Balik Pulau? Some POTENTIAL insights.

Readers Column/ 11 November 2017 Leave a comment

stats2by Charles Tan

I still remember the time when I was looking to upgrade to a bigger place from my small apartment of 700 sq ft in Relau. I considered many places and Balik Pulau was one of them. There were a few projects that my wife and I drove to and one of it was Botanica. CT by MTT Properties & Development Sdn Bhd. The price for a terrace home then was below RM300k if I remember correctly. At the time, the construction was going on feverishly. It took my wife and I around 45 minutes to reach the place from our home in Relau via the Bukit Jambul hill road. Frankly, at the time, I love the space that Botanica 1 terrace home was offering, as well as the potential capital appreciation because this is still a landed property and Penang island is still just an island. 🙂  My wife said, ‘It’s far.’ I reminded her that even when we were staying in Relau, it still took her at least 30 minutes to reach her office in Bayan Lepas. Anyway, she won the argument, we did not buy it then and recently, I told her that the price of the same unit we saw has doubled. ‘We should have bought a unit,’ was her answer. Haha.

balikpulautravellingLet’s look at the latest stats about the actual travelling time. We ask our most reliable friend, GoogleMaps. By the way, I do not usually believe what my friend tells me about travelling time because once we are used to a certain area, the travelling time somehow shorten tremendously! Let us look at a typical weekday. We also look at the typical time that my wife used to leave our home in Relau previously. You can see that the time needed for the journey from Balik Pulau to the Bayan Lepas Industrial area is between 35-55 minutes. Please do look closely and you would realise that the JAM is actually within the Bayan Lepas area and not along the road from Balik Pulau. In other words, whether we stay in Balik Pulau or we stay in Batu Maung, we will still face the same jam. Seriously, I think travelling time is not the main reason why we should buy a place.  My old friend who stays in Balik Pulau told me she does not feel the duration because she has travelled the same road for 10 years!

Beyond this, Balik Pulau has a few more POTENTIAL insights. Let’s look at a few of them shall we.

Potential capital appreciation – Balik Pulau is still growing and has lots of room to grow still. Please do not ask me if prices would double again within the next 10 years. Seriously, you should not believe anyone telling you that it will double in price. However, just ask Penangite if they believe that property prices would stop rising and the answer is definitely a NO.

Prince of Wales Island International School (POWIIS)- It is not easy to run an international school if there are insufficient students. There are insufficient students when parents refuse to send their children there, probably because it is not good, too far or even just because they were not staying nearby. POWIIS today? Take a look at it today. https://www.powiis.edu.my/ I think it has grown tremendously and is now very prominent in Penang.

Continuous developments – Balik Pulau has become a magnet for developers who are eyeing developments within the Penang island. Big names, small names and even boutique ones. The reason is a similar one. They are building because the demand is growing. The demand is growing because people are now thinking of Balik Pulau as just another choice within the island. This by itself is an awesome reason.

Penang island is still an island – If we love to live in the island and thinks of mainland as a second choice, then just note that the available land for development within the island is not growing, except for the reclamations which I believe you are also aware of the price per sq ft that is being offered today. In terms of affordability vs size vs duration, it’s obvious that there are just a few choices left currently.

Durians – This is just a funny reason but hey, every year we get access to durians by being closest to the source. Seriously, durians will become a luxury because the Chinese from China are coming here to taste them. This is the reason why it may be tough for the durians to even leave Balik Pulau in the future because there is just not enough to go around.

Additional statistics? From my good friend’s site. miichaelyeoh.com

According to Department of statistic as of the year 2010 the total population in the area are 32,489. Today definitely the figure is much more.


Source: PenangMonthly.com


Happy looking for your home sweet home, especially for a growing family and new couples. This is going to be a long term investment and not just buying a property. Cheers.

>> This guest 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 14 years experience as well as from all the readings and conversations with property gurus in the industry. (Source)

  1. Penang
    November 12th, 2017 at 08:01 | #1

    How about the landslide when its raining? My friend has to go the longer route (this time round via telok bahang) to reach bayan lepas. Travelling time is crazy but most important is the safety of the family using such roads during rainy season.

  2. Beckham
    November 12th, 2017 at 08:32 | #2

    Balik Pulau ? no thanks. Only Monkeys will stay on the tree. no life.

  3. Ong
    November 12th, 2017 at 13:41 | #3

    Many people are not familiar with Teluk Kumbar route. It is much safer than Jalan Tun Sardon although it is further by few km (should be not more than 3 km if I’m not mistaken).

  4. PityMe
    November 12th, 2017 at 15:29 | #4

    Telok Bahang to Balik Pulau was closed. How was your friend traveled through?
    During recent flood, Balik Pulau Teluk Kumbar not affected. And the elevated road Telok Kumbar Bayan Lepas almost ready. Enjoy it!

  5. KL
    November 12th, 2017 at 16:09 | #5

    We went through from Teluk Bahang to Balik Pulau last Thursday saw at least 10 landslides…A road to PLB housing area got flooded…We were there when PLB semi-D project launched (booked fully)few years ago,saw many units dumped…feeling sorry for investors…

  6. Roy
    November 18th, 2017 at 13:49 | #6

    Tun sardon road recently closed for almost 2 weeks,road open now but totally undafe.follow teluk kumbar road will let you stuck in traffic for more than one hour every morning.if need faster,use motorbike,but not really safe.better find other place rather than balik pulau.i’m regretting bought a unit here,but nothing can be done.try to sell the house a bit below market price,but no one interested so far.pity me.

  7. HY
    December 3rd, 2017 at 13:59 | #7

    Just my opinion only. Balik Pulau is definitely set for growth but perhaps slowly for now. The elevated Tlk Kumbar highway is ready, now the next phase the highway through Tlk Kumbar town, btw Lexis Suite Hotel also now available, and the highway shall stretch to Bayan Lepas airport. Another highway adjoining it will take us through Pematang Damar Laut to the Second Penang Bridge.
    About Jln Tun Sardon, you observe now there is construction to somehow bypass the junction straight to Bkt Jambul, perhaps an overhead road.
    As for Tlk Bahang via Titi Kerawang, now more lightings has been installed where previously fewer especially after Tropical Fruit Farm is really inky darkness till after the Tlk Bahang dam. Now along the road more lightings. And police patrolling more frequently there now. So much safer. The road are slightly wider now amid the sharp cornerings which are still there.
    The fourth route via Titi Serong to Air Itam dam is only accessible by foot or bike at this moment.
    And lastly there are boats plying from Tlk Bahang some in Monkey Beach to Kuala Sg Pinang in Balik Pulau.
    One will feel for himself or herself that Balik Pulau is slowly opening up.
    Am positively sure that Balik Pulau will grow

  8. fione
    December 4th, 2017 at 14:44 | #8


    So long grandmother story for what?? Just look at the big picture lah, in 2 years time, batu kawan will be very advance already, with all the convenience in the world that you need, and balik pulau will still struggle with landslides!!…Hahahahaha…..

  9. HY
    December 14th, 2017 at 17:45 | #9

    You may be right Fione. Perhaps true. But Balik Pulau has its potentials as well. Advantages are it is near the Penang International Airport. And accessibility like mentioned above through elevated expressway of Tlk Kumbar and Bayan Lepas. Already ready except the stretch of Tlk Kumbar town. Not to give up on Balik Pulau, friends. It has to have some potentials as it is on the island. Developmental spillovers are almost already seen in surrounding areas such as Batu Maung, Sungai Ara, Relau, Paya Terubong, Teluk Bahang, Batu Feringghi, Bayan Lepas and Bayan Baru. But admit that is slow right now.
    Yeah agree that landslide is still an issue in Jalan Tun Sardon and also may be along Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang stretch through Titi Kerawang.
    For now the Tlk Kumbar Bukit Genting elevated highway is good for Balik Pulau.
    Thanks for your good sharing although opinions may be different from everyone here

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