Buying a property in Penang's UNESCO Heritage Zone is a wholly plausible proposition and potentially profitable as well. According to Mark Saw, executive director of Knight Frank’s Penang Branch, because the supply of heritage properties is finite, property values of buildings have inevitably increased.
"This has led to the heritage properties situated within George Town World Heritage Site (GTWHS) showing a substantial increase in property prices and rental over the last decade as the area transformed from an abandoned city centre into a revitalised city centre offering a mix of cultural and tourism activities as well as a mix of F&B outlets," he says.
As for advice for buyers keen on purchase a heritage property, Saw recommends that buyers should do their homework on their desired property before proceeding. "Check the building's heritage status, seek expert professional advice, consult architects and work together with the local heritage authorities before buying or doing any restoration on the heritage building," he states.
"Take your time to thoroughly carry out research before investing, spend time to check out the neighbourhood to be sure the area is somewhere you would live as the heritage areas tend to be much quieter at night. The investment should be love at first sight as the journey will be a labour of love."