The Airbnb or Short Stay market in Malaysia has boomed over the past few years with 2018 being an exceptional year for the Airbnb & Short Stay market in Malaysia. As a follow up with what I did in my previous post on this topic – Airbnb in Malaysia from a Property Investor’s Point of View – I decided to take a look at what the Top 5 Highest Earning Airbnb Locations in Kuala Lumpur are.
As you’ll soon be able to tell from the data, just like not every creative rental strategy is equal, not every location in KL has been created equal, some have very different Airbnb earnings from others, and just a handful stand out from the rest.
|ADR||Avg. Occupancy||Avg. Monthly Revenue||No. of Rentals||
Avg. No. of Guests
Data has been taken from Airdna.co
Some Things To Take Note Of
There are a few things to bear in mind though when looking at this data, that this is ONLY earnings from the Airbnb platform (and also Homeaway but if you go to the site, you’ll see that only about 1% of these listings are on Homeaway – This platform seems to not generate much revenue at all at the moment, and is perhaps why more hosts don’t bother to use it).
This is not taking into consideration other high revenue platforms such as Agoda, Booking.com and Expedia. This means that this isn’t the total revenue that one can expect to earn from a unit in these areas – it will be significantly higher.
These other high revenue platforms make up about 30% of the revenue for the units that are under our management. So, we would expect majority of the hosts referenced in this data set to have a significant portion of their revenue come from the other platforms as well.
This data appears to be averaged over a period of 6 months and the current average figures displayed may not be the yearly average.
And, just one last additional thing to note also, is that there are some areas on AirDNA that do not fall into any zone and thus are left out from the data.
With all that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the data and see what it tells us…
Just what are the best areas in KL at the moment for turning it into an Airbnb?
The Top 5 Highest Earning Airbnb Locations in Kuala Lumpur are:
3. Dang Wangi
4. Jalan Cochrane
I think you’d find yourself quite surprised at the data. I certainly was – at first.
After investigating further however, I noticed that the data does tell us an interesting story about just why these might be the Top 5 Highest Earning Airbnb Locations in Kuala Lumpur this year.
Airbnbs in Setapak come out right on top, in first place.
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the number of Setapak rentals are very low at the moment with just 34 listings but it also has the largest average number of guests at 8.2 per booking.
This combination means Setapak Airbnbs are low in supply and able to accommodate a larger amount of people, allowing higher nightly prices, while holding a decent average occupancy rate of 42%.
Considering there are only a few listings, I believe there is sufficient room for growth of these kinds of large units in Setapak. I also do believe that these kinds of units are in higher demand than it is made out to be.
I presume that this desire for larger units has something to do with the number of tertiary education centers and universities in the area, with the main one being Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) college. Uni students often do getaways in larger groups.
It is also important to note that there are some very interesting developments coming up in the area too, like KL Trader’s Square.
Due to the high nightly room rate, these kinds of large units can charge a high price per night, even a low occupancy rate can make sense during the low seasons because you are likely to make back the shortfall during the peak periods.
The proof is right here, in the data on Setapak, that maximizing your number of guests for your Airbnb seems to be one of the most surefire ways to maximize profitability on your Airbnb investment.
Coming in at number two were Airbnbs in Brickfields, which had the highest daily rate despite having a relatively good number of rentals and a lower average number of guests! The occupancy rate is also very decent at 54%.
This implies that Brickfields is indeed very, very popular and is a real hotspot for Airbnbs!
It seems that Brickfields is a huge attraction to tourists coming to KL.
It is probably not the most ideal location for most travelers but it is near enough to KL that people are willing to pay more as compared to staying inside Kuala Lumpur City Center where competition is absolutely insane with a whopping 3538 Airbnb rentals compared to Brickfields 340.
There are numerous articles about Brickfields and Little India that have made it a ‘must-see’ (or ‘must-makan-place’ item) for many western travelers. If you’ve spent any time in Brickfields at all you’d notice that there are an awful lot of tourists.
Brickfields is also right beside KL Sentral which that makes it very desirable for ease of transport throughout the city and also has direct access to transport to the Airport.
This is why I believe Brickfields truly has desirability – in its strategic location.
It is simply a strong post Airbnb hotspot in KL now and I believe it still can accommodate a lot more supply before prices come down.
Airbnb Dang Wangi
Dang Wangi comes in at third place which is actually just an extension of the City Center, Bukit Bintang, Chow Kit and Kampung Bahru.
This part of the city seems to be able to charge more due to the units here being able to accommodate slightly more guests, likely meaning bigger units. This location just seems to be the best and least clustered location in the city center with larger units.
There’s no real need to go over why KL City Center is the Airbnb hotspot that it is. It will always be the largest attraction of any city (almost anywhere in the world), will have the most number of travelers passing through because city centers are normally every traveler’s main point of arrival before they head anywhere else in the country.
What’s interesting here, is that the City Center isn’t the absolute highest earning airbnb location in Kuala Lumpur anymore.
Airbnb Jalan Cochrane
Coming in at fourth is Jalan Cochrane which is a very interesting ‘up and coming’ area! This is the area surrounding Mytown Shopping Center and Sunway Velocity. If you’ve not been to either of these places, you should definitely take a look and avoid doing this during the weekends!
Ikea is also located here and if you’ve not been to Ikea on a weekend, it’s definitely something to experience. (If you have the patience for it) Be prepared for looooong queues and thousands of people everywhere. After anyone who does any renovation or furnishing in Malaysia on their own knows that you can save quite a bit on some of the items sold here.
This area has developed some serious weekend traffic and even has decent crowds during the week.
These are some very promising developments and the surrounding areas have all the amenities any township would ever desire.
And surprisingly enough Cheras is in fifth – not a destination most people would immediately associate with Airbnbs but it turns out that it has a very healthy occupancy rate at 58% and a good average daily rate of RM174.
I think Cheras is another area that is certainly very promising already and it is actually the area right around Jalan Cochrane, so it’s very close by to the 4th best area in KL and less than 5km from KLCC. The township is extremely well connected by highways and also boasts 11 MRT Stations as part of the Sungai Buloh – Kajang MRT line.
Cheras also will continue to add Airbnb capacity over the coming years with thousands of units at developments like YouCity and Cheras South and many others.
I believe there’s considerably enough attractions in Cheras to attract travellers whether local or Foreign and it appears to be evident in the fact that Cheras finishes far above a lot of other areas which people might believe to be more promising.
One other area that deserves a special mention are Airbnbs in Pudu. This area has the highest average occupancy rate out of all the other areas in Kuala Lumpur at a stunning 84% from 631 rentals at RM130 per night.
Pudu might not be the most lucrative area but if during the low half of the year, it already has 84% occupancy, there is a lot of demand and possibly even a lack of supply during the peak season.
This could have something to do with the bus station being in the area but with most of the bus companies having moved out to TBS, i’m quite surprised at Airbnbs in Pudu having a crazily high occupancy rate.
It also has one of the lowest average number of guests per stay at 4. High volume of small groups are passing through Pudu on a regular basis.
It’s quite possible that oversupply may continue to bring down prices as a whole but what the data shows is that there not all locations are the same and there will always be places that are simply more in demand than others…
And right now, Setapak and Brickfields look like the top places to be at be with Jalan Cochrane and Cheras, as alternative hotspots to the usual KL City Center.
Airdna provides a wealth more of information through their paid version of Market Minder which are locked and not visible above. If you’re an investor looking to use Airbnb to supplement your rental income, I highly recommend you check it out.
They charge RM300 a month for 18 months of data for all of Kuala Lumpur and if you just want single location data, depending on location subscription starts from RM60 per month for each area.
If you’re looking to make a few hundred-thousand-dollar decision on where to purchase your next investment property, it might just be worth it.
Check them out through our affiliate link here – Airdna.co.
They offer a 7-day money back guarantee so if you’re not happy with your purchase, feel free to get a no questions asked refund from them.