Soho, Sovo, Sofo etc were just some of the more catchy acronyms used to describe these developments. They were marketed as the lifestyle of the future for the young and upwardly mobile executive.

THERE was an unprecedented interest in the real estate market in Malaysia from 2010 to 2013.

Buyer’s interest in property investments reached a peak never before experienced in this country.

Speculation increased in tandem with this interest, and pretty soon, the speculators outnumbered the real investors.

A lot of the interest in the market was limited to the residential sub sector, mainly for properties below the RM1 million price range.

The biggest interest was focused on properties that ranged between RM500,000 to RM700,000.

Many developers decided to capitalise on this interest by launching projects in this price range.

In order to attract a bigger pool of prospective purchasers, the units started to become smaller.

Hence, the one bedroom or studio suite was reintroduced into the market in a big way.

They were sized anything between 300 sq ft to 600 sq ft, thus enabling the developers to keep the total price in an affordable range.


A studio apartment at Jalan Pinggiran Putra, Seri Kembangan. Pix by Nurul Syazana Rose Razman

So even if these units were priced at RM1,000 per sq ft (as many of them were), the total purchase price would only be RM300,000. This figure was well within the easy reach of even the lower middle-class income earner.

So what happened next was that there was a proliferation of these kinds of developments.

As more units came into the market, the names for these developments became more and more creative.

Soho, Sovo, Sofo etc were just some of the more catchy acronyms used to describe these developments.

They were marketed as the lifestyle of the future for the young and upwardly mobile executive.

Images of posh city centre apartments were being used as clever marketing techniques.

These units were being sold as not just living space but versatile working space as well.

Today, there are thousands of such units in the market.

Many more are in various stages of construction and will be completed and released into the market in the near future.

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