Johor Bahru is Malaysia's second largest city, and an important industrial, tourism and commercial hub situated on top of Straits of Johor, linked by two causeways (including the "Second Link") to Singapore. The State of Johor is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. It was a fishing village called Tanjung Puteri discovered by Temenggung Daeng Ibrahim in 1855 and renamed "Johor Bahru" (the "New Johor") by the well known Sultan Abu Bakar (son of the Temenggung) and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom in 1866.
Growth and Infrastructure
Johor Bahru has enjoyed a pace of development in the last 10 years that is probably fastest among the Malaysian cities given its good location and proximity to Singapore. The Pasir Gudang Port has seen expanding international trade. Ambitious projects such as the recently completed Southern Integrated Gateway (Gerbang Selatan Bersepadu) which comprises Johor Bahru main railway station (JB Sentral), and a new Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (Kompleks Kastam, Imigresen dan Kuarantin Sultan Iskandar) will help to ensure that its continued growth.
Johor Bahru Property Guide
The rapid development of Johor Bahru has also seen its property market growing fast in the last 10 years. Accommodation and property investment are available in landed property such as a detached house or a semi-detached house in addition to apartments and condominiums. Increasingly, serviced apartments are also available for the more luxury market.
Daerah Sentral Johor Bahru, or Johor Bahru Central District, is the centre of commercial, political and business institutions. All of the Malaysia's major banks can be found there with major shopping centres such as City Square, Pelangi ("rainbow"), Johor Bahru City Square and Kotaraya.
For a new property, it is possible to buy directly from a real estate developer. And whether you are renting or buying, it is possible to engage real estate agents to search for a suitable property. Make sure that you use one which is licensed and a member of the Johor Bahru Real Estate Association and understand the fee structures. One month's rent for a twelve-month rental agreement and 2.5% and 3% of the final sales price are common. As far as a property mortgage is concerned, it is possible to borrow up to 80% of the property price.
The sale and purchase (called the "conveyancing") of a property should be carried out through a qualified lawyer (an " advocate & solicitor") who will make sure that the formalities such as tax and stamp duties are paid and that the owner will get a "good title" of the property. Some landlords also use a lawyer or a rental agreement prepared by a lawyer.
Access to Johor Bahru
International access to Johor Bahru is through the Senai International Airport. Flying into Singapore across the causeway is also an often used alternative.
In addition to its commercial success, it is also a city of combined Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures. Tourists should not miss the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, which houses the ceremonial regalia, personal memorabilia, furniture, objets d'arts, cultural artifacts and other treasures of the Royal Family. Other places of interest include the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque and the State Secretariat Building which was built in 1940 located on top of a small hill overlooking the water front.
"Pedestrianisation" of part of the city including the Jalan Meldrum area, near the Johor Bahru City Council building and the construction of "Segget Walk" Laman Tun Sri Lanang are certainly development in the right direction to modernise the city.