By Isabelle Lai, David Tan and Hafiz Marzukhi
GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - More Japanese investors are expected to scout for property in Penang this year because of fears of another round of natural disasters in their country.
Tropical Resort Lifestyle (MM2H) Sdn Bhd managing director Shotaro Ishihara said more Japanese were now scouting for overseas property to invest in and to relocate.
Ishihara, whose company promotes Malaysian property in the Japanese market, said Penang real estate was an attractive investment because it cost less than property in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
"However, only a small number of Japanese have bought residential property in Penang.
"This is because Penang is known in Japan as a holiday resort and not as a property investment destination. The rental yield is also still not attractive," he said.
Ishihara said the Japanese media should be roped in to help promote property in Penang.
About 1,500 Japanese expatriates work in Penang while some 600 more live in Penang under the Malaysia My Second Home programme.
The property rented or bought by the Japanese are usually condominiums in the residential neighbourhoods of Pulau Tikus, Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah, all priced from RM500,000 (S$204,700).
In the last few years, Tropical Resort has helped to sell about 200 condominum units in Kuala Lumpur and Penang to Japanese investors, priced between RM600,000 and RM1.8mil each.