Tag Archives: Johor Bahru

Skysuites Condos @ Meldrum Hills are Nearing Completion

Skysuites @ Meldrum Hills located next to Cyberport and close to the JB CIQ is nearing completion.

photo of Skysuites @ Meldrum Hills in  Johor Bahru
Skysuites @ Meldrum Hills (completed on the left of the photo). Photo taken from Cyberport by John Hunter.

The 31-story condo building includes 250 condos (1, 2 and 3 bedroom units plus penthouse duplexs) and is near Blue Wave Hotel, Cyberport, City Square Mall, CIQ and the causeway. See our information page on Skysuites Condos @ Meldrum Hills.

photo of Skysuites @ Meldrum Hills with CIQ and the CBD
Skysuites @ Meldrum Hills with CIQ and the CBD.

Current units for purchase, they do seem expensive to me (I think the supply of small luxury units may well be too large in JB) but if the MRT to Singapore is built where it is believed it will be, this will be a very desirable location:

  • RM 1,105,000, 1,105 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, Penthouse condo.
  • RM 552,000, 581 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom.
  • RM 698,000, 581 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom.

Related: Stulang Villa Condos – Rentals from MYR 2,200 to 2,500Orchid View Condos Rentals – 2,500 to 3,000 MYR a month

360 Degree View of Downtown Johor Bahru in 2014

Here is a webcast showing a 360 degree view of downtown Johor Bahru in 2014. You can see the sky scrapers in the central business district (CBD) of Johor Bahru and Iskandar and in 5 years this will show many more high rise luxury condos. The beginnings of numerous (more than the total completed high rises) are visible in the video.

The CIQ, the causeway to Singapore, the Straits and Singapore beyond are visible. Even Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, located at the far southern edge of Singapore, can be seen in the background.

Related: Setia Sky 88 Construction Progressing QuicklyIndah Samudra Condo Rentals: 2,800 to 3,500Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple in CBDD’esplanade Residence @ KSL Mall

Singapore Sprawl Fueled by Cheap Housing Resulting in Long Delays at Border

As I have written previously the potential for Johor Bahru, Malaysia is great. The proximity to Singapore give JB the extra boost that moves the potential above that of dozens of similar locations throughout South East Asia. But potential has to be managed properly or it is wasted. The inability of Singapore and Malaysia to cope with the demand for cross border traffic has to be a huge concern for investors.

The backups have become progressively worse throughout the last year and especially bad the last few months. As I have also written previously the massive supply of luxury housing in JB without a visible source of equally high paying jobs in Johor that will allow people to afford those houses is a worrisome sign.

The failure to complete a 3rd link by last year and the huge delays experienced all this year create strong headwinds for realizing the potential of Iskandar. Obviously cross border transportation was going to be bad before the MRT was finally extended given the huge volume of luxury condos being build in JB. But things are tremendously bad already when only a few of the new luxury condos are completed.

The potential is still great but the huge problems with the borders already calls into question the ability to plan, execute and grow to meet that potential. More high paying jobs need to be created in Johor Bahru itself. I don’t see how the number of luxury condos being built will be workable in the next few years. 10 years from now all may be well, but from 2015 to 2018 (or whenever the border gets fixed so the median border delay is under 15 minutes, likely the extension of the MRT to JB will have to play a role in fixing the problem) I see big risks countering the big potential.

Johor Bahru street with KSL in the background
Houses on Johor Bahru street with KSL in the background (D’esplanade Residence @ KSL, KSL mall, KSL hotel and more condos are being build across the street).

People are willing to envision themselves putting up with huge commutes. but as they live with them year after year and miss their children, spouses and lives sitting at a border waiting to move forward many will decide it isn’t worth it.

Cut-Price Luxury Homes Fuel Singapore-Johor Bahru Sprawl

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Sweetwater Mediterranean Restaurant

Sweetwater Mediterranean Restaurant is another excellent restaurant in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru. The food is excellent as are the furnishings. It is a bit expensive but worth it if you are looking to splurge.

photo of a stone oven

Even the bread is worthy of mention, it is excellent and warmed in this stone oven before serving. The fixed price lunches are a great way to experience this wonderful restaurant for a very reasonable price (around 40 MYR, about US$13). They come with wonderful bread, a salad, entree, tea, and desert.

photo of wonderful desert

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Construction Progress for Setia Sky 88 and Twin Galaxy

photo of digging the Setia Sky foundation
Setia Sky construction begins as they prepare the site.

I took these photos over 3 months ago but it looks pretty much the same today. They have seemed busy the whole time with people working and trucks going in and out. My guess is they are digging out to work on the foundation and that really doesn’t give you much to look at as a casual observer.

photo of the Setia Sky site with New York Hotel in background
Setia Sky site (on the left behind the walls) with New York Hotel in background.

Twin Galaxy will be on the right of this photo (closer to the road with the New York Hotel than Setia Sky 88 is).

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Molek Pine Condos RM 2,500 – RM 4,000

See our overview of the Molek Pine Condos.

There are many condos available at Molek Pine in the current 2 towers, and a third tower is being built. One thing you have to keep in mind when looking for a place to live in Johor Bahru is that many available units are not listed online. A few places, like Straits View and Molek Pine have a larger percentage listed online (given that that are targeting expats and also that they are more expensive, real estate agents representing them are more experienced and have more tools available, etc.).

Good places to look for rental condos at Molek Pine are iProperty and Propnet. As you can see below prices can vary by quite a bit and it isn’t obvious from the descriptions why those asking for much more have to offer for the additional price. It is wise to be a wise consumer and know what the current market is. Some factors do affect the price – in general higher floors have higher prices (floor 15 for example is more than floor 5 for the same unit), nicer furnishings will also increase the price a bit.

Many rental agents in Johor Bahru don’t have the skills and experience needed by many expats. This can mean those agents can charge owners a bit higher prices which may then be passed on in the rental price. That price may well be worth it for expats and owners, that will have an easier time renting to expats with such an agent. Some of the units currently available for rent:

Related: Straits View Condos Available: RM 2,800/m to RM 5,500/m

New Blog Focusing on Johor Bahru Real Estate

I moved to Johor Bahru after taking some time to examine where in Malaysia I wanted to live. You can follow my blog on living in Malaysia. I think the potential for Johor Bahru is great. In my effort to find a place to live I learned a bit about Johor Bahru’s housing options (I was looking mainly at condos).

I also found the housing (and living) information that I could find for expats is not as good as I would have found useful. So I will try to have this site fill in some of the gap between what I would have liked and what I found.

Here I will provide information on Johor Bahru, Johor state, housing options in Johor, information on finding housing, investing options for real estate in Johor and information about living in Johor Bahru. I will focus on expats as an audience to give the site a focus but hopefully a much wider audience can also find worthwhile information.

To some extent “expat” in the Malaysian real estate market is equated with luxury or costly housing. I must say I haven’t seen Johor Bahru housing that is really world class luxury, more it is more just expensive compared to local real estate (but I guess saying luxury means expensive is understood without just saying expensive). I am sure there is some luxury housing (in houses, I would guess – probably out near the 2nd link) but I am skeptical if there are condos, I may find some as I live here.

Singapore, sits right to the South of Johor Bahru and many people, expats – and others, live in Johor while working in Singapore.

Penang and Kuala Lumpor have much more material online for prospective expats (though really even they could do with much more good content, in my opinion). But I really like Johor Bahru much more, myself. I see the scope of this blog to be focused on real estate but as any real estate agent will tell you people want to know about quality of life options nearby when looking at housing so I will include quite a bit on that also. I think that is critical to making good choices for what housing options are right for you.

I think the next 10 years should be very economically dynamic for Johor Bahru (and on a wider scale, Johor state) with significant real estate interest. Great quality of life enhancements are possible and real estate investments have the potential to do very well if the government’s Iskandar initiative can be properly managed. The potential is great and the stage is set very well. The ability to cooperate with Singapore to find mutual beneficial opportunities leads me to believe the potential is as good as nearly anywhere in the world in the next decade or two. But potential can be wasted fairly easily so the future will tell how successfully the potential is realized.

Related: Online Resources for Living in Johor BahruPenang Condo Market