If you intend to settle in Johor Baharu, in Malaysia, here is what you need to know about its accommodation market.
Located near Singapore, Johor Baharu is one of Malaysia's major cities. Being mainly an industrial city, Johor Baharu has been attracting foreign professionals in large numbers for many years. It also provides a range of accommodation options for foreigners at affordable rates. Note that Johor Baharu is often referred to as the country's second capital city.
Types of accommodation
You can choose among various types of accommodation options in Johor Baharu: condominiums, villas, studios, etc. Hotels are available but those who intend to stay for a while prefer to extend their search to independent housing options. Hence, professionals tend to rent condominiums which offer many facilities such as maintenance services, among others. In general, rent prices are proportionate with their salaries. Others prefer to invest into luxury properties. Note that prices vary from one neighborhood to another and according to the type of housing unit, tourist flow and places of attraction which can be found there.
Johor Baharu is divided into two regions by a railway network. On the one hand, the ancient city hosts some monuments and major shopping malls and on the other, the new city hosts a large commercial area which is visited and occupied by Singaporeans in particular as many work there. However, you are likely to find all useful infrastructures and amenities on both sides of the city, namely shops, post offices, restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, etc. The city center is deemed to be the city's busiest neighborhood. The suburban side, for its part, is less active.
Good to know:
Johor Baharu is located at some 368 km from Kuala Lumpur, that is a half-day drive by car, regardless of traffic jams. Through public transport, you are likely to reach Singapore within two hours. The border, which is a 1.5 km long corridor, can be crossed on foot.
Due to its proximity to Singapore, Johor Baharu, which is also the State of Johor's capital city, is very attractive to professionals. However, rent prices are quite affordable in this region, taken into account the social problems in the region and a high crime rate. Thus, you will need some 800 ringgits per month to rent a small apartment in the city. To rent a big and luxurious family villa, you might need some 8,000 ringgits per month.
On the other hand, a three-bedroom semi-furnished apartment can cost an average of 1,300 ringgits monthly. It is up to you to decide which type of accommodation will best suit your needs.
There are various ways to find accommodation in Johor Baharu. Most expatriates begin their housing search online, thanks to numerous specialized websites and forums. But you can also view accommodation offers in local newspapers. Hence, you will be able to contact the agency or the owner directly.
Otherwise, you can register with a real estate agency which will help you find accommodation according to your criteria and budget. The agents will also intervene when signing the rent contract. Note that most lease contracts have a two years term.