Locals may not be the first to buy; beware locals

They say, when we want to know about great food we should ask the locals. I agree. However, when it comes to property developments, especially the out of the ordinary ones, asking locals may meant you buy what only the locals like or you ended up not buying anything. When all these projects are successful, the locals would then complain about foreigners pushing up the prices. Sounds familiar? From my own personal experience, this has been true for many markets, especially those which the locals would take it as out of the ordinary.
When the first luxury condo called The Haven was launched in Ipoh a few years ago, every Ipohan I know laughed at the project. I told them that if I have excess funds, I would buy one and all of them asked me not to even if I have money. Everyone thought the project was another crazy one because no one in the right frame of mind would be willing to pay higher prices for a ‘luxury condo’ compared to the typical terrace landed homes in Ipoh then. The Haven is today considered a success and is often quoted by some newer condo projects in Ipoh as well. The first batch of buyers? Well, their investment would have been a huge return on investment. If you think this happens just in Ipoh, it’s not true.
I am not a Penangite. Thus, I have no emotional attachment to any areas in Penang. Certainly none of the ‘born here, study here, work here, die here’ type of attachment. Around 10 years ago, when I first viewed a condo project in Sungai Ara called Regency Heights, every local I met gave negative comments. It ranges from why not Gelugor? Why not buy nearby Goldcoast instead? Why condo when the landed in Sungai Ara is still affordable? Why not think about Tanjung Bungah instead? One even gave the comment that the water quality in Sungai Ara is bad! None of them considered the fact that Regency Heights was 1,258 sq ft, developed by a reputable developer, priced from just RM209,000 onwards. I did not care and I bought despite all the negative comments. Recent years, the comments sounded like this, ‘I should have bought…..’
Hope everyone understands, if you have your own reasons after doing your own calculations based on the knowledge you have from research and your experience, please proceed to buy. Trust the locals for the best food, the best hiking trails, the best ‘lepakking’ place. For properties, trust your own objective decision. The locals whom you spoke to may not have investment experience in other places except their own preferred space. It’s not because they are wrong, it’s only because they do not know enough. Always remember that property prices in secondary places do not need to be the leader. It can always be the follower for the primary ones. That’s why when we buy the right secondary areas, the return on investment in terms of percentage may be better than even the primary ones. Happy deciding.
written on 20 Oct 2015
Next suggested article: Sungai Buloh, Rawang, dstance, duration and emotional attachment


  1. Kenneth Lo avatar
    Kenneth Lo

    It is good reading your article today. I am one of the purchasers who have been for a short while influenced by negativity regarding The Haven in Ipoh. Thankfully, the developer has been convincingly vindicated upon completion and has proceeded on to win over 30 national and international awards and counting. I am glad I purchased a unit.
    However, the new challenge for the development is that some locals who have been caught out to be totally wrong refused to admit and continue to find further faults and negativity, and this is really undesirable for the town, the nation and for all.

    1. Good for you Kenneth. You can enjoy it now. Cheers.

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