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Moving to a Suburb: A Bigger House?


Moving to a Suburb: A Bigger House?

Living in Kuala Lumpur is becoming more and more unbearable with continually busy streets and fast paced life. Thus, people are moving outside the city to seek a better quality of life. However, does moving to a suburb mean a bigger house?

The iProperty data services team sought to find what the numbers are telling us. By analysing ‘transacted data’ provided by and iPropertyiQ, we have developed a mapping technology that provides us a visual on data, as shown below.

In Figure 1: The case for a bungalow, Figures 1, 2, 3 and 5: the darker the colour indicates a larger size of home, as for figure 4: the darker colour indicates the higher the price per square feet (sf).


Figure 1

Figure 1, Source: iPropertyiQ,

Figure 1: The case for a bungalow; does provide significant evidence that many people are moving out of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Petaling Jaya. Perhaps the reason for this is for bigger homes, as this is evident in Shah Alam and Klang, which has homes with the highest median size in the country, with 3,825 sf and 3,664 sf, respectively.

Next too, on the southeast border, we have homes in Kajang and Cheras with a median size of 3,466 sf and 3,313 sf, respectively. Sungai Buloh also follows closely with 3,264 sf, whilst Ulu Kelang and Gombak round it up with 3,122 sf and 3,065, respectively.


Figure 2: The impact on condominiums in the Klang Valley

Figure 2, Source: iPropertyiQ,

We then examine if these findings also hold true for condominiums. Data shows that the biggest sizes for condominiums are to be found near too or in the city centre (Figure 2: The impact on condominiums in the Klang Valley). Also, as you move further away from the city centre, there is little difference, due to the fact that there is more land outside the city centre.

Findings also show that the number of transactions for condominiums also decreased away from the city centre. Places like Bukit Tunku, Ampang and Mont’ Kiara have the largest condominium sizes surrounding the Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Notably, Damansara Utama and Mutiara Damansara have the most spacious condominiums surrounding Petaling Jaya also.


Figure 3: Terrace Houses in the Klang Valley

Figure 3, Source: iPropertyiQ,

As for the case of terrace houses (Figure 3: Terrace Houses in the Klang Valley), we see that Bukit Jalil, Sungai Besi, Glenmarie, Desa Park City and Cyberjaya have the highest median sizes for terrace houses. These are the areas surrounding the city centre with generally higher income earners. Also of note, in areas away from the city centre, there is no difference in the median size of terrace houses as compared in the city centre.

We then wanted to find out if the price differed between the city centre and suburban areas. We accomplished this by doing a quick plot on the Per Square Foot (PSF). [Please see Figure 4: PSF Greater Kang Vwalley]. As expected, it was revealed that prices are lower for terrace houses away from the city.

We have also concluded that while terrace houses are cheaper as we go further away from the city, income does not compensate for a bigger house. Income earners staying in the city centre far outweigh the ones in suburban areas, therefore even though terrace houses are cheaper in suburban areas, people there could not afford a bigger house.

The larger terrace houses are beside Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Putrajaya, where most higher incomer earners have chosen to reside. Terrace houses differ from bungalows because bungalows are for the more affluent, whilst terrace houses are generally not so. Terrace houses are generally catered to a decent wage earning population, however as we move towards the city, scarcity of land has made terrace houses become a luxury due to the high price.


Figure 4: PSF Greater Klang Valley Residential

Figure 4, Source: iPropertyiQ,
Figure 5: PSF Johor Bahru Residential

Figure 5

We also see the same trend in Johor Bahru for terrace houses (Figure 5: PSF Johor Bahru), where the largest terrace houses are to be found in places like Permas Jaya and Tebrau, next to the border of the city.

In summary, as we take a look at the type of residential dwelling and examine the factor of size, bungalows do get bigger as we move further out into the suburban areas. However, as for terrace houses and condominiums, as we move out into the suburbs the sizes do get larger. Additionally, as we move further out into the rural areas, the size of residential dwellings decrease.

We also take into account the monthly gross household income obtained from the department of statistic. The highest median monthly gross household income as expected is in Kuala Lumpur with RM7,620, not too far behind is Putrajaya with RM7,512, followed by Selangor with RM6,214.

Selangor and Johor spike in income could be a result of spill-over from neighbouring states / country, while in Melaka have also seen a dramatic increase in household income in recent years.

As shown from the above charts (Figure 6: PSF Malaysia by State and Figure 7: PSF Across Malaysia by Size) the larger terrace houses are not in places like Kelantan or Pahang, where there are larger pieces of land with cheaper prices, but it is in places like Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur where high income earners reside.

We then analyse the relationship between the obtained variables. Firstly, we match the terrace house price against size, and discovered that terrace house price does affect size, but as we add household income into the equation, the terrace house prices becomes obsolete, so in other words:  even though terrace house prices do have an impact on the house size, it is overshadowed by household income.



While moving out into the suburbs does provide for a cheaper bigger house, it is only one side of the equation.

The other side of the equation is the factor of affordability of these residential properties in terms of type and size of dwelling, due to the level of income earners (average income), in the locations of which they reside.

Disclaimer: The source of data is from the Valuation and Property Services department (JPPH) which officially records a property transaction once the stamp duty for the Sales and Purchase agreement is paid while the source of listing & leads data is from agents’ listings listed at Analytics are based on the data available at the date of publication and may be subject to revision as and when more data becomes available.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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