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The 4 Best Areas to Live in Penang: A Guide for Retirees & Expats

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Penang is a charming island with an old cultural heritage, located in the Northwestern parts of Malaysia. It’s one of the top choices when foreign retirees and expats decide to settle down in the country.

It’s not strange that Penang has been voted as one of the top 10 destinations to retire in the world as living costs are low, the weather is great, and you can enjoy one of the best cuisines in the world. Worth mentioning is that Malaysia was voted as the fifth best country to retire in 2018 according to Forbes, where Penang is undoubtedly a big contributor.

In this article, I explain which areas that are most popular among expats, retirees and other foreigners in Penang at the moment. If you find it hard to decide whether you should buy or rent real estate in Penang, you can find valuable information in the end of the article.

Where do most retirees and expats stay in Penang?

The Northern parts of Penang have been the preferred place for foreigners since long back.

You can find more leisure activities and points of interest compared to the Southern parts, especially in areas of Georgetown to Batu Ferringhi. Some examples are the colonial buildings and local architecture, the Botanical Garden, Penang Hill, Penang National Park, Shoppings and more.

The Southern part is more local and less expensive, but have gained more traction among real estate buyers and long-term renters, and should also be of interest (more about that later).

1. Gurney Drive

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The 6 Cheapest Places to Buy Real Estate in Asia: A Complete Guide

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A commonly asked question among property buyers is where they can find the cheapest properties.

One should bear in mind though that it’s not easy, nor very important, to discuss property prices on national levels. It’s better to focus on a handful of cities, or the capitals, places where a big part of investors tend to go.

In this article, I list the countries with the cheapest land, houses, and apartments in Southeast Asia/Asia.

Before we deep dive into, I want to mention that I haven’t taken countries such as Mongolia, North Korea, Brunei and Sri Lanka into consideration.

6. Thailand

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The 3 Best Places to Live & Buy Real Estate in the Philippines

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Do you plan to buy property in the Philippines? Click here to get in touch with an experienced agent

The Philippines is big in terms of population. Still, there are not as many options available when buying property, compared to Thailand or Malaysia, for example.

Investors tend to go to the capital Manila, while other foreigners look for more relaxing places, located more towards the South. You’ll notice that the real estate market and prices differ much between different areas.

If you plan to buy property in the Philippines, but not sure where, this article is a must read, where I list the 3 best places to buy property.

1. Metro Manila

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4 Asian Countries with Long Term & Real Estate Investment Visas

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Before you pick a location for your next Asian property investment, it’s important that you do some research about the visa options available.

Having a long term visa, might it be an investment visa, will bring relaxation and not forcing you to leave a country every month, or so.

Luckily, you’ll find a handful of countries in Asia who have understood that foreigners want to stay there long term, bringing decent cash to the local economy.

In this article, I list 4 Asian countries that offer long term and real estate investments visas to foreigners. Let’s have a look.

1. Thailand

thailand-investment-visa

Thailand is the most visited country in Southeast Asia for many reasons. Expats, travelers and other foreigners alike can easily get accustomed to the high quality of life.

Personally, Thailand is one of my favorite countries to visit in Asia, I often make a trip once in a while, to recharge my batteries.

Even if Thailand might not be the best place for investors with a high risk appetite and to maximize yields, many foreigners (for example example Hong Kongers and Japanese) want to have property in a place that’s ‘livable’.

Proximity to their home countries is also of importance.

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The 6 Best Places to Buy Real Estate in Thailand: A Foreigner’s Guide

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Thailand is one of the most popular countries when foreigners and expats look for overseas properties in Asia. With millions of tourist arrivals a year, it’s also one of my top choices.

Thailand has a number of choices to choose between, with everything from Chiang Mai, a cultural center listed as a UNESCO heritage, to the bustling nightlife in Bangkok, and white beaches in Phuket.

In this article, I list the 6 best places to buy real estate in Thailand.

1. Bangkok

Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most developed cities and the commercial center in Thailand, making it a top destination for foreign property buyers. Statistics show that around 3 million foreigners live in Thailand, where the biggest part stays in Bangkok.

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The 5 Best Places to Live & Invest in Malaysia Real Estate

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Do you plan to buy property in Malaysia?
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Malaysia continues to attract foreigners and expats who wish to either settle down or finding a retreat in Southeast Asia. Snapping the first place in our property index, it’s hard to talk badly about Malaysia as a real estate investment destination.

Thankfully, Malaysia has a lot of interesting destinations to choose among, all with different benefits and temptations. So the big question is: Where should you buy?

I’ve been to Malaysia numerous times and decided to write this article where I list the 5 best places to buy real estate in Malaysia.

1. Kuala Lumpur

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Kuala Lumpur tops the list of the places to buy real estate in Malaysia for several reasons.

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The 4 Best Countries to Buy Real Estate in Asia

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Do you plan to buy property in Asia?
Click here to get in touch with an experienced agent

Investing in overseas property is one of the biggest decisions that many foreigners make.

Before you prepare for success, it’s important that you understand your overseas market, what ownership regulations that apply, if you can easily transfer your money out of the country, what taxes that apply, and more.

To give you a helping hand, I decided to write this article, where I give you my own personal reflections, backed by data.

Let’s review the 4 best countries to buy real estate in Asia.

Remark

In this article, I don’t only take yields into consideration, or target investors with a high risk appetite. I also take property taxes, land ownership regulations, capital controls and the easiness to get long term visas into my assessment.

This article is not for people who look for investment properties merely.

Market cycles, and where countries stand right now, is also of importance, of course. Many news channels and experts say that Singapore, Indonesia and India looks promising at the moment.

The Singaporean market has seen a downturn in the past years, and has started to recover. India is getting increasingly more interesting, as it grows fast economically, while Indonesia follows a similar path, with much investment in infrastructure.

4. The Philippines

manila-condo

The Philippines is, together with Cambodia and Vietnam, one of the fastest growing countries in Asia. With a growing middle class, favorable demographics, and an English speaking low cost workforce, more and more corporations and investors turn to this country.

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5 Countries Where Foreigners Can Buy Land in Asia

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Asian countries have some of the most prominent and promising real estate markets in the world. While some foreigners prefer to buy condos, villas or apartments for investment or self dwelling purposes, you shouldn’t neglect the opportunities to buy land.

Personally, I believe that foreigners believe that it’s too hard to buy land, and from traditional reasons. But more and more people ask what opportunities they have when buying land in Asia. Unfortunately, there are not so many options available.

In this article, I list the 5 countries where you can buy and own land as a foreigner in Asia. Let’s have a look.

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Top 5 Countries With Asia’s Highest Yields

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Do you plan to buy property in Asia?
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Buying property overseas needs thorough consideration and planning. The rental yield is one of the most important aspects to many investors. Future outlook, capital appreciations, living standards and personal preferences are important to others.

A frequently asked question is in which countries foreign buyers can find the highest rental yields in Asia. I’ve done some vast research, but found little information, most websites pointing to one source.

Therefore, I decided to write about this topic myself. In this article, I list the countries with the highest rental yields in Asia.

Introductory remark

I’ve intentionally excluded Cambodia from this article, as I couldn’t find sufficient data and sources.

CBRE Cambodia claims that residential rental yields ‘can’ reach between 5-7% in Phnom Penh, a general number which makes it hard to compare.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Vietnam Property

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Do you plan to buy property in Vietnam?
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Many people contact me and ask for investment advice in Asia. Not rarely, they’re interested in countries like Indonesia and Korea. Sure, Indonesia may have potentials over the long run, but ownership regulations are still not favorable to foreigners.

Korea doesn’t grow much compared to many other countries in the region, unless you plan to stay there for personal reasons, I’d look elsewhere.

One of my favorite countries is undoubtedly Vietnam. I see a lot of potentials in Vietnam, even in the long run. In this article, I present 6 reasons why Vietnam’s property market is becoming increasingly interesting.

1. Eased ownership regulations since 2015

District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, a quickly developing area

Prior to 2015, it was virtually impossible for foreigners to buy and profit from Vietnam’s real estate market. You were only allowed to own one condo unit, for self dwelling purposes.

However, with the new Law on Residential Housing (LRH) introduced in 2015, it’s become remarkably easier to buy property in Vietnam. Prior to that, people were eagerly standing on the sidelines, waiting for the market to open up.

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