Four years ago George Town became a Unesco World Heritage Site, and the town experienced a renaissance of sorts. Heritage became a cash cow. The value of heritage houses in the inner city rose dramatically; restaurants and heritage hotels grew faster than mushrooms after the rain. For now, it seems that only prosperity and wealth await George Town. But what are the long term implications of this change?
After the sub-prime crisis that triggered the 2008 recession in the US and much of the Western world, the risks involved with overvalued properties fell under the spotlight. Speculation in the international press has widely discussed the possibility of China's property bubble bursting and slowing down the world economy. How does this relate to Penang?
There is the suspicion that heritage property in George Town is overvalued. This is a difficult issue to address as it is hard to define how property could be “overvalued”.
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