Malaysia looks at reducing foreigners’ property purchase threshold

Government announces plan to reduce the minimum property purchase amount for foreigners so they can buy homes for less

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. FarizunAmrodSaad/Shutterstock

Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA), the biggest property developer group in Malaysia, supported the government’s decision to reduce the minimum property purchasing amount for foreigners, from MYR1 million (USD238,581) to MYR600,000 (USD143,149), reported FMT news.

REHDA president Soam Heng Choon said the mandate will help them release vacant homes and reinvest in more economical housing markets.

However, opposing individuals claim that the developers will be compelled to increase property prices from a lower amount to MYR600,000 for foreigners.

Soam explained that the property rates cannot be altered since the housing and local government ministry requires developers to state each property’s selling price before the project launch.

More: Reduced property threshold for foreigners worries Malaysian analysts

To attract foreigners, the National Buyers Association said the developers will most likely switch to easier-selling residences at higher rates, eventually causing inflation and shortage of budget-friendly housing.

Soam countered the statement by sharing a report from the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) noting that most of the unsold units cost below MYR300,000, stating that there are still plenty of affordable vacant properties.

He said that the lower threshold will only affect high rise, strata properties priced above MYR600,000 in Kuala Lumpur, as well as major cities in Penang Island, Johor Bahru, and Selangor.