Johor developers urge government to review restrictions for foreigners wanting to buy real estate in Malaysia


According to a restriction enforced in 2014, foreigners cannot buy Malaysian property that costs less than RM1million (S$329,145). Now, the Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) is calling on the government to revise the current policy in order to boost real estate sales.

Johor Rehda chairman Chong Yoon On said that the RM1 million limit should be reduced to RM500,000 (S$164,572) for residential units.

The government enforced the restriction in order to “stabilise domestic prices from excessive speculation to enable local interests to acquire quality properties,” as reported by the South China Morning Post.

Chong reassured locals that the revision still provides that only 10 percent of developed properties are made available for sale to foreigners, leaving the majority of units to locals.

“Malaysia is not going to lose anything as properties are immovable assets and they [foreign buyers] are unlikely to start tearing down their houses and transporting them back to their home country,’’ said Chong.

Chong added that Johor is a prime location for residential property because of its proximity to Singapore. The government would benefit from Singaporeans purchasing property in Johor and “spend[ing] their money on food, utilities, necessity items and bringing benefits to local economy.”

Experts are alarmed by the 30 percent increase in unsold residential properties in Malaysia. The Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) reported that 32,313 units valued at RM19.86bil (S$) were left unsold, the majority of which are high-rise units in Perak and Kuala Lumpur.

The report added that “Major states namely Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang recorded an increase of 6.8%, 7.8% and 3% respectively in market activity.”

There are currently 80,984 unsold properties that are still under construction./TISG