Asian Property Review Magazine, Cover Story, February 2016 issue, Page 33
Evergreen Penang will continue to attract both workers and visitors as the state government ramps up improvements in its liveability factors.
- It is one of Malaysia’s Top Tourist Destinations – Penang has grown by leaps and bounds since being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. This global recognition has given Penang a chance to promote local properties and attract potential MM2H participants.
- Penang takes the top spot as the most liveable city in Malaysia and ranks top 10 in the region – The island has been named the most liveable city in Malaysia and the 8th most liveable city in Asia. Currently, Penang property buyers comprises 95% local investors and 5% foreign investors (mainly from China, Hong Kong and Singapore).
- The state’s transparent administration instills confidence in investors – The demand for property in Penang has always been high. However, the state’s transparent and smooth administration has made it even more attractive for investors.
- Attractive destination for foreign investors – In year 2014, Penang emerged third – behind Johor and Sarawak – among the states with the most foreign direct investments (FDI) with the RM5.1 billion worth of projects. In Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Hewlett-Packard will invest over RM1 billion to set up a manufacturing facility, while Seagate will invest RM1.05 billion.
- There are still plenty of investment hotspots available – Areas in the island namely George Town, Jelutong, Air Itam, Gelugor, Tanjong Tokong and Tanjong Bungah still remain the most sought-after-spots for investment. However, in recent years, the south-west of the island, where the airport and the industrial area are located, has become the hottest investment spot for big developers.
- The effort to revitalise and regenerate Penang’s heritage properties has made Penang a vibrant city – Given the immense potential for capital appreciation, these heritage properties are in high demand. Many investors have renovated old, neglected heritage shop houses into boutique hotels or commercial premises.
- Land scarcity on the island contributed to the shift of development focus to the mainland – Developers are starting to build outside of the island and shifting their attention to the more affordable mainland areas such as Batu Kawan due to the land scarcity and inflated prices on the Island.
- The emergence of a new infrastructure that acts as a catalyst of growth – Penang’s second bridge, Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge that links Batu Kawan, Batu Maung and the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone will be the driver behind Batu Kawan’s rapid growth in the next few days.
- There are several highly anticipated development project underway – The upcoming RM8 billion mixed development modern township in Bandar Cassia, IKEA store, branch campuses of University of Hull as well as KDU University College in Batu Kawan will further add to the appeal for future development. Bagan Ajam in Butterworth and Teluk Air Tawar in the north of Seberang Perai district are also forecasted as the next growth areas on the mainland.
- The upcoming Penang Transport Master Plan will boost the property market – An upcoming RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan will introduce plans to resolve traffic congestion on the island; it includes an LRT line and an undersea tunnel connecting Penang island to the mainland. The development of the RM2 billion Penang Sentral, a transportation hub that integrates ferries, buses, taxis and a planned monorail will play a catalytic role on the growth of mainland Penang and transform Butteworth into a modern metropolitan area.