According to the latest Accommodation Survey by ECA International, Kuala Lumpur falls out of Asia’s top 40 list of the most expensive places for rental accommodation, and is now more affordable than places such as Colombo and Kathmandu. ECA is the leading provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world. To help companies provide the right housing options as part of the overall compensation package for mobile employees, ECA’s research compares rental accommodation costs in areas typically inhabited by expatriate staff in over 240 locations worldwide.

“The property market in Kuala Lumpur has suffered from high levels of speculation over the past couple of years and high levels of new construction. The market is oversupplied, and landlords are having to compete significantly on price to secure tenants, said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International. “The domestic economy has not been strong enough to bolster demand for the excess of higher-end properties on the market. However, a slowdown in property construction and cooling measures from the Malaysian central bank should see the market stabilise in future years.”

Meanwhile, Singapore is now the eighth most expensive location in Asia for rental accommodation, down one place from last year, and down from fourth in 2016. Rental prices for an unfurnished, mid-market, three-bedroom apartment in areas commonly inhabited by international executives in Singapore average USD 4,337 USD per month – over 175 US dollars cheaper per month than a year previously.
Other key takeaways from the survey include:
• Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in Asia for rental accommodation
• South East Asian locations including Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta and Yangon, fall in rankings
• Mumbai, India continues to climb through the rankings and is now the fifth most expensive location in Asia for expats to rent
Apart from sharing more insights behind the survey’s findings, Lee will be able to discuss:
• Global macro-economic factors impacting these rankings, and the impact on businesses in Malaysia
• How the differences in rental accommodation cost between countries affect the mobility management options of employers
• How the survey findings affect the way businesses set, manage and review the right accommodation allowance for international assignees
• Trends and the state of expatriate management in Malaysia and the APAC region


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