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It’s easy to understand why Kuala Lumpur is ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Southeast Asia. It’s developed, has great medical care, nice weather, and one of the best cuisines in Asia.
Besides, you have no issues communicating in English which is an official language.
Most importantly, property is surprisingly cheap with prices incomparable to places like Singapore, Mainland China, and Hong Kong. Prices are on par with Manila and Ho Chi Minh City at the same time as yields average at around 5%.
In this article, we review how it works when buying a condo in Kuala Lumpur, one of the major commercial hubs in Southeast Asia.
Minimum Investment Requirements in Kuala Lumpur
Even if foreigners can buy and own almost any kind of property, including landed houses and commercial property, they often decide to buy one or more units in condominiums. The main reason is the convenience and standards that follow.
Each Malaysian province has a minimum investment requirement threshold for foreign property buyers. In Kuala Lumpur, the minimum price is set to RM 1 million (around USD 250,000).
The average price of housing is a bit more than RM 750,000 in Kuala Lumpur, around twice as much compared to Malaysia as a whole. Therefore, the minimum requirement of RM 1 million leaves you with the option to buy a condo that is well above the average standard.
You’ll have no difficulties buying a unit in a condo in one of the central areas.
Kuala Lumpur’s Property Market
Property prices have been in decline in Malaysia since 2012, Kuala Lumpur has been hit hard too. With the new government in place, the future looks a bit brighter though.
Still, we cannot expect extraordinary price increases in Kuala Lumpur during the coming time. Hopefully, the property market will improve from the second half of 2019 and beyond.
Rental yields are still fairly high and average at around 5%.
Thus, don’t stare blindly at price appreciations, buying a condo unit in KL can bring in good rental incomes.
Best Areas to Buy Condos in Kuala Lumpur
Foreigners tend to buy property in areas that have more security and other foreigners. Examples of such places include Bangsar, Mont Kiara, and KLCC.
With that said, properties in these areas are usually sold with a higher price tag, but are still affordable compared to property in Singapore and Shanghai, for example.
Buying Condos at Bukit Bintang
The downtown area of Bukit Bintang is a popular area among both locals and foreigners in Kuala Lumpur.
Here, you’ll be able to find everything from shopping malls, bars, and restaurants. Meet up at the Pavillion, take the escalator to the 6th floor, and arrive at Tokyo Street where you can find all-you-can-eat restaurants for as little as RM 50 (USD 12).
Even if Bukit Bintang is quite touristy you also meet many locals that enjoy going out here. One of the most popular bar streets, Changkat, is also located here and many foreigners look for condos that offer a view of the spectacles that happen on the street.
If you pass through Changkat, you’ll most likely end up at Jalan Alor which is a huge food street, offering everything from deep-fried durian and coconut ice cream to seafood and Thai delicacies.
Bukit Bintang Condo Prices
According to PropertyGuru, 1-Bedroom condos and small 2-Bedroom condos can start from as little as RM 400,000 (USD 98,280), while prices go up to RM 5 million (USD 1.25 million).
Just keep in mind that the minimum investment requirement is RM 1 million (USD 250,000) for foreigners in Kuala Lumpur, which leaves you with the option to buy more high-end or bigger units.
Agile Bukit Bintang is an off-plan luxury condominium project set to finish in 2023. Here, you’ll be able to buy a 108 square meter unit starting from RM 1 million (USD 250,000), or RM 9,260 (USD 2,310) per square meter.
Compare that to Bangkok where new condos often cost as much as USD 7,000 – 8,000 per square meter around Asoke.
Buying Condos at KLCC
If you have never visited Kuala Lumpur before, KLCC is the area where Petronas towers are located (in the Northern parts of the city center).
You’ll be able to find many high-end hotels and luxury condos in this area, with walking distance to the major attractions in Central KL, including Bukit Bintang and one of the most popular bar streets, Changkat.
Expats from all over the world buy or rent condo units here thanks to the high standard offered and the short distance to other popular areas. Kuala Lumpur is expected to grow much in the coming decade and more foreigners from the Middle East, East Asia, and the West see the potentials here.
This leaves you with an option to also rent out your property, earning decent rental incomes. A condo at KLCC can bring you RM 5,000 or more in rental income a month.
KLCC Condo Prices
KLCC is one of the most expensive areas to buy real estate and many developers build luxury condominiums here.
For example, Aria Luxury Residence is a luxury condominium project finished in 2019 where units average at around USD 4,500 per square meter.
Stonor 3 is another project built in 2019 and where the price per square meter is around USD 4,300.
Buying Condos in Bangsar
Bangsar is located in the Southwestern parts of Kuala Lumpur and more relaxed compared to the above-mentioned areas. It’s suitable for foreign families who want to live in more tranquil areas.
Many of the people living here are wealthy locals and expats, therefore, you’ll have no issues finding high-end facilities and amenities, including diners and shopping malls.
While Bukit Bintang has Changkat road, Bangsar has areas like Telawi, having one of the best bar streets in KL.
Bangsar Condo Prices
Bangsar is comparably expensive and a popular area among expats and wealthy Malaysians. The Establishment is a condominium project finished in 2018 and where the price per square meter is around USD 3,800 per square meter.
ViiA Residences is another high-end project to be finished in 2020. Here, the price is around USD 4,200 per square meter.
Real Estate Agents in Kuala Lumpur
Some of the biggest and most popular real estate agents in Kuala Lumpur are:
- Henry Butcher
- AVID Estates
- RE/MAX Malaysia
- Huttons OneWorld Property
- Knight Frank
- IQI Realty
- Dutama Properties
- CBD Properties
You can contact a handful and see what they have to offer. You have no issues communicating in English or find a real estate agent that can offer services in Mandarin or Cantonese if that’s what you need.
KL is one of the most developed cities in Asia but is surprisingly cheap compared to places like Hong Kong, Singapore and the big cities in Mainland China.
You have no issues getting around in the city and communicate in English or (often) Chinese, which makes it one of the favorite places for expats and foreign investors.
If you buy a property in KL, be prepared to pay at least RM 1,000,000 (USD 250,000), which is the minimum amount foreigners need to use when investing in a property.
I hope that you found this article interesting and recommend you to read my separate country guide that explains how foreigners can buy property in Malaysia.
Can foreigners buy freehold property in Malaysia?
Yes, foreigners have no issues buying freehold property in Malaysia. It’s one of the most foreign-friendly countries in terms of ownership regulations in Southeast Asia.
Are there any long-term visas in Malaysia?
Yes, Malaysia has the Malaysia My 2nd Home (MM2H) visa that allows foreigners to stay in the country for up to 10 years. It costs around RM10,000 for a couple to apply for the visa with the help of an agency.
How many units can I buy as a foreigner?
There are no official restrictions on the number of units that foreigners can buy. However, there are minimum investment requirements that differ depending on where you buy property in Malaysia. In Kuala Lumpur, the amount is RM 1 million.