Funny statistics on Penang home prices


Many people are worried about rising housing prices in Penang. It doesn’t help that certain quarters are manipulating statistics to distort the picture.

We should be looking at the root causes of the speculation/investment that is driving up prices – easy bank loans, the illusion of ‘sold out’ property launches, hot money from quantitative easing flowing into the region, low bank interest rates, low property gains tax, etc. All these factors are rarely discussed or highlighted whether by politicians or the media.

Anyway here is Zairil Khir Johari clearing up the picture on the pricing statistics:

I read with disbelief the recent reports published by The Star on property prices in Penang. In particular, the reports titled “Properties in Penang only for the rich, says Chua” on 24 October 2012 and “Guan Eng denies Penang house prices increased 400%” in the 26 Octo ederition today.

In these reports, it is claimed that Penang real estate has seen a “drastic increase in the price of condominiums/apartments (by 411%), flats (339%), low-cost flats (157%) and detached units (103%) within the span of a year.”

Today, The Star further reported assertions that “according to the Penang Institute, the price of apartment/condominium went up from RM450,286 during the first quarter of last year to RM2.7mil during the corresponding period this year. It was reported that the price of detached unit [sic] increased from RM1.7mil to as high as RM3.5mil, low-cost flats from RM68,000 to RM175,000, flats from RM132,000 to RM580,000 during the corresponding period.”

I would like to congratulate both Dr Chua Soi Lek and The Star for their obviously stellar ability in manipulating statistics. What they have very mischievously done is to take last year’s average price of property, and then compared it to this year’s ceiling or maximum price for each property type, as published by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH).

Furthermore, the statistics used are for certain districts in Penang and not reflective of the whole state. For example, the average price of an apartment/condominium in the North-East district as of Q1 2011 was indeed RM450,286 as reported by the Penang Institute’s paper, “Housing market trends and affordability”, published in October 2011. This price is then used by The Star in comparison to the latest Property Stock Report by the JPPH, which states that the price of apartments/condominiums in the North-East District of Penang Island as of Q1 2012 ranges from RM170,000 to RM2.7 million. To compare this year’s ceiling price to last year’s average price is completely asinine and outrageous.

To make matters worse, some of the comparisons made are between two different districts. For example, the data for low-cost flats and flats as quoted by The Star is actually a comparison between the South-West and North-East districts of Penang. Such utter disregard for ethical reporting is confounding.

The Penang Institute regrets that such absurd and malicious manipulation of data has been linked to our institution and used to malign the Penang state government, and demands that a correction is made immediately to ensure that the public is not mislead.

Zairil Khir Johari
CEO, Penang Insitute

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Houses Are NOT cheap in Kuantan
19 years ago, I bought a single storey linked house(22×85) at RM60K.
10 years later, I sold at RM128K.
Now, the houses in that area are sold at RM240-260K.

19 year ago, double storey linked houses(20×85,22×85) priced at 150-180K, now its 320K-380K.

Well, food prices are escalating in the similar pattern…..


CSL, the Star, Utusan and UMNO and their sycophants … KL and Johore price are now one of the highest in the country even higher than in Penang. Perak which has lot of land, the houses are no more cheap due to the incompetency of the Zambry govt. The competent PR govt in Kedah has maintain houses at affordable level even though land are being snapped up at a rapid pace. And Penang houses even though the land has gone astronomical high, the LGE PR govt has done a good job balancing between affordable and high end housing. For every… Read more »


Now the twinkle Star just join other Bolehland media league to spin facts and become Be-End propaganda paper.

Let me see : utusan, Malaymail,berita, NST, Sin-chew, nanyang, thestar. Wait, where is the Tamil paper? Nobody bother to check?

Ken Ooi

Such distortions of the truth can work only in the old days. But now, with the internet and people becoming more discerning, it is not smart to tell other than the whole truth. The more truths are distorted, the more the credibility of the party involved will be reduced. If there is no real ammunition available for making an attack, it is wiser not to say anything but rather concentrate on informing the public about ideas and strategies for doing a better job than the current State Government. Then the State Opposition will have a better chance of winning the… Read more »

tan tanjong bungah

Hi everyone, Such outright manipulation of statistics by Star and MCA show an utter lack of professionalism! Can you believe that property prices of any category, ranging from low cost flat to luxurious bungalows, can surge more 100% in a one year period? Soiled CSL, his MCA and Star are so desperate to invent issues that they resort to such blatant ‘bending’ of statistics, in the process eroding whatever little little credibility that they may have!! Come the next GE, all Malaysians must come out in full force to vote PR to end the continuing corruption and cronyism practised by… Read more »


I agree that the statistics are absurd. If indeed star has manipulate the figures, pls sue them. The money can be channeled to provide and maintain affordable housing. Why demand for an apology when you already know it has been deliberately done. It is not an honest mistake because any idiot would know that a 400k apt last year is not 2.7 million now. Even a 10 year old will know that. Sue them and make some money for Pg.

Gerakan K

People are not blind. Just pretend you want to buy some house in Penang with less than RM 400 000. You will find yourself like a beggar with odd looking salesperson smiling at you.


Try Hong Kong, the low cost house which you have to apply from the govt start with 2 millions (RM800K) minimum. In Penang it is 50k & 72k. And there are many LMC which is upgraded to 170K. Yes GK must be blind in one eye. Always looking from one side. Even during Lim Chong Eu period he could not even solve the affordable housing problem. During that time there were about 50k on the waiting list and he boasted and call all these 50k to come forward and they will be allotted a unit within 3 years. Up 2008,… Read more »

Ahmad Sobri

I do not trust MCA one bit, after the recent HUDUD and SEX campaigns. I do not trust MCA for all the lies they had perpetuated, like the sex scandals involving YAB Lim Guan Eng. I do not trust MCA/Star for being absolutely desperate and for trying to draw the Chinese community in MCA’s spat with the Malays and Muslims on Hudud and Islam. The Chinese are absolutely angry with MCA and the Malays are so angry that they will NEVER again vote MCA, even with the promptings of UMNO! Islam had been belittled, Islam had been mocked, Islam had… Read more »