Malaysia Property Market Still Trying To Find Its Way

Editor: Cheyenne Hollis
Pages 26, Dot Property Magazine ISSUE 026 Q1 2019

The past few years haven’t been great for the property market in Malaysia. A glut of unsold units, foreign ownership regulation uncertainty, and a slow overall market have all contributed to less than ideal conditions. However, there may be some hope on the horizon. The country is predicting positive GDP growth forecasts of 4.8 percent in 2019 and 4.9 percent in 2020. This should help improve purchasing power. Additionally, Knight Frank revealed that it expects the Kuala Lumpur luxury condo market to trend upward this year in a recent report. That is the market segment of interest to most international real estate investors who can only acquire Malaysianproperties priced at MYR1 million (USD256,500) or above. Should the country’s property market be on the road to recovery, shrewd property investors should act now.“Not many countries in the region or around the world allow foreigners to own freehold properties. Secondly, the price per square foot for Malaysian properties is still one of the lowest in the region,” former Malaysia PropertyIncorporated Vice President David Shieh told the MalayMail last year. Chinese real estate investors began returning to Malaysia late in 2018 after staying on the sidelines in the aftermath of last year’s election. Malaysian Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad spoke out against foreign real estate ownership, but no new regulations have been enacted.“Prime Minister Mahathir’s comments discouraged all overseas buyers, not just Chinese, by injecting a shot of uncertainty into the market. What our data suggests that the decline in buyers has not been so great as sometimes believed and that a recovery is a very much underway,” Carrie Law, CEO, and Director of Juwai.com explained. Penang property market remains solid despite glut A glut of unsold units sitting on the market hasn’t impacted the Penang real estate market, according to the local government. The island’s real estate scene remains solid with the government’s commitment to affordable housing. “The market is very strong despite reports of (unsold)units throughout the whole country,” Jagdeep Singh Deo, Penang Housing, Town, Country Planning and LocalGovernment Committee Chairman, said during a press conference. “We hope that in 2019, we will see more federal-initiated affordable housing programs and measures for first-time homebuyers.”In other Penang property news, the local government raised the real estate price floor for foreigners purchasing home. The minimum purchase price on the island is now set at MYR3 million (USD 742,000) for landed property andMYR1 million (USD257,550) for the stratified unit.

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