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Malaysia is a country located just north of the Equator in Southeast Asia. This country has a rich and unique cultural heritage, from rural crafts and traditional architecture to a wide variety of annual festivals and delicious cuisines. Besides its culture, there is also astounding natural beauty to take in as well. Visitors can explore some of the lushest tropical rainforests in the world or relax on one of its beautiful beaches. Malaysia is not only popular among tourists. It has also been consistently ranked as one of the best destinations for expatriates to live and work in. Thanks to its modern amenities, a strong economy, great healthcare, affordable cost of living, and generally high standard of living, the country is seen as an attractive place to relocate for professionals, families, and retirees alike.
Find the latest rental rates on the Malaysia property market
Malaysia consists of two non-contiguous regions that are separated by the South China Sea: Peninsular Malaysia (also known as West Malaysia), which lies on the Malay Peninsula, and East Malaysia, which is located on Borneo Island. Kuala Lumpur, its capital, lies in the western part of Peninsular Malaysia. Welcoming around 13.79 million people in 2018, this city is the sixth most visited in the world. The most popular attraction in the city is the Petronas Twin Towers. Standing at 451.9 meters, these iconic towers are the tallest twin towers in the world. From the outside, they look impressive, from the inside, visitors are offered with breath-taking views of the city.
Another popular attraction in Kuala Lumpur is the Batu Caves, which is actually located 30 minutes from the city. It is a limestone hill where visitors can find a series of cave temples and the world’s tallest statue of Murugan. The cave temples are one of the most famous Hindu shrines outside India.
Located about 16 miles south of Kuala Lumpur is Putrajaya, the country’s administrative center. While it is not as popular as Kuala Lumpur, it does have plenty to offer. Some of the most famous attractions are Putra Mosque, Putrajaya Lake, and Seri Wawasan Bridge.
Besides Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Penang is very popular among international visitors as well. It is where the country’s UNESCO-listed city, George Town, is located. It is well-known for having the largest collection of pre-war buildings in the Southeast Asian Region. This city is frequented by those who want to immerse themselves in the country’s cultural sights.
Due to the influx of international visitors coming to the country, the property market is flourishing, and international visitors now have more options on the type of property they want to rent.
The most popular types of property to rent in the country for foreigners are condominiums and apartments. Condos in the country are usually designed with luxury features and are built within high-rise buildings. They mostly provide common areas for renters, such as swimming pools, gyms, and children’s playgrounds. Renters are also provided with 24-hour security and a designated parking spot.
Apartments in the country are very similar to condos, though they may not be as luxurious. Some apartments only offer basic facilities, including parking spaces and 24-hour security, but others offer common areas such as swimming pools and gyms. There are also upscale, serviced apartments in the country, which offer fully furnished units, housekeeping, cleaning service, laundry, and other facilities that give renters a hotel-like lifestyle.
In terms of unit size, apartments and condos in the country vary from studio room, one- to four-bedroom, loft, and penthouse.
For those who are looking to rent landed properties, bungalows and villas are the most popular options. Bungalows are standalone units that are surrounded by a large plot of land, a garden, and a parking area. Villas are essentially very similar to bungalows but are usually bigger and more luxurious. Both bungalows and villas in the country offer renters more privacy and space.
As mentioned before, Malaysia is popular among expats due to its high standard of living and a relatively low cost of living. The cost of living in the country is approximately 40% lower than in the United States, allowing foreigners to live a comfortable life with very little. Most expats in the country are able to live extremely well on 10,000 MYR (around 2,500 USD).
Malaysian Ringgit is the official currency of the country. 1 USD converts to approximately 4.22 MYR. ATMs that accept international cards are available all around the country, and credit cards can be used in most hotels and restaurants.
Islam is the largest and the official region in Malaysia, with around 61% of the country’s population adhere to this religion. However, freedom of religion is protected by the nation’s constitution, so other faiths are freely practiced. The second-largest religion in the country, after Islam, is Buddhism, followed by Christianity, Hinduism, and Chinese Religions.
Malaysian Malay is the official language of the country, but English is widely spoken and understood, particularly in the service industries. English is also taught in primary and secondary schools and is the main language spoken in most private colleges and universities. Besides Malay and English, Tamil and Mandarin are also widely spoken in Malaysia.
Malaysia experiences a tropical climate, so the weather is generally hot and humid all year round. The average temperature hovers around 20°C. The country experiences two different seasons, though the period of each season differs in each region. November to February is the wet season on the east coast, but the dry season on the west coast.
Any foreigners planning to stay in Malaysia for an extended period of time need to obtain permits. Foreigners can choose between Residence Pass-Talent, Multiple Entry Visa, Permanent Residency Permit, or MM2H (Malaysia My 2nd Home).
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