Staying further away is a fact of life, everywhere

These days, I seldom argue with those who kept talking to me about the usual, traditional areas which are already a hotspot. I would just tell them to buy if they love that area. They would tell me that they are considering it because the developer was selling it for just RM750 per sq ft while all the rest of the surrounding developments were already priced higher. Since it’s such a good deal, I think they should buy it. It’s just not my cup of tea, that’s all. Today, let me bring you to some real happenings all over the world, even in those markets where everyone regard as more advanced than Malaysia.
In Singapore, due to the prices becoming extremely high, for example SGD1 million for just one HDB flat. The buyers are much more willing to consider places which are secondary. For example, areas which are far away from Orchard or CBD area. No idea how expensive? Read here: SGD955,000 for a 14-year old flat in Singapore Now, for those who wants to argue that the transportation system in Singapore is so effective, it is okay to stay further away! I agree totally to this statement but a further question would reveal that almost everyone would have loved to stay right next to the place that they work and not somewhere far away where they have to wake up early, rush to the MRT station and standing for 40 minutes to reach their office and repeating this everyday. One real reason why they are willing to stay further away is simply because it’s too expensive for the nearer ones.
In Australia, perhaps we use Melbourne as an example since I have quite a few friends who have migrated there and have settled happily there. This is the usual median price there. Read here: Crazily hot, 28% of Melbourne apartments bought by foreigners  A usual question to many of these friends would reveal that majority of them own a landed property there which is great because until today I am still staying in a high-rise unit. A further question would reveal that they are mostly staying in suburbs which meant that the distance they travel daily to work is definitely longer than my current 21km. Oh yeah, 21km is already considered extremely far for many of my colleagues. I just smile these days. Given a choice, do we seriously think anyone would want to stay far away from their working place?
Last but not least Dubai. According to one recent article, the investment bankers, lawyers and top managers at multi-nationals are earning seven figure salaries and these are the ones staying within the expatriate neighbourhoods. According to property consultant JLL, for the other expats including architects, accountants and IT managers to legal secretaries and HR executives who earn just 10,000-30,000 UAE dirhams (US$2,720-US$8,170) a month, they have to stay in cheaper neighbourhoods. For example, run-down areas near Dubai’s creek and parts of the city’s outskirts such as International City and Dubai Outsource Zone. Some even stay in Sharjah, which are more than an hour’s drive away during rush hour and lacks every creature comfort such as dining, shopping and nightlife that Dubai has.
Truth is, there is nothing wrong with staying further away. This is a fact of life and everyone should just start looking and stop waiting or pushing up the prices of that few popular neighbourhoods. It’s not the first choice but perhaps some inconvenience in terms of duration may be small compared to the prices that one would have to pay today or in future. Oh yeah, we can also think duration and not just distance. Read here: It’s the duration, not the distance, ok? 
As of now, choices are still plenty especially for secondary but as usual, the slightly better secondary areas would join the ranks of hotspots while the rest of the other areas grow slowly. I hope my friend would not come to me again with the theory of buying at RM750 per sq ft and selling it at 30% up at over RM1,000 per sq ft when it’s completed. I would still wish her the best because truth is, there are still many who are determined to buy in those more ‘upscale’ neighbourhoods even if they have to pay through their nose. For Chinese, it’s called, ‘Got Face’ mah. Happy deciding.
written on 4 Oct 2015
Next suggested article: In future, renting is the best option? 


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