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Johor Bahru is one of the hot spots in Malaysia at the moment, mainly thanks to its strong economy and preferable location, close to Singapore.
The RTS-MRT is projected to be up and running in 2022, improving the connectivity between the two even more.
A lot of big companies have already invested, or plans to invest, in Johor Bahru. With a generally bright outlook, more and more foreigners get attracted to invest in this city.
In this article I explain some of the basics you need to know when buying a property in Johor Bahru.
Minimum property investment required in Johor Bahru for foreigners
As I mentioned in my buying guide about Malaysia, foreigners need to pay a minimum amount for a property investment.
The amount differs, depending on in which state you want to buy. In Penang, the investment requirement is higher compared to many other places in Malaysia, including the capital Kuala Lumpur.
The minimum investment requirement is the same in Kuala Lumpur and Johor and set to RM 1 million (around USD 200,000 – 250,000).
Which nationalities invest in Johor Bahru?
Not surprisingly, Johor Bahru attracts most investors from Singapore. Within such a short distance and with property prices that are much cheaper compared to home, it’s not strange.
The Chinese are major contributors and the second biggest investors in Johor Bahru. Chinese buyers have poured in to countries like Australia and the US, Malaysia is not an exception.
Other countries that invest much in Johor Bahru are the United States, Spain and Japan.
Where should I buy a condo in Johor Bahru?
Johor Bahru is a bit untapped for many foreigners, it’s not always easy to know where to buy a property here.
Let’s have a look at three of the most promising places to invest in a Johor Bahru condo.
Danga Bay is located closely to Johor Bahru, it won’t cost you more than RM 5 (USD 1) to go between the places with a cab.
It’s one of the most promising places close to Johor Bahru that gets big investments in residential property projects, hotels and will become a new business hub in Johor.
Danga Bay is also located on the waterfront, offering great sceneries with a 25km long bay along the ocean.
Danga Bay property prices
You will be able to find a 1 bedroom unit in a condo for as little as RM 350,000. For a 2 bedroom unit,the prices will start at RM 400,000.
A 10,000 condo unit development is managed by Country Garden, one of the largest Chinese property developers in Danga Bay.
The project has got a lot of attention in foreign media the past years.
The condos will be built in the Danga Bay area, making it an even more attractive destination for foreign buyers.
According to many analysts, Pasir Gudang will be one of the hot spots in Johor Bahru during the coming decade.
One of the reasons is that it will receive investments in infrastructure and it’s getting generally more appreciated by investors.
Loads of jobs will be created here in the coming years, many of them through a project called Flagship A, that will drive the demand for property investments.
The RAPID project, which is created to increase the jobs and quality of life in Eastern parts of Johor Bahru, will see investments of RM 18 billion.
Thanks to this, Pasir Gudang will receive a big portion of economic spill over from this project, making it even more attracting.
Real estate agents in Johor Bahru
It’s important that you hire a real estate agent to help you with your property procurement overseas.
In Johor Bahru, some of the most popular real estate agents are:
a. Top Hills Realty Austin
b. Hartamas Real Estate
c. SSI Properties SDN
d. Chester Properties Sdn Bhd
Do your due diligence and find a real estate agent that has a proven track record. Don’t forget to ask them for previous case studies and testimonials.
Is it safe to buy property in Johor Bahru?
Even if Johor brings many benefits you, such as lower property prices and a quality of life that might be higher in your home country, there are some risks you need to consider.
a. At the moment I’m writing this article, the economy is somewhat unstable and analysts say that Johor might face a recession
b. Johor has a lot of planned properties in the pipeline, with an already existing over supply, there’s a risk that Johor will stand with even more empty apartments
c. Even if it’s beneficial to buy a property when the Ringgit is weak, you might also need to sell the property when the Ringgit is equally weak, or even weaker
d. Sudden changes in the political climate can make Johor and other places in Malaysia unattractive to foreign buyers. Therefore, you might end up in a situation where you have difficulties to sell your property
Johor Bahru is predicted to grow much the coming 10 years, with increasing investments from companies such as Microsoft and Coca Cola.
Property prices are way cheaper compared to those in Singapore for example. It’s generally cheaper in Johor and you’ll be able to save money on everything from groceries to petrol (if you have a car).
Even if Johor seems tempting for many people, you need to be careful as the economy might be somewhat unstable the coming time.
This doesn’t scare many property investors, from example Singapore and China, who still grasp the chance to buy a cheaper property overseas.