Real Estate Knowledge

You’ve Saved $100,000 USD – What Property Can You Get?

How expensive is a house, truly? Prices are wildly different around the world, and many markets offer a much lower break-in cost than saturated cities like London or NYC.

While real estate requires a greater financial commitment than other asset classes, the amount needed to own a property is not as high as many think. If a middle aged, well-to-do professional has accrued $100,000 USD in savings, they have opened themselves up to a world of different opportunities.


The hefty sum of $100K USD will easily find a residence in Malaysia. In late 2020, the average home price was approximately $103K USD, with vast discrepancy across locations. For example, a modern penthouse in a glitzy neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur may cost millions of USD, while an apartment in Malacca may go as low as 50,000.

Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers, which dominate the skyline of the up and coming city.

Malaysia’s buzzing property market has followed strong domestic growth and accelerating foreign investment. On top of that, there is an overabundance of homes – the home supply increased by 3.6 annually between 2015 to 2019, over double the population growth rate of 1.6%.


Cambodia has long been a frontier market that has not been as connected to global markets. For that reason – even after a recent surge in foreign investment – prices remain low.

Condos in modern development in the capital of Pnom Phen are easily found in the 50,000-100,000 USD range, and international companies setting up shop means strong future growth.

Pnom Phen, Cambodia’s sprawling capital city, is catching many overseas investors’ eyes.

In addition, the capital lacks expat-quality housing in several areas – especially in in Daun Penh, Chamkarmon, and 7 Makara.

With 100K, the adventurous investor has multiple options: Buy two properties and collect the rent and future return from both. Spend $50,000-$75,000 on one property, and put $20,000 worth of renovation work into it to push the market price well above $100,000.

The Philippines

The Philippines has seen a staggering amount of growth in the last decade as investors and foreign companies have flocked to it. However, investment has been uneven, and certain regions have skyrocketed while others were left behind.

For the private investor, this means a wide variety of options. In Makati and Bonifacio Global City, luxury residential prices can reflect New York or London – definitely out of the 100K USD range.

But for more modest houses outside of the city center, or in Cebu and other provinces, a home can be purchased mortgage-free with the 4.8 million pesos that 100K USD translates to.

Rents have also been surging in metro Manila, which bodes well for the landlord. In 2020, the average rental price of a property in Manila was roughly 154% of the average local monthly salary.

El Nido, one of many idyllic vacation spots whose prices are a fraction of Manila’s Makati & BGC districts.

Developed markets are another story

UK: As of 2021, the average house price in England is £267k, which comes out to USD $376,000.

Australia: Surprisingly, houses are more expensive than ever, as of late 2020 the national average was $853,000 AUD, or USD $656,000 .

Canada: Canada’s average price for a house sits above USD $570,000.

USA: The average house in the US costs USD $347,000.

So what can $100,000 USD be used for?

1. While $100k does not buy outright ownership, it is a high downpayment essentially anywhere in these countries. The higher the down payment, the quicker your ownership is secure and profitable.

2. Alternatively, an investor could pool their $100,000 with family, friends, or likeminded partners, for shared ownership.

3. Investing in buy-to-let property does not require an outright purchase of the property, and with the help of a secure loan can deliver a dual income stream from rent and property appreciation.

4. The prices above reflect an average pulled higher by demand in main metro areas. Selecting a low-price rural or suburban market or future development project can fit a full purchase within the USD $100,000 budget.

The example of Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, property remains absurdly expensive, and residents have increasingly looked abroad to invest their heard earned savings.

Hong Kong property has long since been unsustainably unaffordable.

More than 60,000 residents – or one in every 125 – have a net worth of at least US$5 million. Between the city’s condensed wealth, political tension, and exasperation with exorbitant local prices, sentiment to invest overseas is strong. Hopefully, that will also decrease domestic demand and make housing more affordable.

Hong Kongers – and any investor from similar markets – will find relief in the affordability and high yield of overseas property, and would do well to capitalize on the opportunities.

Now that you’re here…

At Denzity, we help international investors find their next property. If you have any questions about your next purchase, reach out to our team, here. Stay tuned for more location-based articles, investor focused content, and listings from our clients.