Thailand has a coastal second home market culture. Places like Phuket, Pattaya and Hua Hin come to mind. A recent Bangkok Post reports that 75% of Hua Hin’s condominium investors are wealthy Thais. Similarly, a Colliers report estimates Thai investments into Pattaya at about 50%.
Peninsula Malaysia, with parallel coastlines, on the other hand does not have notable coastal oriented real estate developments. That is until recently. The island of Penang has been developing quite intensely with new condominiums constantly up for sale. A current example being the Quayside development by Eastern & Oriental. Closer to Singapore UEM Land has several developments along the Straits of Johor close to the second bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore.
Perhaps the most significant announcement has come from Destination Resorts & Hotels (DRH). The government backed company is not only developing the tourism side of Desaru Coast but has recently announced its intention to venture into developing a residential resort town alongside the tourism area. If planned and executed right this can lay the foundations for a vibrant coastal real estate market.
There are at least three drivers I can think of that will give the Desaru Coast condominium market a push:
- There’s already a large number of wealthy Singapore residents wanting to get out of the land-locked island looking for more spacious environment. Some already own property in Malaysia. Flying off to regional coastal destinations can be a hassle when Desaru Coast is just an hours drive away.
- Foreign investors are eligible to purchase property directly in their names and local financing is readily available.
- Infrastructure is already in place.
With the Destination Resorts & Hotels residential projects kicking off will we begin to see the beginnings of a notable coastal real estate market in Malaysia along the lines of what’s developing in Hua Hin and Pattaya?