Penang takes top spot

Penang has overtaken Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley as the most attractive region for commercial investment, garnering 67 percent of the overall responses in a survey by real estate firm Knight Frank.

Kuala Lumpur’s CBD (Golden Triangle), which was the top investment choice in 2015, has retreated in the rankings to fourth position with 49 percent of responses after KL Fringe/Klang Valley (56 percent) and Johor/Iskandar (55 percent).

The healthcare/institutional segment is the most attractive sub-sector for investment, garnering 69 percent of responses followed by the hotel/leisure segment (65 percent), logistics/industrial (52 percent) and retail (50 percent).

The least attractive segment for commercial investment was the office sub-sector with a poor 36 percent response.

Penang is currently the most attractive investment region for hotel/leisure (86 percent) and healthcare/institutional (79 percent) developments according to Knight Frank, possibly due to George Town being inscribed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and the popularity of the state for medical tourism.

The survey targeted some 700 respondents at senior management level across the Malaysia property industry. About half of the respondents (55 percent) were property developers with the balance comprising a mix of commercial lenders and fund/REIT managers, reflecting players in the commercial real estate market.

Knight Frank Malaysia chart for commercial investments