Which two Southeast Asian capitals are future ‘super cities’?


Real estate investment here will be at a fever pitch


A new report from Knight Frank has designated Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur as having the potential to become global “super cities” in the medium term.

Alongside Nairobi, Moscow and Dubai, they have been pinpointed as the most up-and-coming destinations for real estate investment with heaps of growth potential and exciting opportunities.

With urbanisation all over the world on a steady incline – the United Nations predicts the global population living in cities will hit 380 million by 2020 – cities such as these will be forced to rapidly expand and adapt to a brimming population with residential, commercial and leisure property needs.

More: Why the Kuala Lumpur market is on the cusp

Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are already gearing up for expansion and the prospect of international real estate investment.

Thailand’s capital is already seeing its central business district (CBD) grow, according to Dot Property. While traditionally the CBD has lay around the Rama I area, penned in by Sathorn, Silom, Ploenchit, Wireless and Rajdamri roads, large-scale development can also be seen in the Ratchadapisek and Rama IX roads of the city.

The Grand Rama IX project is at the forefront of that development. As well as the G Land and U-Place buildings currently under construction, the Super Tower – the future tallest building in Bangkok at over 609 metres – will be built in the area shortly, providing a host of grade-A office space to the city.

Meanwhile, the major asset to Kuala Lumpur’s bid to become a super city is the improved transport links scheduled to start benefiting the city from 2020.

More: Not the best Q3 for Bangkok’s condo market

A number of new rail transit lines, together with the highly anticipated high-speed rail route between the city and Singapore, are sure to increase urbanisation and help development and investment growth in locations along the Malaysian peninsula in the areas of Seremban, Malacca and Johor.

The rail link into Singapore will reduce the current journey time between the cities to 90 minutes, according to Gulf Times.

John Snow, the head of commercial property at Knight Frank, agreed that Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are destined to see “huge growth” over the next four years, while warning that “their real estate markets need to be ready for new waves of citizens, firms and global investors.”


Image is by FullofTravel and used under a Creative Commons licence

is the region's leading luxury, real estate, architecture and design publication

  • Benedikt Schwarzacher

    I can assure you that KL will not be a super city. It is a city that falls apart, drowns it its own rubbish, lacks planning and an effort to make the city liveable!! The reasons are simple. The mayor is not elected but belongs to the ruling elite (since 57 years the same party), he serves not the residents but either his own interest or the interest of his bosses. Every city in Malaysia has the same problem! Compared to BKK KL has a small population and they still cannot manage it!!