Developers will hike up prices to woo foreigners, warns house buyers’ body


PETALING JAYA: A group representing house buyers today warned of the possibility of developers increasing prices to attract foreign buyers following the move to allow foreigners to buy homes costing RM600,000 from next year.

National House Buyers Association (HBA) honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said this will squeeze locals out of the housing market.

Chang cited the possibility of Singaporeans flocking to Johor Bahru to buy properties as prices there will be cheaper compared with the republic.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the new ruling was to reduce supply overhang of condominiums and apartments, worth RM8.3 billion in the second quarter of 2019. At present, foreigners are only allowed to buy properties worth more than RM1 million.

Previously, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin had said she planned to organise another Home Ownership Campaign aimed at China and Hong Kong buyers to get them to buy homes in Malaysia.

Chartered property surveyor Ernest Cheong said the RM1 million price limit was imposed to protect locals from foreign competition.

He said developers should instead be made to reduce the prices of properties to make them more affordable for locals.

Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) acting president Mohideen Abdul Kader said they strongly opposed the reduction in the ceiling prices for foreigners to buy houses.

“This is an unwise decision from Pakatan Harapan. They should be focusing on providing affordable homes for the people.

“Besides that, this issue of fixing a ceiling price for houses should come under the various states. We do not know if state governments will follow suit,” he said.