Are you ready to buy a house? Let’s unpack the 2020’s most searched areas by Malaysian homebuyers.
In July 2020, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has reduced the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) for the fourth time by another 25 basis points (bps) to a record low of 1.75% due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is the lowest rate since it was introduced in 2004.
With interest rates at an all-time low, now may be the best time for Malaysians who are considering homeownership to take a deeper look at their options. As buying a home requires thorough research, we looked at data for the highest number of searches (site-wide) among home seekers who visited Malaysia’s No.1 Property Site, iProperty.com.my from January-December 2020. The search data is captured by iProperty.com.my’s big data solution, iPropertyiQ.com.
If you want to become a homeowner and you are clueless about where to begin, we can help you get started on your journey to owning your dream home. We have compiled the top 10 most searched areas by Malaysian homebuyers in 2020. The properties are ranked in ascending order and the popularity is displayed in terms of percentages (%).
Here’s the full list of standouts based on consumer search behaviour data compiled this year.
10. Kota Damansara
Search percentage: 6.79%
What is it like living in Kota Damansara? This self-contained township has everything you need. The improved amenities and infrastructure coupled with improved connectivity make it a decent place to live in. On top of that, MRT Kota Damansara makes travelling to other parts of Klang Valley so much easier as you can beat the traffic, especially during peak hours.
Also, Kota Damansara offers properties from all end of price spectrums. The median price for a condominium is RM600, 000 whereas the median rental price for a fully furnished 3-bedroom 1,237 sq. ft. condominium unit is RM2, 300. Not just that, this area is accessible via LDP and NKVE and is only a short drive away from Bandar Utama, Mutiara Damansara, Damansara Perdana, etc.
Search percentage: 6.93%
Rawang has undergone nearly 200 years of epic change since the British Malaya era. Today, Rawang is flourishing and has never looked more promising. It has progressively developed by transforming an ordinary old town into an urbanised township. The fast-growing property development and demand has opened the residential property market in Rawang. Landed houses are in an affordable range compared to those in other parts of Klang Valley. According to Brickz, the median price for a terrace house in Rawang is RM289, 000.
This had led to buyers becoming less hesitant to the idea of moving to Rawang. It also has the potential to attract local and foreign families who wish to own a landed property in Rawang as there are options for vernacular, national, and international schools. As Rawang is also known for its notoriously congested traffic, the nearly 60 metres tall Rawang – Serendah bypass eases the journey to Serendah, Selayang, and KL city centre. It cuts the journey down from two hours to just 30 minutes during peak hours!
Search percentage: 7.57%
Tropicana Golf & Country Resort is an exclusive and all-inclusive gated community. This 625-acre upscale township is located in the prime suburb of Petaling Jaya and is home to residents who enjoy the convenience and comfort of resort facilities right on their doorstep. If you’re looking for chilled modern living, this township offers a mixture of link, semiD, and bungalow houses overlooking the charming landscape and surrounded by lush greeneries. The median price for a bungalow at Tropicana Golf & Country Resort is RM2.3 mil. Not just that, residents or club members enjoy the finer aspects of life and leisure as the clubhouse is equipped with top-notch facilities.
Search percentage: 7.71%
Ipoh is the capital city of Perak and it is one of Malaysia’s biggest attractions. This former mining town is located about 200km from Kuala Lumpur (KL) and 150km from Butterworth (mainland Penang). It charms its visitor with attractions like Concubine Lane and Birch Clock Tower, and it is also the gateway to Cameron Highlands. You can travel to Ipoh via the interstate buses or cut down travelling time by opting for the ETS. This high-speed train provides services to Ipoh from KL Sentral, Kepong Sentral KTM station, and Butterworth Penang Sentral.
Based on our listings on iProperty.com.my, terrace houses in Ipoh are ranging from three to five bedrooms with built-up sizes within 1,200 sq. ft. to 4,550 sq. ft. The median price for a terrace house in Ipoh is RM220,000. Not just that, Ipoh is also number one for the top five areas in Malaysia for properties below RM500,000.
Search percentage: 8.22%
Ampang has been long known for its exorbitant real-estate prices and wealthy residents. Besides Mont Kiara, Ampang is also favoured by the expatriate communities due to its amenities like international schools, private healthcare facilities, and entertainment.
Besides that, it is also home to a large Korean community in the Klang Valley. This area is ideally located close to the KL Golden Triangle and major roads and highways such as Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Ampang, AKLEH and MRR2 are moments away. On top of that, his affluent township is also listed as the top 10 most searched areas to rent in Malaysia in 2020. The median price for a condominium in Ampang is RM1.15 mil.
5. Damansara Heights
Search percentage: 9.67%
The enclave neighbourhood of Damansara Heights or Bukit Damansara is dubbed the Beverly Hills of Malaysia as it is sprawling with bungalows, villas, and other luxury residences. Its immediate affluent neighbours are Bukit Kiara, Sri Hartamas, and Bukit Tunku. The median price for a bungalow in Damansara Heights is RM3.5 mil.
Other than upper-class Malaysians, expatriates are flocking to this area for its trendy nightlife and entertainment, as well as a selection of bars and restaurants. Not just that, it is also surrounded by a network of highways and main roads such as Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, Jalan Damansara, and Kerinchi and Damansara Link. Access to Sultan Abdul Halim Highway is also seamless due to its proximity.
Search percentage: 10.60%
Unsurprisingly, Cheras has remained in the top five for the most searched areas among Malaysian homebuyers. Even though it went down to the number four position in 2020, Cheras is still popular among homebuyers and potential buyers. Cheras isn’t only one of the townships with the easiest access to the main rail lines, it is also one of the most searched areas to rent in Malaysia in 2020.
The readily available public transportation services and amenities, as well as a range of houses and price spectrum, make it favourable among house hunters and investors. The median price for a condominium in Cheras (KL) is RM350, 000. If you’re looking to buy a house in Cheras, you start checking out the 11 properties in Cheras near MRT stations and the top five most-searched properties for rent in Cheras.
3. Shah Alam
Search percentage: 10.66%
This Selangor state capital is Malaysia’s first planned city and known for its family-friendly attractions like i-City. The LRT Bandar Utama-Klang Line or LRT 3 connecting Bandar Utama to Johan Setia in Klang will not only alleviate travelling time to other parts of Klang Valley but will also boost the capital growth of properties in Shah Alam especially those projects nearby the train stations.
Not just that, the new LRT line will be extending the connectivity of two million people in the Western Corridor to other parts of the Greater Klang Valley. There are at least 4 properties in Shah Alam near LRT 3. The median price for a condominium in Shah Alam is RM390,000.
According to the H1 2020 Portal Demand Analytics by iProperty.com.my, Shah Alam recorded a positive residential property demand, standing at +7.63%. With countless public parks, shopping malls, attractions, and things to do in Shah Alam, it is the natural choice for homebuyers.
2. Petaling Jaya
Search percentage: 15.60%
Petaling Jaya, popularly known as PJ has levelled up from the sixth spot last year to the 2nd in 2020! It’s also one of the most search areas among renters in 2020. The reason PJ makes it into the list year after year is because of its proximity to KL and the endless amenities readily available in the area. As far as shopping is concerned, there a few shopping malls within its vicinity. Besides the ever-popular 1 Utama, there are smaller neighbourhood malls such as Paradigm Mall, Atria Shopping Gallery, and Starling Mall in Damansara Uptown.
On top of that, the LRT 3 will further alleviate the public transportation service in PJ as it allows seamless commute to Bandar Utama, Shah Alam, and Klang. There will be five LRT 3 stations within the PJ area. Also, we have mapped down properties in PJ within 1km from the MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang (SBK) Line for your reference.
1. Johor Bahru (JB)
Search percentage: 16.24%
Johor Bahru, or JB as it is lovingly called tops the chart for the most searched areas among Malaysian homebuyers in 2020! Johor is an attractive residential option for many foreigners who work in Singapore. Nevertheless, the closing of the Johor-Singapore border due to COVID-19 have dampened their purchasing sentiment.
Even though the residential property market in JB has remained subdued in 2020, hopefully, the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) which is slated for completion in 2024 will bring forth many impactful changes and create an economic spill-over, particularly in Iskandar Malaysia.
According to the H1 2020 Portal Demand Analytics by iProperty.com.my, the terrace house category is the only one that remained steady in terms of median prices. For H1 2020, the terrace house segment recorded capital gains of +4.97% and the median price was RM360,000.
Note: Analytics is based on the data available at the date of publication and may be subject to revision as and when more current data becomes available.