Asia reining in foreign property buyers

Asia reining in foreign property buyers

SINGAPORE - Foreign property buyers are not just feeling the heat in Singapore but face restrictions across the region, according to a Knight Frank Research report yesterday.

Governments have been imposing curbs on fears that overseas buyers have been taking advantage of low interest rates to dive into Asian real estate, pushing up prices in the process.

Hong Kong has adopted policies similar to those in Singapore, ruling that foreigners must pay a stamp duty of 15 per cent on the purchase price.

Rising property prices in Iskandar in Malaysia have led Johor Baru's state government to announce higher taxes on foreigners owning properties. These are expected to be implemented by the end of this year.

Foreigners are also restricted from buying properties for less than RM500,000 (S$196,000).

In Vietnam, foreigners can buy apartments or condominiums with a 50-year lease but are not allowed to own land.

In many regional countries, foreigners cannot acquire property if they are not already residents, noted Knight Frank. In China, foreigners who have worked or studied there for at least a year can own a home for their own occupation. Foreigners in India can also buy a home if they live there.

Indonesian permanent or temporary residents can buy 25-year lease property that may be renewed twice for 20 and 25 years.

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