee
    May 15th, 2015 at 11:43 | #4

    I agree with @Buyer. To my opinion, Batu Kawan just started. I believed are more to come. I own a property in the island. But as a penangite, I really hope to see Batu Kawan become alive.

  5. @.@
    May 15th, 2015 at 11:59 | #5

    Penang 1 :Batu Kawan already dead.

    This guy can’t even talk civilise, what I found from his comments mostly die and dead. I urge you rename your nick don’t sia-soi Penang lang face.

  6. Simon
    May 15th, 2015 at 12:36 | #6

    Haha penang 1 talks like a pokemon.

  7. Penang 2
    May 15th, 2015 at 13:19 | #7

    Certain areas in Mainland are doing well, such as BM, Butterworth Area.

    For Batu Kawan area, it’s still new despite the low-usage of the Penang 2nd Bridge (Which guessed to be the only ways to Market Batu Kawan which has another Option for people who works in Penang Industrial Area to have a Second Option of purchase in Island)

    The distance from Matured areas like Butterworth, Prai, BM, Sebarang Jaya, Raja Uda has a distance drive to Batu Kawan area which takes around 15 – 20 mins to reach, which equivalent to the distance of getting across the Penang Bridge.

    From what I think, it will take a longer time than usual for Batu Kawan Area to grow mature, despite all the investment has already poured-in, as you can see, even in Balik Pulau (30 mins drive from Georgetown if no Jam) are still not mature.

    Getting Mega Developers to invest in Batu Kawan MIGHT NOT make any big changes as the price tag is high, eg : Bungalow for 1.5mil or Condo for 700-800k(Quoting from Eco World that will have the price tag similar to Island). To all people who are reading, which would you prefer? Island or Mainland? FOr investors who purchase at such high price tag, are you planning to re-sale the property at around 1.8mil for landed or 1mil for condo?

    Just sharing my personal opinion (No offence to anyone)

  8. penang rich guy
    May 15th, 2015 at 14:15 | #8

    i more prefer balik pulau site, still affordable compare to east island.

  9. squirty
    May 15th, 2015 at 14:50 | #9

    @Penang 2
    I believe Batu Kawan will shine. In fact, the good thing about BK is actually that it is not matured. Matured areas in mainland are mostly infested with gangsters, debt collectors, 4D bookies etc, and it is very difficult to eliminate these people from these old areas.

    Of course, how EcoWorld price their properties remained to be seen. If they had learnt their lessons from their Paya Terubong project, whereby they actually had to revise the project concept so many times due to poor response, they should know by now Penang is a different ball game.

    Just like with food, KL people would basically just shove anything that is not poisonous into their mouths, while penang people are very selective of what they eat and at what price.

    @penang rich guy

    Balik Pulau is a gone case. That dangerous access road to BalikPulau has taken many lives. From what I see, should just use the land there to plant more durian trees for export to china.

  10. xabi14
    May 15th, 2015 at 15:59 | #10

    Let the flame wars begin!

  11. Island
    May 15th, 2015 at 16:37 | #11

    Penang 1 :
    Batu Kawan already dead.

    —–XXXX—–“End of Advertisement”—–XXXX——

  12. kiasu kiasu
    May 15th, 2015 at 17:47 | #12

    @Penang 1 – if kiasi don’t invest. Put all your money in the bank sure won’t lose any more. If kiasu then invest when everyone is investing. If tulan then say all you want but when the train leave the station and people making money then you just kick your own balls or if the train don’t leave the station then laugh all you want but one thing for sure, the future is never certain. That’s what investing is all about. I remember 5 years back people condemning Sungai Ara developments as Malay development and there will be no demand. Early investors are laughing now. So, let’s come back to this post 5 years from now and see who’s right and who’s wrong

  13. john
    May 15th, 2015 at 18:28 | #13

    what we can only heard from penang 1 is only batu kawan ikea, aspen vision city, design village, hull university, kdu university, affordable house & factory setup are going dead instead. When a place have such project’s confirmed on going, that’s not call “dead”, perhaps is the jealousy by certain people, the “grapes” is so sour…..haha…..

  14. Only B’worth
    May 15th, 2015 at 19:26 | #14

    No more “grandfather” story.

  15. Penang 2
    May 16th, 2015 at 09:04 | #15

    squirty :
    @Penang 2
    I believe Batu Kawan will shine. In fact, the good thing about BK is actually that it is not matured. Matured areas in mainland are mostly infested with gangsters, debt collectors, 4D bookies etc, and it is very difficult to eliminate these people from these old areas.
    Of course, how EcoWorld price their properties remained to be seen. If they had learnt their lessons from their Paya Terubong project, whereby they actually had to revise the project concept so many times due to poor response, they should know by now Penang is a different ball game.
    Just like with food, KL people would basically just shove anything that is not poisonous into their mouths, while penang people are very selective of what they eat and at what price.
    @penang rich guy
    Balik Pulau is a gone case. That dangerous access road to BalikPulau has taken many lives. From what I see, should just use the land there to plant more durian trees for export to china.

    I think among everyone, your comment serves the best interest in me to response.

    Every mature area will have its pros and cons and different kind of people, when a place is mature, there will be things like this goes on. Same goes to BK if someday it’s going to be mature as well (There is no filter / restriction) on any residential area as well.

    BK will shine? that’s the greatest part of the question, to be nice, I’ll say not-so-soon, to be honest and frank, I’ll say far from soon.

    Try asking people(including yourself), are you interested to stay in BK? The problem is, more than 90% of the Penangites already owns a home, people always have a second option of Holiday Home/Investment, and young couples are still hoping hard for LMC Apartments in the Island.

  16. Penang 2
    May 16th, 2015 at 09:08 | #16

    john :
    what we can only heard from penang 1 is only batu kawan ikea, aspen vision city, design village, hull university, kdu university, affordable house & factory setup are going dead instead. When a place have such project’s confirmed on going, that’s not call “dead”, perhaps is the jealousy by certain people, the “grapes” is so sour…..haha…..

    Yes, There will be a Design Village, but what is the Definition of Design Village? And what is the attraction despite of the word Design Village?

    Hull University / Kdu University / Any Other Universities, have you really been to KDU? their intake is bad and most of the people are from (Mainland), try to imagine Mainlanders taking part in Mainland KDU, what will happen to the Penang Campus?

    Lets say they’ve got the best Ikea, seriously people staying in BK for the sake of Ikea? who would have meatballs everyday in Ikea?

    I’m not a sour grape, i’m just sharing my opinion.

    I’m not afraid/worried that I’d miss that chance to invest in BK, there are PLENTY of supplies that might never run out of “opportunity” in that area.

  17. Penang 1
    May 16th, 2015 at 10:23 | #17

    Only B’worth :
    No more “grandfather” story.

    End of (part 4/4).

  18. Raymond
    May 16th, 2015 at 20:32 | #18

    Still prefer balik pulau, which will eventually be green and plan township in penang “ISLAND”

  19. Penang 1
    May 16th, 2015 at 22:53 | #19

    @.@ :

    Penang 1 :Batu Kawan already dead.

    This guy can’t even talk civilise, what I found from his comments mostly die and dead. I urge you rename your nick don’t sia-soi Penang lang face.

    This guy can really talk by asking me to rename my nick ? Own self also do not
    have a name but “two balls” to identify himself..

  20. smith
    smith
    May 16th, 2015 at 23:03 | #20

    It took 30 years for Seberang Jaya township to become what it is today, with the help of the first Penang Bridge, NS highway and BKE highway.

    BK will shine but not within 10 years. Later maybe but not in the near future. Mainland buyer will focus on other place nearby but definitely not BK.

  21. GuruPitka
    May 16th, 2015 at 23:22 | #21

    @smith

    EcoWorld will be launching something in BK in the near future. If I am someone who’s looking to buy a property in mainland, I’d definitely not buy anything now and wait and see what EcoWorld has to offer.

    @Raymond

    You can forget about Balik Pulau. Even the not as ulu Sg. Ara and the surrounding areas will be hit by the rise of BK. Balik Pulau, maybe next lifetime, or even never.

  22. Jason
    May 17th, 2015 at 14:54 | #22

    If you want to invest in mainland now for the future, the obvious choice is Butterworth.
    Yes..it is Butterworth rather than Batu Kawan.
    Butterworth is already an established township with high potential of future growth due to undersea tunnel direct connection to the island.
    Your investment will grow from the first day of investment, rather than in Batu Kawan where you need to wait for few years before the township become mature.

    The undersea tunnel will connect Butterworth to upmarket location in island, namely Gurney and Tanjung Tokong, compared with second bridge where it connected to Batu Maung, a fishing village.

  23. daren
    May 17th, 2015 at 19:01 | #23

    @Penang 1
    SHORT gun in between two balls, hahaha!!!

  24. daren
    May 17th, 2015 at 19:15 | #24

    smith :It took 30 years for Seberang Jaya township to become what it is today, with the help of the first Penang Bridge, NS highway and BKE highway.
    BK will shine but not within 10 years. Later maybe but not in the near future. Mainland buyer will focus on other place nearby but definitely not BK.

    Who want to wait for another 10 or 20 years……..or even never shine at all
    Life is short, better enjoy what we are having now b’cos we don’t know what is happening on tomorrow when we wake up

  25. Penang 2
    May 18th, 2015 at 10:43 | #25

    if you’re talking about 20 years to shine, you’re talking about 5% Per annum

    which is literately low insense of investment in property.

    in island, easily get 30-40% per annum

  26. Go4mainland
    May 19th, 2015 at 11:23 | #26

    @Penang 2

    People stay for the sake of their own. All of us have own reasons to buy our own houses. They stay at Batu Kawan because house still cheap? There is an international school in Pearl City. BM science park not far away. Industrial zone 4th phase just a second bridge margin.

    Anything wrong?

  27. Go4mainland
    May 19th, 2015 at 11:25 | #27

    @smith

    Haha. how fast technology change these days?

    U still using Windows 98?

  28. Go4mainland
    May 19th, 2015 at 11:26 | #28

    @daren

    Where is the undersea tunnel now?

    Another 20 years in the betting?

    The second bridge is there.

  29. Penang 3
    May 19th, 2015 at 13:57 | #29

    hehehehe…Penang 1 must have invested in the island a lot and now is unable to sell his units…that is why he is stepping on others so that investors can go back to island to buy his units

  30. Penang 1
    May 19th, 2015 at 15:09 | #30

    @Penang 3

    Please don’t buy in island. For your info if I am buying for investments there is no
    such thing as ” force selling “. Batu Kawan is “dead” as shown by PDC housing
    schemes which left terrace houses to be vacant with 99 years leasehold.

  31. GrowUpPls
    May 19th, 2015 at 17:30 | #31

    Appearently Penang 1 is a person who is lack of knowledge, possibly he has read the so called “news” somewhere long time ago, go and google around, you will see that batu kawan now is just at primary stage of mass developing, There are numerous big players like IKEA, Premium Outlet Store, Boon Siew, Ikea, Hp, Seagate, and developers like Aspen, Echo world, Malton have just annouced their Big Project around there, Sg Temasek also going to set up a BPO there, Is Penang 1 any smarter than those Company’s CEO? We’ll leave it for the wise ppl to decide :)

  32. Go4mainland
    May 19th, 2015 at 17:30 | #32

    Penang 1 :
    @Penang 3
    Please don’t buy in island. For your info if I am buying for investments there is no
    such thing as ” force selling “. Batu Kawan is “dead” as shown by PDC housing
    schemes which left terrace houses to be vacant with 99 years leasehold.

    Are u sure? left terrace? Haha. Thanks for ur insider news.

  33. Penang 1
    May 19th, 2015 at 19:22 | #33

    @GrowUpPls

    Have you invested in Batu Kawan in the first place ?

  34. Penang 3
    May 19th, 2015 at 21:06 | #34

    anyone read Penang Island vs Mainland (Part 2/4)? i think you guys should….

  35. fde
    February 28th, 2016 at 02:28 | #35

    Just curious, in mainland, is butterworth considered a more “prime” location than BM?

  36. WannaRent
    January 26th, 2018 at 08:41 | #36

    Which is better place to live island or mainland? If you can answer this then you will find investment bear fruit in the long run. Yes / No ?

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