Malaysia is a wonderfully diverse country. With an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and a relatively lower cost of living than the rest of Asia, it is a popular choice for locals and expats alike. From world-class beaches to mountain retreats, you are bound to find somewhere to suit your budget and lifestyle. Continue reading to find out where most people choose to settle down in the Wild East.

Kuala Lumpur

Perhaps the most well-known city in Malaysia, the capital of Kuala Lumpur is a popular choice for those seeking a taste of city life. It is home to the world’s tallest twin skyscrapers and the holy caverns of the Batu Caves. It is also one of the world’s most premier shopping destinations with over 20 malls selling a variety of household names and designer goods. Aside from retail therapy, Kuala Lumpur is also a common destination for those looking for a place to call home. Awarded the prestigious title of the most ex-pat friendly city in Asia, Kuala Lumpur is often praised by emigrants for its liveability and quality of life. English is also widely spoken in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia in general so you should have no trouble communicating with locals. For a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre, you can expect to pay around 2,036 MYR which equates to around £351,31 per month. A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre of London, on the other hand, will set you back around 9,274 MYR or £1,601 per month.


Johor is a state located on the southernmost tip of the country. Famous for a wide range of shopping, eating and entertainment venues, it is a popular tourist destination for Singaporeans crossing the border for a fun day out. Johor is also one of Malaysia’s central food hubs with restaurants and food vendors serving up a variety of gastronomical delights guaranteed to delight. Living costs in Johor are slightly cheaper than in Kuala Lumpur. A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs around 1,027 MYR per month or £177.42. Renting in Malaysia is a popular choice. Rental housing based in Johor, such as rumah iskandar malaysia, offers a wide variety of housing options to suit a single renter or a family of four for a fraction of the price than if you were to settle in the capital.


Penang is another common living destination for Malaysians. A coastal state located on the northwest peninsula, it is famed for its ubiquitous street food that incorporates a fusion of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisine. The capital city of George Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, is also a popular site with locals and tourists hungry for a taste of the real Malaysia. The Penang housing scene offers a mix of bungalows, villas, and condominiums. Apartments offering uninterrupted sea views tend to market for a slightly steeper 1,288 MYR or £222.47 a month but this is still relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of living in Hong Kong or Tokyo. House prices in Penang tend to market for around 437,632 MYR or £75,607. This is slightly steeper than the national average but still much cheaper than the average cost of a house in Kuala Lumpur which can set you back up to 750,564 or £134,858.


Malacca, or Melaka, is a popular choice for ex-pats travelling to Malaysia for work or retirement or Malaysians looking for a quiet weekend getaway. A few hours south of Kuala Lumpur, it is located on the coast near the Malaysian-Indonesian border. It is perhaps most well-known for its rich multicultural heritage and abundance of ancient landmarks and architecture. Often selected by those pursuing a tropical, island-esque climate and a slower pace of life, Malacca has a wide variety of housing options to suit everyone from young thrill seekers to retirees. Malacca offers the most bang for your buck with monthly rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre averaging around 747 MYR or £129.21.


Langkawi is an island lover’s paradise. With crystal clear waters and mile-long sandy beaches, you would be mistaken for believing you are holidaying in the Maldives. It is also a popular travel destination for Malaysians due to its duty-free status. Alcohol and chocolate for sale on the island tend to be priced 30-40% lower than mainland Malaysia. Aside from hotels and Airbnb’s, Langkawi also has a number of affordable housing options. A one-bedroom apartment is likely to market for around 1000 MYR or £172 per month, allowing you to purchase a slice of the island life for a fraction of the price.

Malaysia is a great place to live. From houses to condominiums and coastal towns to bustling cities, you are guaranteed to find a home perfect for you in a location suited to your budget and lifestyle.

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