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Known as The Pearl of the Orient, the state of Penang is located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia and comprises of two parts — the island of Penang and Seberang Prai, the latter being part of the peninsular itself. It was once ruled by the British in the 18th century and gained independence together with the Federation of Malaya in 1957. Over the past 60 years, Penang has grown from strength to strength and isn’t just a thriving tourist destination but also recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Other than rich history and a flourishing arts scene, its award-winning cuisine is world-renowned.

In Penang’s property scene, while it has an annual growth of -4.5% across all properties, but it is in the fifth spot for most properties sold within 12 months. The top property types that have been sold in Penang are Flats and Terrace houses with median prices of RM150,000 and RM300,000 respectively, which interestingly enough, shows that Penang properties aren’t as expensive as perceived. The growth of Terrace houses have been positive at 13.6% while flats have dropped by -4.4%. To put it into perspective, Terrace houses in KL have a median price of RM700,000 and a growth of 4.0%, proving that Penang does indeed have properties that are affordable.

The top five areas that are popular among property buyers are Bukit Mertajam, Butterworth, Bayan Lepas, Ayer Itam, and Jelutong. Based on search volumes on iProperty.com, other areas in demand are Georgetown, Tanjung Bungah, and Gelugor. To further understand the facts and figures, the upcoming iPropertyIQ service will provide detailed analysis on the individual areas of Penang.

As a whole, Penang is certainly attractive with its affordable property prices, great culture, thriving art scene, and mouth-watering food. If anything, the popularity of Penang under the Malaysia My Second Home programme for expatriates just shows that this Silicon Valley of the East is certainly a top choice.

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