Market Forces in Bali Real Estate

Real estate in Bali
Real estate in Bali
Image by Austin Distel on Unsplash.

Analysing what’s happening to your market is important in any business. Without knowledge you can’t set accurate and achievable goals and if you’re not measuring results business tends to run flat before it runs itself down.

With that in mind I sat down with the team at Seven Stones Indonesia to try and get some insights as to what they’re learning about real estate in Bali and where they see market forces in 2017.

Here’s what they had to say.

Q. What parts of Bali are seeing the most interest from buyers?

Most of the enquiries we’re getting are focused on Canggu, with Berawa and Pererenan being the most popular enclaves in that general area. Sanur comes in a pretty close second. We know that Ubud is also a place we should be focusing more energy on as there’s a growing interest in escaping to the hills.

Q. Is interest mainly Freehold or Leasehold?

That very much depends on nationality as well as the location of interest. Most of the Indonesian enquiries we get still prefer Hak Milik (Freehold) but there are indications they’ve started to take a greater interest in Hak Sewa (Leasehold) titles, especially commercial investments such as bars and restaurants.

Foreign interest is split between the two.

Q. Is that influenced by area?

Yes. Location plays a significant role in what titles are even available. The Bukit, for example, is mostly Freehold but Bingin is primarily Leasehold. Away from The Bukit, Pererenan tends to be Freehold while Berawa is mostly Leasehold.

This focus on Leaseholds in a specific area could be because of the large number of foreigners who’ve already invested there. If everything was just Freehold, foreign interest wouldn’t be as high. It makes sense for vendors to focus on market needs like this.

Q. Why do you think this is?

It’s like a Catch 22 and everything’s connected. Prices are connected to titles. Titles are connected to demand. And demand is connected back to prices. So, buyers with more financial resources would be more likely to go looking for Freehold assets in an area that has a greater choice of them.

It works the other way too. Those with less substantial resources, who may prefer a less complicated investment, are generally more comfortable with Leasehold titles and the areas that have more of these options to choose from.

If we look at our Indonesian client base for example, we see those with low-end budgets hovering around 1 – 1.5 billion Rupiah. This determines what’s available and where. We also see more seasoned investors with much deeper pockets whose comfort zone is around the 8 billion Rupiah mark. This naturally determines the properties and locations available to them.

Interestingly, while lower entry level Leasehold properties are a relatively liquid investment, the high-end Leasehold options out there aren’t being seen as that attractive right now.

Q. Why not?

Perceptions. By their very nature Leaseholds have time frames associated with them and for every year that passes there’s less on the lease to use or sell. So for example, a 25 year lease is seen to have greater value than a 20 year lease and that in turn has more value than a 10 year lease and so on. In that sense the perception is a numbers game. There’s also a realization that it’s no longer a walk in the park to achieve the strong returns of just a few years ago.

Q. Is this trend being driven by domestic or foreign buyers? If foreign, where are they from?

It’s a huge generalization but Australian, European and other Southeast Asian interest predominantly fuels the Leasehold market, while domestic interest fuels Freehold. There are however, lots of crossovers with some foreign investors wanting to purchase Freehold either through a company, converting into Hak Pakai, or opting for the now not so common route of a nominee.

Foreign investors are very much looking for a good ROI, security of investment and lower entry levels – read Leaseholds. We think this is likely connected to banks in their home countries offering very low interest rates.

Indonesian buyers also see the benefits of investing outside of the banking system and they’re diving straight into real estate, especially as many of them have brought capital back to the country from overseas. There are also traditional values and mindsets to consider with Indonesian buyers who tend to buy with legacies and future generations in mind, something to pass on to the grandkids – read Freehold.

Q. Has this changed over the last 12 months?

There are some amazing rags to riches stories in the world of real estate in Bali; buying at the right time and in the right place then selling at the right time for small fortunes. Having said that, there are also regrets from those who sold land at the wrong time, who wished they’d held on just a little longer or wished they’d sold Leasehold instead of Freehold.

But generally, we’re not seeing any major shifts. We are however, noticing a growing market confidence and awareness amongst our Indonesian clients, especially regarding the huge capital appreciation that’s been evident over the last 5 years or so.

Many thanks to the team at Seven Stones Indonesia for taking the time to share some interesting insights into market forces in real estate in Bali.

If you’d like more information into real estate in Bali, get in touch with us today through


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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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Ridwan Jasin Zachrie

CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.