What’s what in Malaysia’s real estate


Real estate can be a rather challenging topic to handle. The years spent in Sejarah (History) and Pendidikan Moral/Islam (Moral/Islamic Education) classes have best prepared us for everything else applicable but not the works of real estate. In fact, most of the subjects in high school and university don’t even expose an individual to the world of real estate! Therefore, owning a house or even renting one can be vexing for many. The amount of research one must do is nauseating, especially when he or she doesn’t know much. This article is a simple guide to the basics on knowing real estate for a total newbie.

Types of Residential Building

An ideal home can have different interpretations. What homes are we talking about? Are we talking about landed properties or high-rise buildings? There are many different types residential property to consider. As it all boils down to one’s budget, so choose wisely within your financial means.

Here’s a simplified list of the local varieties of residential buildings available in Malaysia :

Terraced Houses
-1500-3000 sqft (3/4 bedrooms 2/3 bathrooms)
-Houses share a wall with the adjoining property.

-Similar to terraced houses but bigger in area
-Available in more luxurious areas with build-in communities
-Has basic facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, etc.

Semi-D (Semi-detached)
-2200-4000 sqft (4/5 bedrooms 4/5 bathrooms)
-Houses are joined on one side to another property, combining two homes to make up one building.

-4000 sqft upwards
-Detached standalone house with own land

-700-1000 sqft (3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms)
-Housing units within a large building structures owned by developers
-Apartments have basic facilities like swimming pool, gym, security systems
-Flats are more affordable, but sacrifices the basic facilities

-1200-1600 sqft (3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms)
-High end apartments.
-Deluxe facilities like game room, sauna, tennis court, etc.

Studio apartments
-500 sqft (1-bedroom 1 bathroom)
-Single living units for individuals/couples
-Limited space

Types of Land Titles

Being a limited resource, land is one of the most prized assets one can own. Land value matures over time, enabling people to accumulate wealth long term. In Malaysia, the powers to dictate the land possessions is invested in the power of the State. Land titles are categorized into a few main categories, freehold, leasehold and Malay/ Reserved land and Bumi lots.

Freehold titles means that an individual gets total ownership, with the developers owning the land and transferring it to the buyer. It is the more preferred option to the general masses. Whereas, leasehold are land titles where the developers lease or ‘loan’ from the government to the individual. This takes a longer time to process as it requires state approval and the tenure would account anywhere from 50-99 years. Leaseholds are lower in value due to more restrictions as compared to freehold titles. As the name suggests, the final category belongs and is owned by the bumiputera group and individuals of Malay ethnicity. Learn more…

Types of Furnishing

All landed properties and high-rise buildings come with an option of bare, unfurnished, semi-furnished and fully furnished. Bare means a newly built house with no addition renovations from the developers. Meaning to say, it’s a naked house with no tiling, no doors, no wiring, nothing. An unfurnished property on the other hand means is the final unit delivered to the buyer, with tiling, internal wiring, doors, fitted kitchen and sinks and painted walls.

Semi-furnished properties are an ambiguous case as Malaysians have a different perceptions of what is defined as being partly furnish. Although it is agreeable to a certain extend it is unfurnished and has some items inside the place, there is no standardized consensus to what a semi-furnish property actually means. It can range from 1-2 furniture with ceiling fans, to basic cabinets and air-conditioning in every room, to rooms with many furniture, including a TV and washing machine, but no mattresses. Therefore, to ensure the full worth of the property, please schedule a visit with your agent to inspect these claims.

Lastly, furnished properties are completed housing units with furniture, electrical appliances and necessities. An individual only needs to settle themselves in after closing the deal, without purchasing extra appliances.


Real estate and properties is a tough subject to handle. However, being prepared and aware of the rights one has, it is possible to achieve the best results and maximize total gains for any individual.Now that you have gained an overview on real estate in Malaysia Equip yourself with more knowledge and ensure you get the best of everything.

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