REVISITING IPOH PRE-WAR SHOPHOUSES

Did a boom in pre-war shophouses in Ipoh take place or is the hype sustainable? Asian Property Review went on a walkabout and reports on its findings.

As inbound tourism was doing quite well for the last few years, many have predicted that Ipoh heritage shophouses would be the next boom properties after Penang and Melaka. But has the boom really taken off or is it sustainable?

Pre-war shophouses in Ipoh have come a long way. From relatively stagnant prices in the 1990s through 2000s, it has seen more interest since 2010 when property prices nationwide experienced high growth due to easy credit and low interest rates. Despite that, these pre-war shophouses have always been a niche play, with most buyers being purchasers with a long-term view.

“They are mainly bought by investors who want to go into tourism-related businesses like F&B, souvenirs or boutique hotels,” says See Kok Loong, Metro Homes director.

Weekends are pretty busy but only on a few streets particularly the famed Concubine Lane and the streets immediately surrounding it, near Plan B restaurant and Sekeping Kong Hee hotel.

“The main tourist areas of Concubine Lane fetch about RM1.5 mil to RM 2 mil for a double-storey shophouse with freehold title,” says See.

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