Paloma Serviced Residences

The Paloma Serviced Residences is part of the second residential phase of Tropicana Metropark, comprising of some 16 villas as well as 571 condominium units housed in two buildings of 29 storeys each. With a Gross Development Value (GDV) of some RM465 million, it’s one of the highlights of the Tropicana Metropark integrated development in Subang Jaya.

Paloma Tropicana MetroparkTargeted at young families from communities in and around Subang Jaya area, prices start at about RM800+ PSF. This puts the project at a slight premium over comparables in the same area, and definitely on the more expensive side when compared with sub sale properties in Subang Jaya. For a methodology on how to estimate the fair market value, download this guide.

It’s interesting to note that the previous phase (627 units houses in two buildings of 25 storeys each) were launched at RM780 PSF. The take up rate, according to the developer, is at an encouraging 90%.

The units have the configurations as below:-

  • 1-bedroom apartments: 600 sq ft
  • 2-bedroom apartments: 900 sq ft
  • 3-bedroom apartments: 1,300 sq ft
  • Courtyard villas: 2,200 to 2,500 sq ft

All units get two parking bays each while the 1-bedroom apartments get one bay.


Paloma Serviced Residences will feature the following facilities:-

  • Yoga deck
  • Infinity swimming pool
  • BBQ area
  • Basketball court
  • Meditation area
  • Jacuzzi
  • Lounge deck
  • Sky gym
  • Public kitchen
  • Reading room
  • Parking space for bicycles

Pandora Serviced Residences are scheduled to be completed in 2016. The Central Park is to be completed at the same time as well as a planned flyover which connects the artery located after the Batu Tiga tollbooth, linking the development to the Federal Highway.

Tropicana Metropark


About Tropicana Metropark

Tropicana Metropark is a mixed development built on top of some 88 acres of premium freehold land in Subang Jaya. Consisting of four commercial and five residential phases, Tropicana Metropark is a major project with a mammoth built-up area of more than 11 million sq ft with an estimated Gross Development Value (GDV) of some RM6.25 billion. Not too shabby.

The highlight of Tropicana Metropark is a nine acre Central Park which features an exquisitely designed waterfront, a pedestrian promenade, playgrounds as well as jogging tracks. The commercial area will contain a medical centre as well as a shopping mall. There are also schools and colleges to be built in the area.

Layout and aesthetics-wise, Tropicana Metropark takes inspiration from developments along Yarra River in Melbourne as well as the retail outlets along Oxford Street in London.

What We Think

We cannot overstate the importance of the reputation of developers especially in the context of Malaysia property. As such, given Tropicana’s quite stellar portfolio (Tropicana 218 Macalister in Penang, Tropicana Avenue in PJ, Tropicana Danga Bay in Iskandar), there’s really no reason to second guess Tropicana Metropark.

Given that mixed or integrated developments are the way to go as far as property projects go in the Klang Valley, Tropicana Metropark has the edge in terms of quality, breadth of choices, freehold status as well as a premium location in Subang Jaya.

We are also quite bullish on the upcoming Tropicana Heights Kajang which offers equality tantalizing commercial and residential options on 200 acres of freehold land in Kajang.

Penang Property Primer (Part 1)

Picture of a temple in Penang

We all know that in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is the city that never sleeps. Kuala Lumpur is definitely a bustling and a modern city, but it’s about time to focus the spotlight on Penang. Penang might be the second to the smallest state in Malaysia, but it packs a mean punch when it comes to investment opportunities, economic growth, culture, and yes — charm.

The Pearl Continues To Shine

With a population of only 1.6 million, Penang is a small Malaysian state with a booming economy. Over time, the unemployment rate in this state continues to decrease, as new opportunities from two of its driving economic factors—manufacturing and tourism — surges year after year.

Let’s look into the state’s tourism sector. Looking at the numbers, it seems that Penang is getting the attention of a lot of travelers from different parts of the world. 2011 was a good year for the small state—there was a 10% increase in tourist arrivals as Penang recorded an astonishing number of tourists, more than four million in fact. This statistic goes for both local and international tourists – about half were from overseas.

Most seek the “homey” and cultural vibe of Penang, as compared to Kuala Lumpur. Visitors also come here to taste world-famous Penang cuisine—another reason why the state has been attracting more and more tourists each year.

Another driving force behind Penang’s growing economy is its manufacturing sector. More and more investment projects are pouring in every year, and foreign direct investments (mostly in the electrical and electronic vertical) choose Penang as the location to start. Data taken from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority states that within the first three quarters of 2012, the recorded investment was at RM1.7 billion; more than 70 projects approved were mostly from the electronic division. More from the Penang Institute here.

Penang Property Market

Penang’s real estate and property outlook has stabilized back in 2012.

Graph on penang property

Higher prices translated to flat transactional value despite a decline in volume

Residential properties contributed a lot to this sudden jump of transacted properties as compared to the previous year. There were also increases in terms of residential property value, up from 1.6% as compared to 2011, as well as an increase in newly-launched transacted units—up from 2,332 units versus 1,371 units back in 2011.

However, looking at the latest data release by JPPH for Q1 2013, it seems that the volume of transactions have registered a -15% decrease vs same period last year even though value-wise it was rather flat (or a marginal +3% increase) – see the chart on the right. This indicates that there is a shift to higher value properties or an upward trend in prices.

Penang is a hotspot, with its cultural heritage, tradition, and that right mix between residential and beachfront living. No doubt Penang has seen a lot of growth in the real estate investment sector. Development is becoming rampant, as many investors feel secure with the state’s potential. We will cover more about the specifics of the property market in the second installment.

Penang Hot Spots

Up-and-coming tourist spots are set to grace Penang. This only means a brighter future, as this small state has been leaning on tourism to push them forward the economic scale.

Both mainland and island Penang can take advantage of the Second Penang Bridge, which is most likely to provide a lot of opportunities in the property market in the island. Due to the unfortunate collapse, there’s high possibility that the completion of the bridge to be delayed 1.

Watch out for the localities of which properties are to stand to benefit from the Second Penang Bridge – both on the mainland and from the island.

Mainland property opportunities are also abundant. Most of these properties are moderately priced — and if it’s your lucky day, you can even stumble upon a beachfront property. Other property opportunities in the mainland that you must consider are warehouses, as Penang is a sought-after address for investment. See the second part of this article for deeper analysis of Penang property investment opportunities.

Investing In Penang? Remember These Factors

While more and more foreign investors go to Penang to seek investment opportunities, it’s always best to be aware of certain prerequisites and other information before continuing to invest elsewhere, especially overseas.

First of all, remember that there are many Penangites who work and stay in Singapore. It was estimated that around 60,000 Penangites are staying in Singapore—however, a recent survey showed how many of them would like to go back to their hometown. Call it homesickness, or whatever—but the high amount of trust among the locals to return even if the global economy isn’t too stable only shows how Penang is as a place. Should this happen, and once the demand gets higher as each year progresses, it’s probably wise to invest or purchase at present.

Be aware of the inflow of SGDs from Penangites who work in Singapore!

As with any other property investment opportunity, location remains one of the most important factors. It’s important to learn locations and see them from all angles, literally and figuratively. Do not be fooled—properties in mainland Penang doesn’t always yield high rental and capital appreciation. Some areas, mostly tourist spots, have poor physical infrastructure support, which makes it a risky option should one consider on investing.

Be wary of the macroeconomic influencers:- interest rates, DIBS schemes (we discussed this as part of a news article – click here), and particularly GST, or Good and Services Tax. This was a concern because if implemented, GST will indeed increase construction costs. Not only that—the electricity rate would be affected to, and is expected to double its rates once approved on 2016, tentatively.

Finally, GST will also pave more builders to adapt to a “Build Then Sell” (BTS) philosophy, given the fact that construction costs are most likely to increase tentatively on 2015. Also, look before you leap and consider the following: oversupply versus little demand for properties, bank interest rates, price inflation, and sociocultural issues; the curbing of DIBS, or the revision of OPR by Bank Negara.

What We Think

There is no doubt how Penang has become a developed state throughout the years. Don’t let its small size and population fool you—its economy has been showing nothing but progress. Tourism is definitely the state’s driving force, and this only gives you more reasons to consider investing in Penang.

There’s somewhat less attention on Penang in the recent years because the focus (as far as non-Klang Valley properties are concerned) have shifted to Iskandar. However, we reckon that the imminent slowdown of Iskandar will mean that the spotlight will be back on Penang.

Investment opportunities are abundant—both on the mainland and on the island. It is highly suggested that one should do an extensive research on property opportunities in order to get information that is substantial in making an investment capable of yielding higher capital appreciation and high rental income. Expats who are interested in purchasing a property in Penang should also learn and know the state’s legal procedures before proceeding.

If you’d like help buying or renting Penang properties, use our free DealMatcher service.

Penang is a charming place; both locals and travelers can attest to this. It’s never too late to invest on a property or two in Penang – we’ll delve deeper into the specifics of Penang real estate investment in Part 2 of this article.