$320,000 is minimum housing price for foreigners in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU - The minimum price for houses that can be bought by foreigners in Sabah will remain at RM1mil (S$323,653) to prevent prices from escalating further.

Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang said the state government was not agreeable to the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association's (Shareda) proposal to reduce the minimum price tag for houses allowed to be owned by foreigners to RM650,000.

Noting that Sabah's high house prices were comparable to those in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor, Teo said locals would be adversely affected if the government were to agree to the association's proposal.

This would drive up property prices in the state, he said.

"The influx of foreign buyers will further increase the already high prices of residential properties in the state which will be detrimental to potential local buyers," he said.

Teo said the move was also to ensure that only foreigners belonging to the high income bracket would invest in the state.

Developers, he said, were encouraged to build more houses costing below RM650,000 so that more locals could afford to buy their own homes.

Shareda had recently proposed that the state revise regulations governing properties that foreigners could buy in Sabah by reducing the existing minimum price of RM1mil to RM650,000.