The government has no plans to regulate foreign property buying despite concerns that foreigners drive up house prices in Malaysia, particularly in Nusajaya, Penang and the Klang Valley.
There were also calls to raise the minimum property purchase by foreigners since the current RM500,000 cap is too low.
“It’s an open market. I don’t think we should deprive the developers of potential businesses they can get from foreigners…What we want to see now is in areas with chronic problem of property affordability, perhaps I would like to advise the developers and state governments to increase the minimum price to RM1.0 million,” said Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
However, it should not be a blanket policy.
“We have to be tactful, I do not want to interfere in the market in such a way that I have a ‘one size fits all’ policy. It has to be location based and demand-supply sensitive,” he added.
Abdul Rahman further noted that foreign buying do not really have a direct impact on property prices as they account for only 5.5 percent of the country’s total property owners. Moreover, they usually prefer luxury properties over low-cost or affordable houses.
“I don’t think foreigners buying property is a huge problem. I also understand that the purchase is essential to give liquidity to the market,” he said after the launch of the 16th Malaysia Housing and Property Summit.