Are Singaporeans interested in buying property in Johor Bahru, Malaysia?

  • Are Singaporeans interested in buying property in Johor Bahru, Malaysia?

  • admin

    I can only answer, generally. I lived in JB, but half of my relatives are either Singaporeans, PRs, or Malaysians working there. Some reasons why JB properties are a draw to them.

    1. Many Singaporeans are also Malaysians who have given up their citizenship. They do have relatives in Malaysia, and they visit them often. So having their properties is a plus.
    2. JB properties are just a fraction of what it costs in Singapore. A private apartment in JB costs about RM300,000 to RM600,000. With the RM1,000,000 benchmark, only higher ends properties are being sold to Singapore (some areas not applicable). After conversion 3:1, it's about the cost of a three-bedroom HDB flat. On top of it, most properties in JB are freehold, not leasehold like HDB flats.
    3. Bungalows or semi-ds are a favorite for Singaporeans as having a landed property in Singapore is a rare enjoyment for the masses.
    4. With the 3:1 conversion rate, Singaporeans don't mind the traffic jams to travel to JB. Their expenditures are food, traveling, manicure & pedicure, facial or hairdressers, massage, pump petrol, and shopping. I still remember traveling or walking across the causeway to buy juicy apples and other fruits at Woodland when MYR is the same rate as SGD.
      Having said these, I understand the frustrations of Singaporeans over the many changes in our government stand on foreigners purchasing properties here. I am as disgruntled as them. I think it is not professional to twist and turn policies to fit their agendas.
      Regarding the bad workmanship, it happens as much to Malaysians as they did to foreigners. But for me, we will fight tooth and nails and make developers rectify the defects within the period given. It is also advisable to have some Malaysian friends or family members to foresee and to introduce the properties to you. They also act as your confidante in case of unexpected problems arising from the purchases.
      I also want to bring up the cases of us Malaysians who wish to buy a property in Singapore. Still, often it is not possible or out of reach due to the government rules and regulations on HDBs and the exorbitantly high prices of private properties. The property markets there are protecting and only benefiting the Singaporeans and PRs who must be above 35 years old (singles). Private properties cost anything above SGD600,000 just for a studio. For those Malaysians or PR working there, they are forced to live in somewhat unfavorable conditions of bed bunks (for cheaper rental) or high rental of about SGD1000 a room. Looking back, Singaporeans can afford housing in Malaysia but not vice versa.
      I am still looking for opportunities to buy an HDB flat in Singapore. I really regret not getting one 20 years ago when no such rules came in.


    Why do people move to cities? Better job prospects, better healthcare, and to further their studies. These are a few examples of why people would migrate from rural areas to urban.
    What am I trying to imply? I’m just saying that Singapore is better at those three than Malaysia as a whole. It's not an insult its a fact. Plus, why would I, a Singaporean, go there and be hated by the government because of my race?
    But, what if we Singaporeans would want to buy a property there not stay. And I ask you, why would we? I see JB as a city to shop, and that’s mostly it. There is no real reason for us to move there or buy a property there. Sorry if I'm too blunt, but this is my opinion. Take it with a grain of salt.


    There are some sectors in Iskandar and Medini that are open to foreigners, and they do not have to meet the minimum price point (RM1 million for an apartment or condo) to purchase a residence, and still, there are no takers.
    There is motivation to live in Malaysia beyond the lower cost of living. Johor offers inferior job prospects for Singaporeans, and you need to qualify for a visa to use the MM2H visa program.
    Singaporeans see JB as a border town.
    It will remain that way for a very long time.


    Not particularly. Except for some who are swayed by glossy brochures and prices that appear cheap.
    The truth is that there is a glut of supply around Johor and savvy Singaporeans looking to live in Johor should consider renting. Especially considering the condition that some older developments in Johor are.
    Interest rates in Malaysia are higher than Singapore, and currency fluctuations can wipe out much of any potential capital gains that can be had. However, it can be said that the Ringgit can go either way.