Chris Gray | 12 December 2012

Purchase or Pass? Semi-detached homes in Kuala Lumpur

Purchase or Pass? Semi-detached homes in Kuala Lumpur


In our Purchase or Pass segment this week, Chris Gray is joined by Rosemary Tan to look at a development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and to see what your money gets you in comparison to Australia.

Have you ever thought about investing overseas – what are the pros and cons of putting your money in a foreign country?

How does Malaysia stand up as a potential investment opportunity? What kinds of properties are available there and how much do they cost? 

This property is 10 minutes from central Kuala Lumpur in an area called Dutamas. A unique community of 58 semi-detached homes in a gated environment with a courtyard garden, playground, a community bath-house, an indoor pool, gym, hall and a recently added outdoor pool.

The homes at Mesra Terrace are three to four storeys high, with sizes ranging from 333 square metres to 400 square metres with three to five bedrooms. They each have their own garage or car porch.

The price is around $725,000 and they would rent for around $600 a week.

Chris Gay: Tell me a bit about the development.

Rosemary Tan: I designed the homes for a three-generation family. What you are seeing here is the interior of the living room and the potential family room. This is a typical semi-detached home. It’s actually two units attached to one another. What you see is a courtyard, and right by the fountain is a huge ring water-harvesting system that we put in and you notice that it’s traffic-free. Why is it child friendly? Basically they can play freely on the courtyard without worrying about traffic.

Chris Gray: And so would this be a classic investment for a home owner or is it a more investment type of thing?

Rosemary Tan: It’s mainly, right now, for a home owner. Although originally when it was first built, a lot of investors came in. We have a very friendly foreign investor policy and in terms of investment in Malaysia, what is basically sought after is land property and the alternative to that is high-rise condominiums.

Chris Gray: I’ve just got back from Hong Kong for a week and is that similar kind of thing? You get a massive high-rise and a lot of foreign investors are getting into those things.

Rosemary Tan: The scarcity of the land around Kula Lumpur in the major cities, a lot of the developments are now going up high.

Chris Gray? So what would you say are some of the pros and cons with these types of properties?

Rosemary Tan: If you invest in a gated environment or condominium, security is a given. So that’s what’s sought after, security, as well as a managed property, and right now all the high-rise style feel like six-star hotels, and that’s what you’re getting. You get a variety of sizes and a variety of styles. The options right now, the most popular neighbourhood is called Mont Kiera, and why is it popular? We have three international schools in that area. Everything is high rise there except for some landed property, and it’s supported by commercial hubs. You can work, play and live there because you can have your office there and you can shop there, and it's all walking distance, but everybody drives in Kuala Lumpur. So that’s the most popular neighbour right now.

Chris Gray: Certainly, the buildings you have there look absolutely stunning. Do people buy these as holiday homes as well?

Rosemary Tan: Our property right now is very near the French school, so half of them are investors renting out to this market. In ringgit terms it's not $1,000 per month. 

Chris Gray: It’s about $600 AUD a week.

Chris Gray is a buyers' agent at Empire. He is host of Your Property Empire on Fridays on the Sky News Business Channel.

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