Top 5 expat neighbourhoods in malaysia
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For the most part, expats look for the same things when it comes to housing as locals would, such as security, proximity to amenities, good highway access and etc. However, there are a couple of other features that may be beneficial to their unique experience in Malaysia.

Here are some special features that enrich an expat neighbourhood and are also the basis for how we formulated our list of tops:

1. Proximity to International Schools

Expats travelling to Malaysia with their kids will most likely be in need of international schools and kindergartens, thus the location they settle in should be within close distance to such offerings.

2.  Higher End Supermarkets

It’s not that expats are just more ‘atas’ than the rest of us, but higher-end grocery stores will likely carry international brands that our foreign friends are accustomed to. So it’s no surprise that stores like Jaya Grocer, Cold Storage and the Village Grocer are often located close to areas with a high expat population like Mont Kiara and KLCC.

3. International Cuisine

Although local cuisine is undoubtedly delicious fare, it’s understandable that expats might prefer their daily meals to be something a little more familiar. Expat areas are often serviced by restaurants and cafes that cater to international taste buds.

4. Concentration of Other Expats

When expats settle in Malaysia, some prefer to maintain a social circle similar to their current experience or life back home and thus will look for areas more populated with fellow expats. Of course, there are many expats that still choose to live outside the “designated” expat zones and prefer to immerse in local culture.


So now we know what ‘makes’ for an expat neighbourhood, here’s a list of the top five expat neighbourhoods in Malaysia:


1. Mont Kiara

It is certainly a place where one almost immediately associates to being an expat neighbourhood. It’s also a rather exclusive neighbourhood with landed properties within the vicinity costing upwards of RM2 million!

The area is primarily made up of expats, more than 50% in fact, according to PropSocial data. It’s a good place for families with children as not one, but two international schools (Garden International School and Mont Kiara International School), are situated nearby. Top properties to check out if you are considering Mont Kiara is Kiaraville, Kiara 1888 and Mont Kiara Meridin.



2. Bukit Tunku

This is another neighbourhood that just screams, “Expat”. It is similar to Mont Kiara in that it also happens to be one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the country.

Property prices here range from a cool RM2 million to an even cooler RM12 million, according to PropSocial data. Up until recently, Bukit Tunku was more commonly known as Kenny Hills and often touted as the Beverly Hills of Malaysia to locals and expats alike.

The crime level in Bukit Tunku is relatively low compared to the rest of Malaysia and even the other expat neighbourhoods on our list. Those looking to reside in Bukit Tunku can check out top developments like Tijani 2 North , Sri Kenny and Belvedere.



3. Bangsar

A slightly mixed and mature neighbourhood that is still popular with expats, Bangsar is the more outgoing and entertainment-friendly locale amongst expat neighbourhoods (except KLCC of course). You’ll find plenty of high-end malls, restaurants, cafés and bars to spend time after work and during weekends. Unsurprisingly, Bangsar and KLCC are top destinations for younger expats.

The price range for Bangsar homes run from RM2 million to RM5 million, according to PropSocial data. There aren’t many new upcoming property developments in the (old) Bangsar township; Nadi Bangsar would be one but otherwise, you can look to prominent residences such as One Menerung, Bangsar Peak and Palmyra Bangsar.



4. Sri Hartamas

Expats who prefer greater levels of privacy and seclusion might opt for Sri Hartamas. Of course, it doesn’t mean that the residents of this area are cut off from amenities, schools and major highways.

In fact, Sri Hartamas is home to a variety of eateries, bars and is closely connected to other expat neighbourhoods such as Kenny Heights, Kenny Hills and Mont Kiara. However, as with a number of these expat neighbours (apart from KLCC and Bangsar), public transport, with the exception of taxis, isn’t conveniently available.

Sri Hartamas is popular among expat parents working in KL as it is lodged close to international schools and colleges as well as has easy access to Kuala Lumpur by way of SPRINT, LDP, NSE and other major highways.

It’s also slightly more affordable in terms of the average transacted home prices (according to PropSocial data), from a range of RM700,000 to RM2 million.

Similar to Bangsar, there isn’t a major sprouting of new developments, but you’ll still find good properties in Sri Hartamas like Mayfair, Puncak Prima and Cliveden (serviced residence).



5. KLCC

Being the business and cultural hub of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur City Centre is home to expats from the world over. Those residing in KLCC are typically of the C-level, corporate crowd from the United Kingdom, America and Australia as well as European countries such as France, Germany and Italy.

You’ll find lots of high-rise properties, mixed developments and upcoming upscale serviced residences that cater to the business crowd and affluent urbanites. For expats travelling with school or university-age children, there are tons of options for private and international schools as well as notable tertiary institutions.

It’s a top choice for younger expats as well, similar to Bangsar, due its wide variety of bars, cafes, clubs, pubs and fine dining restaurants. But unlike Bangsar, KLCC is even closer to city attractions, five-star hotels and luxury malls.

Expectedly, it’s an expensive place to live. According to PropSocial data, sale prices for homes in the vicinity average RM1.8 million and rents run wild from RM5, 000 to RM11,000 per month, even for tiny condos with a meagre square foot range of 500 to 900! Of course, the price has all to do with location, location, location (and good building amenities)!

Another reason why KLCC is a top draw for expats is due to easy accessibility throughout the city via public transport namely the mass rail transit, commuters, busses and trains.

Top residences in the KLCC area include Idaman Residence, Marc Service Residence and Binjai Residency.



Other good locations and neighbourhoods in Malaysia for expats and affluent dwellers include Seputeh, Damansara Heights, Tropicana and Desa ParkCity.

Note also that our list was mostly focused on neighbourhoods in the Klang Valley; however, there are small but strong expat communities outside Selangor and Kuala Lumpur such as in Penang, Johor Bahru and even Kota Kinabalu.



PropSocial: Real Neighbourhoods, Real Reviews

Looking for a place to rent or buy in a swanky, expat neighbourhood? Do check out PropSocial’s ample classifieds and extensive search tools as well as our super helpful neighbourhood review page! Or if you’d simply like our community to help you find your dream home, go ahead and post your requirements now!



(Written by: Desiree Nair, 27th July 2017)

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MK & KLCC is too high supply in term of unit for expat market... 

Kate chew small

Now most property sale are within RM400k - 800k range, that's why properties in MK and KLCC hard to sell at the moment. Yet, there are more property agents specializing in MK and KLCC more than any other locations.

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@kate_chew 

With so many agents specializing in MK and KLCC... will there be a big enough "cake" for everyone to share?

Kate chew small

@domng That's why mostly are co-broke.