The New Expat Neighborhoods in Malaysia – Update 2021

Written by Taco

January 30, 2021

Neighbourhoods in Malaysia

In a moment we will be touching on the new expat neighborhoods in Malaysia. But first, let’s talk about the most common criteria our clients look for. When we serve international buyers/investors that look at properties in Malaysia, they mostly look for the same things, such as security, proximity to amenities, good highway access, etc.

Based on our experience, you also might want to consider a few other criteria when looking at a property in Malaysia;

1. Any other expats living in the same neighborhood?

Many foreign buyers choose to live outside the “designated” expat zones and prefer to immerse themselves in the local culture. Still experience has shown that expats prefer to initiate in a social circle similar to their current experience or life back home and thus will look for areas more populated with fellow expats.

2. Any Supermarkets or Hypermarkets in the Area?

The biggest supermarkets in Malaysia are Jaya Grocer, Cold Storage, Aeon, and the Village Grocer. So many expats like to live close to or around these supermarkets, making sure the distance for groceries is not too far. Many condo areas and high traffic areas will already have these supermarkets in the neighborhood, so there is no shortage. All biggest grocery stores in Malaysia you can find here – 10 major grocery stores to know in KL

3. International Restaurant?

Expat areas are often great destinations for restaurants and cafes that cater to international cuisine. Although local cuisine is also a preferred place for expats to meet, it’s understandable that expats might prefer their daily meals to be something a little more familiar. Want to know some great restaurants in KL, just click here – 10 best restaurants in KL. 

4. Distance to an international school 

Travelling can sometimes be a challenge in Malaysia. Especially for kids that go to school. Most expat kids will go to an international school id kindergarten. So mainly expats with kids will settle for a unit close to the school to make the travel time as efficient as possible. List of top international school in Kuala Lumpur – International schools in Kuala Lumpur. 

Looking at the top criteria and also the additional wishes expats commonly have, we have selected 5 areas that are chosen by expats;

As Kuala Lumpur is getting more developed and developers are playing a key role in opening more townships and upgrading areas, we will see a bigger spread of expat neighborhoods in Malaysia. However, we do believe that the top 5 locations mentioned earlier in this article will remain the favorite locations for a long time.

Mont Kiara 

The township consists mainly of residential condominiums and office complexes. For years Mont Kiara has dominated the flow of new foreign investment and expats settling in. With a wide range of condominiums and also quite a few exclusive landed properties, this is still a popular location. However, there is more competition for this area, mainly also because traffic can sometimes be heavy going in and out of Mont Kiara.

According to various data, about 40%- 55% of the area is made up of expats and foreign purchasers. Also, the main reason is the two international schools located in the heart of Month Kiara (Garden International School and Mont Kiara International School).

Desa Park City

Over the recent years, Desa Park City has been on the rise as the most livable township in KL. This location has all the elements to be a perfect expat community, like international schools, hospitals, parks, lake, clubhouse, and even two shop areas. Also, the main factor that makes Desa Parkcity a choice for foreign buyers, is the child and pet-friendly environment.

Desa Park City caters to those who want to unwind and enjoy their life on the outskirts of the city, yet have all the amenities they could want at the touch of their fingertips.

This self-sufficient ‘city’ contains shops, restaurants, jogging tracks all at the edge of a huge man-made lake called The Waterfront.


A mixed and little older neighborhood that is still very popular with foreigners in Malaysia. This area has its reputation to be an outgoing and entertainment-friendly spot for people that like to have a drink and good food. The area also offers a great variety of high-end malls, restaurants, cafés, and bars to spend time after work and during weekends. Unsurprisingly, Bangsar (together with KLCC) are the top destinations for ‘’young’’ expats.

Bangsar has grown rapidly in recent years but has paid a price in terms of traffic jams and a shortage of parking places. The most luxurious condominiums are mostly located in the vicinity of Bangsar Hill on Jalan Kapas and include Araville.

An additional reason for expats to choose this area is the center point neighboring office areas like Bangsar south, Damansara heights, and of course KLCC. Working Expats choose to live here, as they feel the location has easy access to their office.


This location can not be missed out on this list. Kuala Lumpur City Centre is home to expats from all over the world and referred to as the business and cultural hub of Malaysia, Expats living in KLCC are typical of the C-level, the corporate crowd from the United Kingdom, America, and Australia as well as European countries such as France, Germany, Netherlands, and Italy. In the event an expat works in KLCC, it’s also advisable to live in the city center, as traffic into the city can be quite a hassle.

You’ll find lots of high-rise properties, mixed developments, and upcoming upscale serviced residences that cater to the business crowd. For expats traveling with a school or university-age children, there are tons of options for private and international schools.

It’s a top choice for younger expats as well, similar to Bangsar, due to its wide variety of bars, cafes, clubs, pubs, and fine dining restaurants. This big difference with Bangsar in comparison with KLCC is the variety of choices in High Rise Properties. In Bangsar, there are limited options, while KLCC has a huge inventory of choice.

Damansara Heights 

Also known as Bukit Damansara, is an affluent suburb in western Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, located five kilometers from the KLCC.

Similar to the previous expat neighborhoods in Malaysia, Damansara Heights offers a variety of shops, restaurants, bars, fitness, and grocery options. Plaza Batai and Plaza Damansara are amongst the places you can find various restaurants and cafes where foodies can try the diverse delicacies. The plazas are also ideal for hanging out with friends and family.

Since starting development in the early 1970s, this neighborhood has been called ‘’Beverly Hills’’ of Malaysia. Situated just minutes away from the city center, it is much sought after by the upper-middle and upper-class Malaysians as well as many expatriates.

A key driver for this location is accessibility.

Because of this many companies are attracted to Damansara Heights. When it comes to office space, Damansara Heights is home to offices and well-known companies. Damansara Heights is an active market for tenants, owner-occupiers, and investors.

These are not the only locations in expat neighborhoods in Malaysia that are getting the preference choices. In case you are looking into different areas, also make sure to look up; Ara Damansara, Sri Hartamas, Bangsar South (Kerinchi), Ampang, and Seputeh.

As Kuala Lumpur is getting more developed and developers are playing a key role in opening more townships and upgrading areas, we will see a bigger spread of expats neighborhoods in Malaysia. However, we do believe that the top 5 locations mentioned earlier in this article will remain the favorite locations for a long time.

For more information about locations in Malaysia, please contact your Propcoach Independent International Property Consultant – Click Here 

For more information about Foreign property investment in Malaysia, check out our FREE education channel – Click Here

Mont Kiara Malaysia

Malaysia has been ranked third among Asian  retirement  systems”

With an overall index value of 60.1, according to the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2020.

Malaysia was listed together with the UK, Belgium, Hong Kong, the US and France in the Grade C+ band, with an index value of 60-65, in the index which compares 39 retirement systems in the world.

Download our Guide for Foreigners buying property in Malaysia

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