Have you ever dreamed of living abroad but never found the right time because career and life got in the way? More and more people are thinking about retiring overseas. In fact, with careful planning and consideration, it is no longer out of reach for many people who are thinking about living abroad for their retirement years. While there’s no one way to approach retirement, Asia could be an appealing option to many.
After considering several important factors like healthcare, cost of living, climate, and development level, we have come up with a list of countries in Asia to retire. Here’s a look at 5 of the best retirement lifestyle options in Asia.
Malaysia is often cited as the top Asian country to live or retire as an
expatriate. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, spectacular
rainforests, fantastic food and decent climate. Although the country’s official
language is Malay, English is widely spoken in Malaysia.
Malaysia also enjoys a high level of development. In recent years, Malaysia
real estate has attracted more foreign investment. The property buying process
is mature and foreigner-friendly. Yet, Malaysian homes are more affordable than
Singapore and Hong Kong. If you are looking for an affordable option to retire,
Malaysia should be a top priority for retirees. Also, due to its location and
infrastructure development, travelling between countries is extremely easy,
allowing you to explore Asia’s full potential.
Known as “The Land of Smiles,” Thailand has
much to offer in retirees’ desires. The country provides easily accessible
yearly visa renewals for expatriates who have chosen to retire in Thailand,
making the paperwork simplifier and easier. Like Malaysia, Thailand’s selling
points are its low living cost, warm-water coastlines, and tropical climates.
Because of the long-established foreign community, you can gain access to many
social events, activities and clubs. It makes your retirement life more fun and
Housing options include modern condos, beachfront homes and modern gated
communities. Thailand’s real estate market is growing steadily. Interested
buyers, it’s time to do your research and discover your new home!
Vietnam offers beautiful landscapes, colourful local culture and a low cost of
living. However, the country doesn’t make things easy when it comes to visas
and residency. To retire in Vietnam, one of the options is to apply for a
business or investor visa, which could allow you to remain in the country full
Vietnam’s real estate industry is booming. Rental yield can reach up to 6%-8%
in popular areas. If you are looking for a comfortable retirement life in
Vietnam, you can research the local real estate market. Maybe you can earn some
extra money from the property market to make your retirement life even more
4. Sri Lanka
Like other Asian countries, Sri Lanka is known for its fantastic cultures, low
cost of living and beautiful landscapes. Sri Lanka offers a “Dream Home Visa
Programme”, which allows foreign nationals over 55 to stay in the country. It
also provides a steady temperature year-round. To qualify for the programme,
you need to invest monetary capital in a local business. The visa will be
Cambodia has long been one of the most desired
countries to retire. It offers the benefit of beautiful scenery and a warm
climate, and the comfort of a sizeable international connection. It is
effortless to obtain long-term visas in Cambodia. The cost of living in
Cambodia allows retirees to live a comfortable and luxurious life. Real estate
and food are very cheap here. Overall, some expats claim they can live on a
$1,500 monthly budget comfortably already.
To retire overseas is a big decision. It is like having your second home! Make
sure you do comprehensive research on everything like real estate, visa policy,
cost of living, healthcare system and so on!
5 Reasons Why Vietnam Is Becoming Asia’s Latest Property Hotspot
2020 is a challenging year for global investors. While no country can avoid the pandemic’s economic downturn, the prospects of Vietnam real estate remain positive and are the brightest among Asian countries. This article highlights 5 crucial factors driving foreign buyers’ interest in this rising Southeast Asian country.
1. Growing economy 2020 is a challenging year for global investors. But Vietnam has received international praise for its efficient and effective response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While no country can avoid the pandemic’s economic downturn, the prospects of Vietnam real estate remain optimistic and are the brightest among Asian countries. Data released by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam estimated a 1.81 percent growth to Vietnam’s GDP in the first half of 2020. The estimation is encouraging as Vietnam is one of the few countries that achieved positive growth during the pandemic.
2. Foreigners friendly policy It used to be very difficult for foreigners to own property in Vietnam. But now, thanks to the Vietnamese government’s support, buying a property in Vietnam has become easier for foreigners. Since 2015, foreigners can purchase as many real estate units as they want, provided that they do not buy more than 30 percent of the units in each new residential project. Foreigners are also allowed to use and control the land they lease with a leasehold period of up to 50-70 years. If you want to find out more details, speak to a Vietnam real estate expert to find more.
3. Improved infrastructure The urban development in Vietnam has been a miracle, and the Vietnamese government is very supportive. Various expressway projects are being planned or under construction to improve connectivity within major cities. For example, the North-South expressway is a Vietnamese expressway running from Hanoi to Cần Thơ. It has been described as Vietnam’s future transport foundation. The expressway will be 1,941 km long, with a total cost estimate of US$18.5 billion. Meanwhile, with rapid urbanization, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are building rapid transit systems in the hope of reducing private vehicle ownership and improving air quality. The ambitious infrastructure plan will undoubtedly bring many benefits to the Vietnam real estate market.
4. Affordable prices The good thing about Vietnam is that it is a fast-growing country. In Vietnam, home prices are considered very affordable compared to traditional property hotspots such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The average price of apartments in Hanoi is estimated to be US$1,493 per sq. m. in Q2 2020. Despite rising prices, Vietnam’s luxury apartments seem like an attractive deal for wealthy investors who used to sky-high prices back home or in countries like Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
5. Offer great yields Rental yield is the return on investment in percent (%) when comparing the property’s current value to the rental income. In Vietnam, yields can reach up to 6%-8%, especially in popular areas. According to multiple sources, Hanoi offers the greatest yields compared to other cities. Thanks to its strategic location, the capital is becoming extremely popular among the Asian real estate community. Flying to Hanoi takes you less than 2 hours from Hong Kong and about 5 hours from Shanghai. Real estate experts also expect property rental yields to further rise in the future as demand increases.
Want to buy property in Vietnam? Reach out to a trusted real estate community for more information!
Vietnam is booming! Forget about the
traditional real estate hotspots like Hong Kong and Singapore. Vietnam is
becoming Asia’s latest property hotspot. In 2015, Vietnam opened up to foreign
real estate investors, and it has become one of the hottest topics among the
real estate community ever since. Currently, foreigners can purchase as many
real estate units as they want, provided that they do not buy more than 30
percent of the units in each new residential project.
With a relatively strong economy (data released by the General Statistics
Office of Vietnam estimated a 1.81 percent growth to Vietnam’s GDP in the first
half of 2020. The numbers are promising as Vietnam is one of few countries that
achieved positive growth during the pandemic) and an ambitious infrastructure
plan. The property market in Vietnam is enticing and offers excellent yields.
For newbies, you may have heard of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. But Vietnam is
more than that. In this article, we’ll introduce 4 cities that you should pay
attention to in 2021.
Hanoi is the country’s capital and the second-largest
city. It is also the cultural and industrial centre. Life in Hanoi is very
enchanting for those who love to explore Vietnamese history and culture. The
city retains its Old Quarter, which features very distinctive Vietnamese
architecture and tradition. Meanwhile, Hanoi is where embassies, start-ups, and
NGOs locate, which increases the size of the rental market. The average price
of apartments in Hanoi is estimated to be US$1,493 per sq. m. in Q2 2020.
Despite rising prices, Hanoi’s luxury apartments seem like an attractive deal
for wealthy investors from regions like Hong Kong and mainland China. Thanks to
its strategic location, flying to Hanoi takes you less than 2 hours from Hong
Kong and about 5 hours from Shanghai.
Ho Chi Minh City
Being the largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi
Minh City is praised as Vietnam’s economic hub. It has attracted the largest
expats because it is the largest financial and economic hub in the country. The
rapid growth of the population increases the demand for apartments. For years,
Ho Chi Minh City led Vietnam in terms of FDI attraction. In 2017, there were
7,494 projects issued with valid investment certificates, accounting for 13.9%
of the country’s total FDI. Ho Chi Minh City has 11 industrial zones with a
total area of more than 1,700 hectares; practically anything of business
significance happening in Vietnam goes through Ho Chi Minh City. Real estate
experts believe the real estate market of Ho Chi Minh City will remain strong
in the coming years.
Nha Trang Looking for luxury holiday flats? Nha Trang is for you! Being the coastal area of central Vietnam, the economy of Nha Trang rises significantly. Nha Trang is well known for its beaches and scuba diving and has developed into a popular destination for international visitors. While the tourism industry is greatly affected by the pandemic, it will bounce back as Vietnam has received international praise for its efficient and effective response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nha Trang is the city to watch in 2021!
In 2017, Da Nang was chosen to host the
APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, a sign to show its importance to the country. Da
Nang is only hours away from significant domestic and foreign markets such as
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, China and India, making a favourable destination for
foreign real estate investment. According to real estate experts, the most
popular properties for foreign investors in Da Nang are high-end resorts,
hotels and beachfront villas.
real estate agents, we both hate and love the Internet. On one hand, it is now
easier to find clients and promote oneself, but on the other hand, the market
is getting much more competitive. The online way or the traditional way, which
one is better? Let’s find out.
real estate expert
👍🏻Easier to secure clients
Usually, when clients come to
consult you face-to-face, they’re not just “browsing around”, especially for making
an important financial decision like real estate equity investments. They
probably heard about you from a friend and did a little market comparison and
research before they decide to talk to you. Clients do not want to waste their
time and effort to compare many agents and agencies. In these cases, all you
have to do is be prepared for the meeting, show the clients your expertise and
share your professional experiences. If your first impression is good enough,
the clients will probably hire you right away.
👎🏻Limited marketing channels
Traditional marketing channels for real
estate experts can be limited. There are not a lot of platforms, like Denzity, for
you to showcase your expertise or communicate with your potential clients. So,
it can be challenging to find clients. All you can do is treat every job
seriously and hope that your clients will introduce you to their friends.
real estate expert
👍🏻More room for you to shine
Social media is a whole new planet
for you to explore. With social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook,
every individual can do their branding. Under this competitive environment,
most real estate experts have a few areas of expertise, like Malaysia real
estate market, Vietnam real estate equity investment, or feng shui. Agents can
share their insights on these social media platforms and reach out to potential
clients. Now there are even prop-tech platforms like Denzity where you can communicate
with potential clients directly online. With the right techniques, you can get
more exposure than ever.
Online meeting technology has
certainly improved greatly under the pandemic. It is now easy to do video calls
no matter where you are, all you need is a stable Internet connection. You can
easily communicate with your clients, answer their questions more promptly, and
make a better impression. Agents can also join online real estate community
groups to share their professional experiences and insights into real estate
equity investment enthusiasts. Online communication allows agents to interact
with other experts and learn from each other.
estate agent market is more competitive
Clients can now browse the profile
of thousands of real estate experts in like three hours with the Internet. This
makes agents harder to stand out in the crowd. Yet, you can treat this as an
opportunity to develop your specialty. Become an expert in a particular niche,
like rental problems, oversea real estate equity investments, or immigration.
This way you can attract more clients and stay competitive.
It is important to maintain your
edge in this competitive environment. To do so, you have to invest in yourself.
Be your public relations and marketing manager. Build your reputation by creating
an online profile. Show the world what you’ve got. Join Denzity today and get
your name listed on our extensive directory so that you can reach out to your
potential clients. If you have anything particularly interesting you want to
share, or you’re specialized in a certain area in real estate equity
investment, let us know and maybe you will be the next real estate expert featured
in our latest educational series Denzity Insights!
you can practically find anything online. Especially during the pandemic,
online shopping has become the prominent trend. You can buy food, clothes, and
services online, and even real estate expert services. Some people may think
that real estate equity investment is too “serious” to be done online, however,
there could be more pros than cons. Let’s look at the difference between online
real estate expert and face-to-face consultation.
Face-to-face real estate expert
For traditional real estate agents, marketing
relies heavily on offline strategies like direct sales. Agents and agencies can
only build their reputations step by step with years of experience and
excellent services. Customers usually decide to hire a particular real estate
expert because their friends and families endorsed his or her service. This
gives customers more confidence, knowing that they are in good hands.
do it the old-school way, you probably have to visit the real estate expert to
start the consultation process. During the pandemic, it can be difficult to
find a safe place to talk for hours. Also, for an investment as big as a real
estate equity investment, you may want to compare the prices and fees of
several agencies before you make a decision. You will then have to spend some
time and effort to talk to a few real estate experts, and then compare their
services manually. Just think about the workload.
Online real estate expert
👍🏻More sources of information
the past, if you want to know more about a niche in real estate equity
investment, you have to go to a local real estate agency and read their posters
or brochures. If you are looking to invest in an oversea real estate market,
let’s say, the Malaysia real estate market, then it could be a little
troublesome because local real estate agencies may not have substantial
information on this subject. Yet, now you can easily search online for
information about other real estate markets. There are even prop-tech platforms
like Denzity for you to look for real estate experts with specific expertise,
like Vietnam real estate market, Malaysia real estate development, and feng
👍🏻More extensive background search
With more choices comes more
considerations when making decisions. To choose the best agent, comparison and
background search are essential. You can utilize the Internet to do a more
thorough background search on your agents.
👍🏻More channels to find agents
Instead of asking your friends who
had purchased real estate before or checking out local real estate agencies one
by one, you can now go online to do so. There are endless ways to find a real estate
agent now. For instance, you can use Denzity’s directory to find the real estate
expert that is just right for you. After figuring out what you want, you can apply
the filter and browse real estate experts specialized in the area you’re
interested in, like feng shui or Vietnam real estate market.
The Internet not only makes our lives easier but also scammer’s businesses. Let’s be honest here, there certainly are scammers in the real estate equity investment business. That’s why it is important to do research and seek consultation from credible organisations. For example, Denzity is a third-party platform for you to learn more about real estate equity investment and browse lists of unaffiliated real estate agents.
Do you prefer the online way or the traditional way? Let us know in the comment section.
shui, a forever mysterious yet intriguing topic. Some may call it superstition,
yet some find it magical and terrifyingly accurate. Yet, there are many
scammers out there trying to make a fortune by misinterpreting this ancient school
of study. Based on what we sourced from our experts and community, let’s bust the
4 most common feng shui myths about real estate equity investment today.
Points of fortune
are the most important thing in a flat
When decorating a new home, most people will consider placing the right furniture on the right points on fortune, for example, placing the children’s room on “ the point of academia” to improve academic results. However, merely considering the positions of these points of fortune are not enough. The exact positions of these points should be calculated carefully with consideration of the time of the year, the birth year of the house owner, and the position of the flat itself. In simpler words, the points of fortune are different in every flat. Some feng shui amateurs may try to determine these spots by themselves after reading a few articles online, and that may not be a good idea. To achieve the most desirable result, you should find a feng shui master to calculate the points of fortune specific to your flat and your fate. You can check out Denzity’s new directory to find trust-worthy and credible real estate experts who specialize in feng shui.
are bad and should be avoided at all cost
feng shui rules will tell you to avoid flats facing roads. This rule sounds
simple enough, yet it may not be as definite as you think. There are various
types of roads, and you have to consider the nature of the road. If it is a
straight and long highway, this is probably not good for your health. However,
if the road is short and wide, or maybe decorated by trees on the side, then it
may even be good for you.
Feng shui rule
books should be followed word by word
Feng shui is an ancient science. It was developed in ancient China, and we can all agree that real estate equity investment has changed a long way. One of the major differences would be the shapes of the flats. In the past, people usually built houses by themselves, and houses were built in rectangles or squares. Yet, nowadays, the shapes of flats are determined by developers and to save spaces, most of the flats in Hong Kong are not in rectangular shapes. Even for markets less competitive like the Malaysia real estate market and Vietnam real estate market, it is very rare to find a perfectly rectangular flat. That creates a problem because ancient feng shui relied heavily on the relationship of the flat with the surrounding environment. With the change in building structure, it is unreasonable to follow the old rules because some of them may not be applicable anymore. Check out our conversation with the feng shui master on Denzity Insights to learn more about modern feng shui practices.
Feng shui DIY is ok, as long as I follow the advice of
feng shui masters
It is now easy to look up some
simple feng shui rules online, but it is never that simple. Feng shui is a
complicated subject and sometimes, a small change can make a big difference. Unable
to examine the situation individually, feng shui masters usually give generic advice
on television or online. For example, they may say metals are good in offices
for people born in the year of dragon, so you hang a decorative sword on the wall,
not knowing that sharp metal objects are harmful to your fate. Therefore, it is
always the best to consult a trustworthy feng shui master.
Do you have any interesting stories
about real estate equity investment? Share with us in the comment section!
When considering an investment in the
oversea property market, Hongkongers tend to choose somewhere cheap and
somewhere near, making the South East Asia property market a very popular
choice. Among common choices like Malaysia real estate market and Thailand real
estate market, Vietnam real estate market is one of the favorites of Hong Kong
investors. The property price in Vietnam is relatively low yet the market has great
potentials. Here are some of the FAQs about real estate equity investment in
Q: Can Hong Kong citizens purchase Vietnam real estate?
A: Yes and no. It is okay for foreigners
to purchase real estate in Vietnam, yet foreigners cannot purchase the land. In
other words, foreigners can only have land use right, but not land ownership.
However, with more and more foreigners investing in Vietnam real estate market,
the limitations concerning real estate equity investment for foreigners have
been more lenient.
Q: Where can I find a real estate agent for Vietnam real estate equity
A: To suit the needs of foreign
investors, most Vietnam real estate agencies can be found online. However, some
of the sites do not provide an English or Chinese translation, so there may be
some communication barriers. In that case, you can check out Denzity’s
directory to look for Vietnam real estate experts. With the brand-new search
filters, you can easily sort out real estate experts who specialize in Vietnam real
Q: What kind of taxes and fees do I have to pay when investing in
Vietnam real estate market?
A: It is more or less the same as in
Hong Kong. Investors have to pay value-added tax and registration tax for
ownership. If you intend to let your property out for rent, you also have to
pay personal income tax. To ensure you don’t miss any important fees, you’re
advised to consult a Vietnam real estate expert. Where to find one you ask?
Denzity has an extensive selection of real estate experts all over the world
specializing in different sectors like tax, rental issues, and even feng shui.
We’re sure you can find one that suits your needs.
Q: Can I do a mortgage in Vietnam banks?
A: No. It is shockingly hard for
foreigners to apply for a mortgage in Vietnam unless you’re married to a
Vietnam citizen, or have oversea Vietnam citizenship. The most common practice
will be an installment plan. Vietnam banks usually require buyers to travel to
Vietnam and hand in the documents by person. Remember to keep all the bank
records to protect yourself.
Q: Can I let my property for rent in Vietnam?
A: Yes. Yet if you’re in Hong Kong,
note that the currency used in Vietnam VND is not a major currency in Hong
Kong, so when you transfer the money back to Hong Kong, you may need to pay a
higher transfer fee. This also applies to all the fees you have to pay when
purchasing Vietnam real estate. Some of the banks and agencies don’t even
accept USD. Do check twice with your real estate expert and compare the fees of
different money transfer channels before you decide which one is the best for
Purchasing Vietnam real estate
market is indeed a good investment choice. Yet, with the language barriers, it
is preferred to find a real estate expert in Hong Kong specialized in Vietnam
real estate market to assist you along the purchase process. Go to Denzity
today and start your real estate equity investment journey!
Today’s episode is about the Malaysian real estate market with Jensen. Comparing to the Amos episode, he shares more on the commercial side, industrial side, and how to purchase land as a foreign investor.
Jensen Siow is the Assistant Sales Manager for a real estate development firm Capital City in Johor Bahru, Malaysia which focuses on property developments in Johor Bahru. He is also practicing his Real Estate Agent (REA) license in SLP Malaysia, an international real estate agency which has more than 40 residential projects and 70 industrial projects in Malaysia alone. Prior to joining the two companies, Jensen was with another developer – IJM Land, a prominent Malaysia real estate development company.
Investing in Malaysia as a foreigner
Which areas to look into for commercial investment?
How do investors differ sector to sector?
What are the government regulations for overseas investors?
What are the limitations?
As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.
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Private viewing auctions: Unlike open auction, private auction is only open to a selected group of buyers. The exclusive buyers get the chance to take part in the auction and place bids even before the property is available in the open market.
Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!
Darren: Well Jensen, welcome to the show.
Jensen: Hi, yes, hi Darren.
Darren: Yeah, so like I want to tell the audience how I know you and before this interview, because I know you through a really good friend called Harold and he told me about you because I was trying to find someone from Malaysia to talk about the real estate market. And it’s just funny because after all along back and forth, I finally have a conversation with you and you know in a better world, I wish I could have a beer with you to talk about each other because this whole notion of this whole Denzity Insight is to relax a little bit, talk about what’s going on. And I really wish the audience know more about the Malaysian market and what to do if they come to invest in your area.
Jensen: Yes, yes, yes, thank you. Thank you for having me here. Yes, thank you. I appreciate it.
Darren: Would you mind telling the audience a bit about yourself and then your work?
Jensen: Ok, firstly, I’m actually working for both companies in Malaysia, in Johor Bahru and it’s just right next to Singapore. I am working for a property development company called Capital Well, Limited. OK, so I’m doing sales and marketing for the company and on the other hand, I’m actually doing the real estate practicing my real estate agent license in SLP Malaysia, which is an international company. And we have more than 40 projects in Malaysia myself, residential and 70 industrial projects in relation. So yeah. So I’m actually doing like seven days a week.
Darren: That’s good. That’s the real estate life.
Jensen: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Darren: Because like I’ve done an interview with a good friend of yours, Amos, and before that I was talking and thinking about how it’s very interesting because a lot of investors or audiences are watching are partly residential, but commercial, industrial is something that we obviously want to cover. And at the same time you is that you want to know people what’s going on in different sectors, that maybe they consider that, hey, you know what, let’s find something, a very small commercial building or industrial buildings or a floor of it. And so this conversation is more about residential, commercial, industrial and other opportunities, that these people want to know more what’s going on in Malaysia. So let’s get straight to it. So for the audience who might not know about or is familiar with Malaysia, what are the area which overseas investors tend to be interested in? And then would you mind giving the audience a bit more about the neighborhood and give the audience the bigger picture, what’s going on?
Jensen: Yeah, totally. Okay, so basically there’s this thing called the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), there are these data from the NAPIC. There’s actually three popular areas and NAPIC is actually a government statistical website for Malaysia where you can find all your information regarding properties. So these three cities that I’m about to say, they have the most international awareness as well as all the embassies so basically in these three major cities. Okay, so I’ll compare it with cities like in China. And so the first one is Kuala Lumpur, which is like Beijing in China. So Kuala Lumpur all the embassies are in and it’s the capital of Malaysia. So that’s the first place where overseas investor would actually look into. And secondly, we are looking at Johor Bahru, which comparatively is Shenzhen to Hong Kong. So basically Johor Bahru is Shenzhen and Hong Kong is Singapore. So Johor Bahru is actually just right next to Singapore. And it’s about 20 minutes drive from the bridge over the Cross Bridge. Okay, so a lot of embassies, a lot of Singapore companies are in Johor Bahru as well. This is where people focus all their investments on. And that third one, it’s actually an up north city building called Penang. That one we can compare it to Hangzhou. Hangzhou in China. So its culture is a tourist destination and, of course, a lot of investments are actually there so a lot of the investors actually look into these three places because the price appreciation is good. The rental return are good. And these are three major big cities in Malaysia.
Darren: Actually have you been to China before? It sounds like you’re familiar with the country.
Jensen: Yeah, I’ve actually been to China like four or five times, yeah, for business and pleasure.
Darren: I see, because it’s good that like because like obviously this channel we’re from Hong Kong and then a lot of people might not have been to Malaysia before and actually might have been to Beijing or like Hangzhou or other places. So I think it’s a really good comparison to give people to understand what’s going on. So for the audience that might be interested in Malaysia real estate, would you mind giving them an update of the market? And then I’m aware that, like, you know, we talked about this before, not only that you done residential, you do commercial and then retail and industrial and other other asset class. Like, obviously, I’m not going to ask you to do like a three hours deep dive of what’s going on. Would you mind covering a little bit about each property type?
Jensen: Yeah, of course, of course, happy to do that. Okay, basically what we got from the government statistics website as well, from 2016 to 2019, just last year, Okay. Property prices have been going upwards, upward trend. So interestingly, there’s actually two main types of property. I don’t know about Hong Kong, but in here it’s actually called a retail and commercial are actually a bond one we call it commercial in Malaysia. So for commercial, there’s actually a very good trend in Kuala Lumpur, which is worth noticing. It’s because in the Kuala Lumpur where my office lots like they sell the inside building, they sell the office lots to individual landlords. This is actually gaining attraction because of the co-working space around Kuala Lumpur and we have more than 90 percent occupancy. So if anyone is actually looking into investing in commercial lot in Malaysia, that could be something to dive into, something to dig into. And we go into residential lots okay, interestingly, as of now, there’s about a 130 000 residential lots, whether they are completed or whether they are not completed, they are still on the market. So for anyone who actually wants to dive into investing in a residential property in Malaysia, that’s one there, a lot of options, a lot of lines.
Darren: I see. Yeah. So, you know, like obviously, you covered three main places in Malaysia, and it’s a huge country right, and then obviously this channel is to talk about, you know, the little dirt or like inside scoop that no one has really thought about before. So one thing I always ask, like a lot interview is this that are any popular areas or types of properties that you think are overrated or underrated at the same time?
Jensen: Ok, I am going to be very frank. I’m from Melaka myself, Melaka is actually a historical city, but the investments there it’s quite overrated. Melaka itself, okay it’s basically one and a half hour away from Kuala Lumpur. Why? Because fundamentally, Melaka, as a city, it has only 600 000 – 700 000 population which does not suffice the spending power; the affordability of the people living in Melaka cannot cater for the price appreciation of properties. So although, yes, Melaka is an UNESCO, a Heritage area, it’s a touristy place and stuff, but in terms of investing a property, a commercial or residential property in Melaka, it’s actually slightly overrated because you don’t really get the rental returns and you don’t really get the price appreciation because the population is small.
Darren: Yeah, yeah, I see that’s good, I’ve actually never heard of that before. No, no, it’s good. It is really good.
Jensen: I actually feel bad saying that about my own city but yeah.
Darren: Well you got to separate it then right, as a rational investors, you got to try to suppress the emotion and really think about what’s your money, because a lot of time, a lot of investors, they think too much about the emotion, they neglect that what’s practicality. And sometimes that the money is for your savings, for your family, for your retirement. There’s something that you have to be aware of. So it’s good that you pointed it out. And I’m sure you say out loud because you just want the audience to know more about what is the better choice in terms of whether or not and then it is their choice to think about if that’s true or not too so, you know, like when we first started right, you talked about residential, you have two different companies you work for and there’s commercial, retail, there’s industrial, there’s so many different focuses right. You know, it’s something that I want to know personally too, how do you manage to keep in touch with so many different markets and so many different types?
Jensen: To be honest, it’s impossible to keep up with the entire Southeast Asia market, not let alone even in Malaysia, but fortunately I’ve been working seven days a week and working with them, the first hanging out with property agents, with the people who work in property. So I get all this information from bits and pieces of information, from WhatsApp, from emails, from Facebook and stuff. But the bottom line is this: property, it’s always supply and demand, which pushes the price up and down. So basically the bread and butter to a property investment is actually the full site to the market as in what you think of the market. So it’s really hard to catch up. It’s really hard to follow all the markets at once. But if you really want to, if you really have the heart to actually invest or learn about a market, you can actually learn from all the information that are readily available online.
Darren: Yeah, like this platform.
Jensen: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Darren: Pretty much because I think I told you about my background. I use to work for a fund. We worked in the Paris market, we worked in UK, in Japan. And then I have so many things that I’m not really good at because there’s so many things going on that’s why I want to personally ask you too, because maybe some investors like the audience at the moment are looking at three or four different places or three different, four different areas in Malaysia that might be just hard to keep in touch. So which comes to the next one and obviously, like Denzity tries to bridge the gap. What other places can the audience learn more about the Malaysia real estate market?
Jensen: Right now, we’re all connected via internet. So the biggest two websites, I mean, you can find a link. The biggest two websites in Malaysia, legit websites is PropertyGuru.com as well as Iproperty.com. But these places, there are a lot of information crowded around. You have a lot of price and a lot of agents and advertisements on it. So still, yes, you can find a property and you can use the websites as a reference, but most importantly, you have to find a trusted party in the locality itself, in Malaysia itself, to actually if you really want to invest in Malaysian properties, I think that’s why Denzity was actually born to build this.
Darren: Hopefully, yeah. Well, first of all, if Iproperty.com or Property Guru sees this, pay me advertising please, you know we should get as many costs. But then it is something that is like interesting right because a lot of places are hard to find. So hopefully this will mean more than the media.
Jensen: Of course, of course.
Darren: So you know, like I said before, when I introduced you and then I told the audience that I know you through Harold. And both you and Harold, use to study abroad in Australia like I work in the Australian market. And then obviously the reason why I’m asking is because I wanted to know, like, if you learn something about real estate in Malaysia, do you apply that kind of thinking in Australia, different markets?
Jensen: The fundament.Yes, I mean, I graduated since 2015 sorry I mean, I graduated in 2011, work for four years in Australia, in the retail industry then I came back to Malaysia since the 2015 so I’ve never caught up with the market in Australia. But I think fundamentally, properties are the same in Malaysia and in Australia. I think the price goes up and down and stuff, but the thinking and the transaction and the process is totally different in Australia, they have open houses there, they have private viewing auctions whereby you could just drive the price up. But in Malaysia, it’s totally different. We do not have that kind of system. So yes and no. Yeah, yeah. We do not have those kind of system.
Darren: So there’s no over viewing and stuff like that? There’s no such thing?
Jensen: No, no. There’s no open auction. There’s no private viewing and stuff before auction.
Darren: So if I invest, how will i know if that asset is good? Let’s say this right, how do you assess the credentials or the real estate asset?
Jensen: Interestingly, for auction properties in Malaysia for properties that are on auction in Malaysia are basically properties that require a fire sale, meaning the landlord has gone bankrupt or meaning the landlord is in need cash to pay debt.
Darren: Oh for the foreclosure.
Jensen: Yeah, yeah foreclosure, a foreclosure. But these type of properties, you can’t actually go inside to view all the properties, even if you really want to buy it, you cannot just go in and find a sentimental value, whether is the property good, whether is the property bad and stuff.
Darren: Really? Okay.
Jensen: Yes, yes. Yes.
Darren: So, question right, so can I hire someone else like an appraiser or surveyor to look into it or another due diligence, kind of like a party to do that or no one can do it?
Jensen: You can hire, but then no one is allowed to actually enter the property itself.
Darren: Wow, I didn’t know that.
Jensen: Yeah, that is actually part of the auction properties, but for private properties which are on sale on the open market, you can actually do that, you can just go to a private viewing.
Darren: Oh that’s good. Yeah I understand. That’s an interesting question right, because I was like, “Woah, you cannot see what I want to buy?” It’s like, hey, you know, maybe it’s Bentley, like people always joke around saying that, like, “Oh, you can’t try it until you buy it.” So it’s interesting. So I was wondering too right, in your experience, have you worked with different people with different nationality in terms of like investors? Because I always want to know, like different investors, like Malaysian investors, Chinese investors or other different culture, like do they act differently or would they look at real estate differently?
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Jensen: Yeah, I basically deal more with investors from Singapore or from Malaysia, so only these two countries. So most people are from Singapore or Malaysia and basically everyone’s looking for the cheapest deal and the best location.
Darren: So this straight up. That’s what they want.
Jensen: Yeah, straight up. That’s it.
Darren: Oh, okay. How about for self use or investment only. Do they do they think about it differently?
Jensen: With self use, they would actually buy at a location, which they actually prefer. But for investment, I have met a lot of investment, I mean, investors throughout the entirety of my career area, Investors actually they don’t look at like how beautiful is the house or how many square feet and stuff. Investors they just go for the ROI, they go for a return on investment, how much they can make in a year. So the aesthetic of the house are not the concern that these people get.
Darren: And does that apply to residential and commercial as well like for different asset class?
Jensen: Yeah, totally.
Darren: I see, okay, because I know some people in investment only they still want to have this beautiful place and everything. So I think obviously there’s always different people, different ways of looking at it. So just one thing that I’m wondering.
Jensen: Yeah, but that’s from own judgment. From my own opinion.
Darren: Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, obviously this channel is more about overseas investors. So I’m sure they would be interested to know about the limitations. Is there any limitation for overseas investors and what kind of things do they need to be aware of when investing in Malaysia?
Jensen: Ok, surprisingly in Malaysia, you can actually – a foreigner can actually own 100% of a property. There’s no restriction whatsoever. However, in most of the cities in Malaysia, foreigners can only purchase houses which are one million ringgit and above. One million, that’s the bottom line. So that’s the minimum price to purchase a property. And of course it’s something to note for properties in Malaysia in a certain in every single neighborhood or every single project, that’s always 30% to 40%, which are reserved for the only Bumiputera in Malaysia and Bumiputera are like the Aboriginals of Malaysia. So 40% is reserved for them. So make sure if oversea investors, they would like to make a deposit down in Malaysia, buy a property, make sure it’s not a Bumiputera title. If not, you can never have the property. Yeah. And of course, if you want to lend from a bank in Malaysia, a Malaysian bank, the margin of finance that you can get is only 70%. So if you’re borrowing one million ringgit from the bank, so, I mean, if the house price is one million ringgit, OK, you can only get 700 000 worth of loans from the bank. That’s the maximum. Yeah. So that’s the certain trust holds and stuff.
Darren: I see. So like, you know, Malaysia obviously is the growth. I’m sure you see the growth coming up for past couple years and everything. Where do you think we are in the market and what’s your opinion like is for the next three years time?
Jensen: I actually did a little bit of research on this. Okay, so basically, according to data from WorldBank, we are actually 24th place in terms of the east of doing business around the globe. So it makes it a very internationalized economy and it makes it very diversified in export and import. And of course the geographical location of Malaysia is actually quite strategically located between China as well as towards Europe and America. One that one road initiative. So, yeah, that’s why. So in the next three to five years, we can see an increase of foreign investors being in Malaysia. So that will actually drive the entire property market up despite what’s going on from Covid, Covid is some external lease which happens then and there.
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Darren: So what other tips and advice do you have, if you don’t mind sharing with the audience when it comes to choosing different regions in Malaysia?
Jensen: Oh, okay. So in terms of if you are actually looking to settle in Malaysia, looking to buy an investment in Malaysia, if you are a foreigner the first thing you need to do is you need to see what sort of area you’re looking for, which area do you feel more comfortable with. So let’s say in Beijing, in terms of the China market as it is, Beijing, Hangzhou, wherever. So secondly, you need to differentiate because in Malaysia there’s something very interesting. In either rental income which is high, it’s like a dividend or it’s actually price depreciation, which is high. So you need to do it in terms of investing. You need to understand if you want rental income, which is normally in Malaysia, commonly it’s platinum, which are in the centralized location or you want price appreciation, which you look for lender properties in Malaysia.
So my advice is go do research online, but do engage a trusted person in Malaysia to purchase your property and that way you can for sure know that it’s a good investment and stuff.
Darren: I see. So I think that like just now you mentioned that I think a foreign investor can also own 100 percent. So I guess that is a freehold, that means the land as well. So if an investor are interested in purchasing land, what is the challenge of things that they need to be aware of when it comes to that?
Jensen: Okay, there is two lands, which cannot be purchased by overseas investors, foreigners. One, agricultural land, and second, is Malay Reserved Land. These two lands are definitely off the chart for foreigners. Okay, but one thing that is the most challenging in terms of purchasing a land in Malaysia is actually getting the state governments consent with every purchase of every single land in Malaysia, you have to apply a application to write into state government like, why are you buying this land for is it for building properties, for building factories and stuff? And then approval could be six months to two or three years.
Darren: That’s a long time.
Jensen: Yeah. Yeah. So that would jeopardize the entire cash flow. I mean for foreign investors who wants to buy land in Malaysia, that is something to look out for and that’s that’s a challenge.
Darren: So just two questions I have with that. Let’s start with the first one. What dictates a land as agricultural use. Number two, is that so, you know, you said it takes six months to two years right, what are things that would make it take so long? Like what kind of things are people looking at that would be better when it comes to purchasing land? Like what other tips you have?
Jensen: The first question is regarding what dictates of agricultural land? Okay, what do you think as an agricultural land it’s from the zoning planning of the state government because state government actually plans the entire zoning of the city and a town. So certain lands are already reserved for agriculture, so for the rubble plantations and I forgot what was the other one but yeah. So these lands are really defined as agricultural. So you cannot purchase that property.
Darren: So for the second one, how about like why does it take six months to 12 months to go through and what are some things that you can do in order to allow the government to be faster?
Jensen: Because every single application that needs to be submitted in, there’s actually an entire very lengthy process to say yes to different endings. Okay, so six to 24 months, it’s just a ballpark, sometimes it takes even longer. So if you have it well planned out for your final building construction and stuff and if you know yeah, and that’s about it.
Darren: Next time we’ll grab a drink and we’ll ask the same question again, okay? It’s okay, I think this conversation is great because I have a lot of questions regarding that. But so let’s say this right, an investor, the audience that have the money, a little bit more money to consider different asset class, like for example say, hey, you know, I don’t have to put money in residential, I can put money industrial, commercial and so on. Which type would you suggest them to consider if they can do that?
Jensen: Which type of investment costs?
Darren: No not investment costs.
Let’s say this right, for example, if I have a little bit of money where I can consider different asset costs, commercial, industrial retail, like many, many more or residential. Which type of property type would you suggest them to consider?
Jensen: Generally speaking, if you have a lot of money and generally speaking, the trend is like this, if you are purchasing like I said before, if you’re purchasing an apartment, a residential apartment or shop lot, which is a shop lot where people do business in Malaysia like has a long car tire shop and stuff, these two are more stable in terms of rental income. If you’re purchasing lender property, which are more to its own use, when people stay in lender properties in Malaysia, that’s more towards price appreciation because the rental market for lender property isn’t that great in Malaysia. So it’s depending which kind of return you are seeking for.
Darren: I see, that’s cool. That’s something that I was curious, not like I have it but then if people in the audience have it, it’s something they would consider. So you know, I think this has been a really great interview. So what kind of takeaway do you have for the audience before they go?
Jensen: Takeaway, Okay yeah, so basically my general piece of advice is, if you’re looking to invest in Malaysia, really look carefully at the title before you put in your deficit. That’s very important. 40% of the houses foreigners can’t buy. Okay, and secondly, have a trusted agent in Malaysia that could help you with your property purchases. And of course, lastly, look at the rules and regulations from your local governments. It can be from China, Hong Kong, America. Look for those rules and regulations and restrictions in terms of investing overseas.
Darren: Oh, theres a restriction on different nationality.
Jensen: No, I mean, your own country. If you’re from China, then you have your Chinese – the Chinese actually have the investment restriction.
Darren: Yeah. Yeah that’s good. That’s good. So, you know, I think I’m sure a lot of people have questions regarding Malaysian real estate. What are a couple of ways that people can reach out to you and talk to you more about working together or more about the Malaysian real estate?
Jensen: Definitely. You can find me on my LinkedIn account, which is Jensen Siow or you can add my WeChat. My WeChat ID is Machokidd if not, you can always email me my email address @email@example.com.
Darren: Obviously I will include everything in the show notes and I must say this is a blast. Thank you so much for your time and efforts. And then I want to do part two with you in the future and then let’s keep in touch. And hopefully we’ll have a second round and you can come in, tell me more about what’s going on and yeah, I just want to say thanks for your time. Thank you.
Jensen: Definitely, definitely Darren. Thank you.
Darren: Have a good day and then I wish you well and let’s have a drink next time if I ever come to Malaysia, then.
The lack of information in overseas real estate investing and how to solve it
Despite being affected by the corona virus outbreak and the increased social distancing restrictions, Hong Kong investors continue to look for overseas real estate investment opportunities vigorously. This growing demand is not going away anytime soon.
2019, Singapore held over 230 overseas property exhibits and Kuala Lumpur
featured 118 exhibitions. Shockingly, a report published by Soho App found that
Hong Kong hosted over 1,626 overseas property exhibitions in 2019 (an average
of more than 31 every week)! The unprecedented amount of exhibitions in Hong
Kong clearly show the Hong Kong investors’ desire for overseas properties has
become a necessity instead of just an investment tool or an immigration tool
for asset allocation. In this period of uncertainty, Hong Kong people are more
inquired about emigration and homeownership overseas. It is critical to
ask, “can I trust the sources handed to me?” If research is not done
thoroughly, investments might not turn out as expected.
for busy people, looking for overseas real estate opportunities is very
troublesome. Conducting research and due diligence take a lot of time and
effort to ensure the information is reliable. Besides knowing who is
trustworthy (such as real estate agents and the developers), every investor has
many worries, uncertainties, and questions while looking for the right
properties for them. “Should I look into the Malaysian real estate market or
the Vietnam real estate market?” “What taxes do I have to pay if I want to
invest in the United Kingdom?” “Where is the best place for me to buy a second
home in Canada?” and many more. Even professional investors have a tough time
finding trustworthy information in real estate! These enormous pains need to be
solved. This is where technology can help to transform the industry.
(Property Technology) is a new global movement that uses technology to create
new opportunities in real estate. By utilizing PropTech, investors can get more
information, tips, and insights by gaining direct access to a community of
industry experts when searching for their real estate investment – saving time
and effort when sourcing information and conducting due diligence. With
experts’ knowledge and insights, investors can make better-informed decisions
like never before. According to the KPMG Global PropTech Survey, 86% of real
estate leaders agree that PropTech brings more opportunities for investments
through more accurate predictions and reliable information. Getting investors
closer to experts can unlock their full potential and succeed in real estate
investments – both locally and abroad.
Denzity (https://www.denzity.io/), a PropTech Hong Kong startup, is a free online resource for investors to learn, network, and find solutions for their overseas real estate investment search by gaining access to a global real estate community of industry experts. By utilizing the technology of the platform, investors can broadcast their questions related to overseas real estate investing to the community. Then, they can get answers directly from real estate experts of the right domain expertise (such as professional real estate agents, developers, world-class investors, advisors and more). By bringing investors closer to experts worldwide, Denzity helps investors to get a better sense of where to invest, what to invest, and how to invest in real estate – saving time while gaining better insights. The more you know, the less fear you’ll have to look for the right property.
Feng shui, the mysterious ancient Chinese science that the world loves. Oriented from China, feng shui is mainly used in architecture for good fortune. Feng shui masters believed that the position of the building and furniture could influence one’s wealth in various aspects. Based on what we sourced from our experts and community, here are some common feng shui ideas for a fortuitous real estate equity investment, even if you’re looking at Southeast Asian real estate markets like Vietnam real estate market or Malaysia real estate market.
Location, location, location
Real estate equity investment is all
about location. We all know that. But this is also true when it comes to feng
shui. It is crucial to look at the position of your preferred building before
you purchase it. For example, it is auspicious to have a roundabout, a mountain,
and a garden near the building. On the other hand, if there is a curved road, a
construction site, or a footbridge near your flat, then it may cause harm to
you and your family’s health. In general, a building with a bright view,
ventilated air, and good lighting will be a safe choice.
Floor number is not the same for everyone
In Chinese culture, the number 4 is considered ominous because it sounds like “death” in Chinese, while number 8 is deemed to be auspicious because it sounds like “fortune”. Therefore, most people will choose floor numbers with 8 and avoid floor numbers with 4. However, feng shui masters suggest that this is not the case. Each number represents a basic element: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth; just like each person. So, it is more important to examine if the floor number matches your own “fate” instead of merely looking at general guidelines. If you’re in doubt, try to seek some inspirations from the latest Denzity series where Denzity founder Darren Wong talks to feng shui real estate expert Allen Kong.
Positions of doors are the key to your fortune
The position of the main door is very important in feng shui. One of the main considerations in feng shui is “Qi”, which roughly translates into “air”, and doors are responsible for the transportation of Qi. There are certain dos and don’ts while designing your flat. The main entrance should not face any other doors, including those inside the flat and those of your neighbors. The main door should not face any windows, lifts, toilets, or kitchens. Pretty complicated right? That’s why people usually hire a feng shui in real estate expert before they start decorating.
Points of fortunes
There are different points of fortunes inside a flat. Feng shui experts will calculate the exact positions of these points according to the time of the year and the flat owner’s fate. To achieve the most from these points, you have to place specific furniture on specific locations. For instance, a piano can be placed on “the point of fortune” because the movement of playing the piano can increase cash flow, and children’s bedroom can be placed in “the point of academia” to improve their academic performances. In contrast, the toilet should not be placed in these two points.
Feng shui has become a hot topic in
recent years in the field of real estate equity investments. Although some may
see it as superstition, some people discovered that feng shui could be
explained by science. For example, it is not only auspicious to separate the
kitchen with the toilet, but also hygienic. Any thoughts on whether feng shui
practices should be applied in real estate equity investments? Let us know in
the comment section!