The residential mobility of the Malay middle class in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This study seeks to provide an overview of the intra-urban population movement of the Malay ethnic group. It deals specifically with the housing decisions of the Malay middle-class in the context of the rapidly expanding conventional housing market. The study deals with family life-cycle, housing search, housing and locational choice, home ownership, and the spatial outcome of residential mobility. The study examines the factors leading to housing relocation amongst the Malay middle-class households. The aim of the study is to assess the relative importance of household characteristics and socio-cultural factors in determining the residential mobility of the Malay middle-class in Kuala Lumpur. The analysis of the study is based on a survey undertaken by the author in 1989 which examines the factors leading to the households' housing relocation decisions and subsequent adjustments to the new neighbourhood environment. The findings of the study indicate that the desire for home ownership is the paramount reason while the need for more space plays an important supporting role. A large majority of the moving households preferred a mixed-community neighbourhoods, perhaps reflecting the multi-ethnic character of Kuala Lumpur. In addition, many of these households placed a high value on residential areas with positive environmental and neighbourhood attributes. The study concludes that the established residential areas in the Western sector of the city, notably residential areas in Damansara, Bangsar and Taman Tun Dr. Ismail are the most sought-after neighbourhoods. Such neighbourhoods confer not only high socio-economic status, but also high environmental quality attributes.