Arrived in Sabah Borneo about a two and a half hour flight from Malaysia between Brunei, Jakarta, Manila and Bali.
We found the general atmosphere is very chilled with the coastal regions being reminiscent of the Gold Coast and the city plus some outer areas in Kota Kinabalu being very much like India. With a local population of fewer than 1 million and a general population of under 1.5 million, the state remains heavily tourism based with a focus on foreign investment for palm oil produce and new real estate development. There’s also a large diverse population of Malays, Filipinos, Indonesians and Chinese that sets the language apart with mixed dialects from the local Malay and Penang Hokkien with some English and Chinese.
We took a half-day tour around KK up the Jin Pinampang way and across to Jin Sulaman North Kinabalu toward Mount Kinabalu. Our taxi driver happened to be a bit of a property guru and kept introducing us to properties along the way that have been popular with foreigners.
The prices as you would expect were realistic as given to foreigners. As we were told, property estimates for high-end residential condos were about RM1.1 to RM1.8 million toward the North and dropped to about RM400,000 30 minutes north of the city centre for off the plan 1,200 sq ft condos and increasing to under RM800,000 toward the heart of the city. As one of the fastest developing regions being part of the Federation of Malaysia, you’ll find a tonne of projects underway with half the state filled with CATs, cranes and half constructed buildings.