Malaysia’s new coastal playground

If there were luxury tropical beachside apartments within a short drive of central London, imagine how popular they would be. In Malaysia, just such a development, the Tropical Cluster Village, is being built within easy reach of Kuala Lumpur. The capital, with its surroundings has a population comparable to that of Greater London.

{mosimage} However, via a network of fast highways Kuala Lumpur’s central business district is just 75 minutes’ drive from the Tropical Cluster Village and  Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Sepang F1 motor racing circuit are 30 minutes away, making it ideal for both the domestic and overseas rental markets, while the exceptional specification and peaceful setting provide properties to enjoy in their own right.

The Tropical Cluster Village is the second phase to be launched of Sepang Gold Coast, one of Malaysia’s largest development projects, comprising luxury resorts, hotels, a waterside town, and eco-tourist area, built along 22 km of coastline with 18.7 km2 of prime seafront. The first phase, the innovative Golden Palm Tree Resort, 399 waterside villas stretching out 1.2 km into the sea, was launched last year with great success.

Located in the State of Selangor, along the south west coast of the Malaysian Peninsular, by the sheltered warm waters of the Straits of Malacca, Sepang Gold Coast is a joint development between Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd, the State of Selangor’s investment arm, and Sepang Bay Sdn Bhd, one of the country’s leading private construction companies. It is centred around the village of Bagan Lalang, which has the closest beach to the Klang Valley region, Malaysia’s rapidly expanding economic power house, accommodating the capital, Kuala Lumpur, its satellite towns and a population of 7.2 million people.

The Tropical Cluster Village, situated along the coast to the west of the base of the Golden Palm Tree Resort, will provide 220 luxury apartments, comprising studios, one, two and three –bedroom apartments and penthouses, combining elegant traditional and contemporary architectural styles, set in a three-acre landscaped community. Residents will benefit from sea views, a wide choice of leisure facilities and hotel services provided by a major international operator.

Apartments will be accommodated in two striking towers and low-rise villas, which are crowned by sweeping traditional Malay pyramidal roofs. Each apartment will have generous outdoor space. Residents will have access to a gymnasium, spa fitness centre, restaurants, underground parking, a jogging and cycling track as well as conference room facilities.  Set within the lush grounds, with its many water features including Koi Carp ponds, will be a central pool, that is claimed to be Malaysia’s longest. Penthouses will have a private swimming pool and extensive open porch or lanai.

Strong domestic demand for premium properties, both rental and for purchase, is underpinned by Malaysia’s continuing economic success. It achieved close to 6 per cent GDP growth in 2006, resulting in an expanding middle class and market for coastal retreats. Overseas rentals are backed by Malaysia’s strong all year round tourist industry, thanks to its incredible weather, with temperatures stable at around 30°C throughout the year, pristine beaches, well developed economy and beautiful sites. By 2010, according to the Malaysian government’s economic forecasts, the number of tourist arrivals are expected to increase from 17 million in 2006 to 24.6 million, generating income totalling £9.36 billion (RM59.4 billion).

Another incentive for UK buyers is the Malaysian government’s vigorous campaign to attract overseas property investors. A range of measures were brought in that include zero capital gains tax, introduced in the spring of 2007, and appealing to retirees and expats is its ‘Malaysia My Second Home’ programme, which offers 10-year multiple-entry visas and a host of other benefits.

In addition to Malaysia’s quality of life, infrastructure and low-cost of living, a major draw for UK buyers is that English is widely spoken, its parliamentary and legal system echo their British counterparts, and they even drive on the left. However, despite an environment creating a strong property market with good capital growth, Malaysia still represents great value, helped by the low value of the Malaysian Ringgit to the Pound.

Prices at Tropical Cluster Village will range from RM850 (£135.65*) per sq ft for studios to RM1,100 (£175.53*) per sq ft for penthouses. Studios start at £47,470* for 350 sqft apartment while penthouses start at £438,820* for a 2,500 sqft apartment. * At exchange rate of £1GBP = 6.2668 Malaysian Ringgits, 09-04-08