Penang property market, landed terrace most popular

by Charles Tan

I have always been telling everyone that the reason until today I do not own a single unit of a landed property is because condo is the future. Landed would become so expensive that the current units and even future supply will not be so easily available or even affordable. Thus, growth would not be huge when compared to condo. After you buy one unit, who can you sell to? Well, honestly when I look at just Penang, I am wrong. Haha. Yes, please take a look at the chart below provided by my good friend, Michael Geh, the senior partner of Raine & Horne International Zaki + Partners Sdn Bhd. It shows that whether it’s 2013 or even 2014, landed terrace homes of 2-3 storey remain the most popular in Penang. This is despite the fact that one row may have just 30 units of these but a few acres of land may be housing a few hundred condo units.

Residential property transaction by type in Penang Island + Mainland

Thus the conclusion from this chart is simple. Penangites are very rich or if they are not rich, it meant that they are crazy for these landed units. Perhaps Penangites are both. Actually, the supply of these landed units would be very limited because the available land within the island is getting lesser. Even for developers who reclaims land, they have to build a lot of high-rise and not these landed ones because it would not be able to cover their costs or even obtain high profits. Besides a usual 2 storey landed is already easily RM1 million in Penang. How many people can afford to buy one anyway? Refer to some samples of latest listings below:

The conclusion from the chart and these landed properties tells us that I may be wrong for now but I may not be wrong for too long once all the high-rise units bought in 2011, 2012, 2013 and even 2014 are continuously coming into the market. Just assuming the prices increase by 3 percent per year would meant that these terrace houses would be considered ‘super grossly unaffordable’ to majority of the usual full time employees like you and me just a few more years down the road. It is now ‘grossly unaffordable.’ For those who can afford to buy a few and wait, I guess the choice is clear yeah. For Penang, landed would always be a premium, then, now and future. Happy owning one.

>> This opinion article comes courtesy of my friend, Charles, the founder of kopiandproperty.com. He is popular for sharing his thought on property investment mostly based on his own 12 years experience as well as from all the readings and conversations with property gurus in the industry. (Source)

  1. penanglang
    May 3rd, 2015 at 10:00 | #1

    Based on the excel graph, it seems that there is still demand . If demand>supply , property prices will be stable/go up
    good luck to all investors/speculators

    but this is only for Penang ? does it include mainland ?

  2. Jason
    May 3rd, 2015 at 12:44 | #2

    I am not totally agreed with the writer regarding his opinion of landed properties are not as demand as condo in the future.
    The writer only consider a single fact that landed properties will be too expensive and not affordable by the working class.
    However, the gap of wealth among the society is increasingly widen. The rich is getting richer and the poor remained stagnant.
    The rich population usually will look for exclusive living in landed property.
    The landed property price will be strongly supported by this group of elite and they have a stronger spending power to keep the price upward, compared with the working class who only can afford a condominium.

  3. Penang 1
    May 3rd, 2015 at 13:41 | #3


    Just ignore the writer “opinion” as he is trying to promote landed houses in these
    areas in S. Ara, Batu Maung and Minden Heights. Downtown area still have, no
    need gated housing.

  4. Tinkrer
    May 3rd, 2015 at 18:27 | #4

    Dear Charles,
    The NAPIC data has to be divided into Northeast, Southwest, Seberang Perai Utara, Selatan etc.
    My belief is that the bulk of the 2 or 3 storey transactions are on the mainland. Would be great if you could shed some light on this.

  5. sphinx
    May 3rd, 2015 at 18:57 | #5

    Dear all,

    Pls don’t be too hard on this Charles guy lah. He has already made it clear to everyone in the footnote that he is only sharing his thoughts in the articles. It is not a professional report or analysis, just sharing his thoughts. So when this not-so-smart and not-so-professional guy shares his thoughts, pls don’t expect too much ya!

    @Penang 1

    You might be right. He could be just serving his own interests.

  6. cameltoe
    May 3rd, 2015 at 23:15 | #6

    Hi Tinkrer

    Good point. In 2013, 40% of the volume is in Island, 60% mainland. In 2014, 30% island, 70% mainland. The average transacted price on mainland is 300k. That means the bulk of the volume of 3000-4000 units transacted in years 2013-2014 is actually around the price of 300k.

  7. penanglang
    May 4th, 2015 at 01:11 | #7

    right now , 1 USD = rm 3.6 – 3.7

    We are “almost” back at 1998 crisis
    Does anyone feel that we are in an economic crisis ?
    Price of food going up ? imported milk / chicken feed/ etc ?

  8. ko
    May 4th, 2015 at 02:45 | #8

    Sorry to correct, but weak currency is generally good for a country especially malaysia with natural resources. In 1998, USD remains the same but asian currency drop like mad. Today, it is usd that is appreciating, asian currency remains thereabout. Though MYR drop the most.

    Inflation is not a bad thing if it is not going like growing like a ridiculous rate like 10-15% / year.

    You need to worry if things remain the same price over the years or prices deflate. Deflation/stagflation is really a serious problem.

    You feel the “pitch” of imported goods increasing price becoz of a weaker MYR but malaysia definitely not in any economic crisis. We are in a state of experiencing SLOWER GROWTH not a downturn.

  9. ko
    May 4th, 2015 at 03:04 | #9

    Jason, i agree with you. The writer’s view is that pricing will cause demand to drop. but I believe that supply and demand determine pricing instead. with landed being in low supply and malaysia being a young country, demand will be high. hence pricing will be well supported.

    You have raised a good point to note too. the wealth gap. the rich just get richer. and this is a common problem worldwide.

    To the haters, I am certain that the writer is not writing for his own interests or marketing any area. he is a blogger on malaysia properties. I do follow his blog now and then for information. And while I cant justify how smart he is, he is definitely above average intellectually.

    Please do not put someone down to prove your point.

  10. chia
    May 4th, 2015 at 09:04 | #10


    oh, so if Charles is smart, then he must be trying to mislead people lor. Like what cameltoe said, 2014 transaction 70% mainland and the price average is only 300k, but in Charles article, he go and show sample listing price of around 1 mil, and then he say “Penangites are very rich or if they are not rich, it meant that they are crazy for these landed units. Perhaps Penangites are both”. So if you talking about properties at 300k (70% of it), then this statement really not true lor.

  11. ko
    May 4th, 2015 at 12:30 | #11

    chia> First of all, your argument is flawed. I have yet to see the source of statistic from cameotoe.

    Assuming cameotoe statistic is real.

    Average price of transaction is 300k, this is a average price across all property type and from the chart from charles, flat and low cost flat has a huge volume of transaction. Charles is referring to terrace house particularly and that it is in demand.

    I do not know charles personally, but you have to read and understand his articule.

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