Laws you need to know before buying property in Asia

PHOTO: Laws you need to know before buying property in Asia

Singapore investors have always been keen on property markets overseas. A recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle said that Singaporean buyers were heading to overseas property markets in droves. Of particular interest, were countries such as London, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

While some investors may prefer to invest in property around the region, many may not be sure of the rules and regulations governing such transactions.

Regulations among countries in the Asia Pacific region can vary, with some being more prohibitive or difficult to overcome than others.

If you are thinking of investing in property overseas but are not sure how to do it, check out these quick tips on the property laws of various countries around Asia.

While it is by no means an exhaustive guide, it does give you an idea of how easy, or hard it would be to buy a home in these countries.

Info source: Jones Lang LaSalle

Property investment rules for Asia-Pacific countries

  • Foreign persons or corporations are not permitted to hold title to land, but they are allowed to purchase leasehold interests.
  • Under existing regulations, foreigners may purchase a freehold interest in land if in a joint venture where they control not more than 49 per cent of the company.
  • Foreigners are allowed to own apartments and condominium units above the ground floor to a maximum of 70 per cent of any one apartment building, provided that the building has applied for and obtained 'strata title'.
  • Ownership of land is restricted to Cambodian citizens. Cambodian citizens include individuals and legal entities in which 51 per cent or more of the shares are held by Cambodian citizens. Foreigners may acquire leasehold and concessions.
  • On the other hand, a foreign national who resides in India can purchase immovable property in India.
  • Property investment rules for Asia-Pacific countries-5
  • Non-resident purchasers who do not meet other criteria set out in the country's laws are unable to purchase apartments or condominiums.

    And foreigners are not allowed to own land.

  • The holding of Land Use Rights (LUR) in the form of allocated land is to be regarded as being the closest approximation to freehold interests available in Vietnam.

    But holding LURs in the form of allocated land is technically not tantamount to freehold ownership, as the Constitution of Vietnam specifies that land in Vietnam is owned by the people of Vietnam and is administered by the state on behalf of the people.

  • Foreigners can buy property without restrictions but must pay a 15 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty on top of the current ad valorem stamp duty and Special Stamp Duty.
  • Non-resident foreigners are not permitted to buy property in mainland China.
  • No restrictions apply but you will be subject to a general pricing threshold of RM500,000 and above per unit.
  • Approval for property acquisitions will only be required from the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department (EPU) where the acquisition involves a dilution of bumiputera or government interests for properties valued at RM20 million and above.
  • Foreigners can buy private condominiums freely although they are subject to a 15 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty.

    Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where non-permanent resident foreigners may buy a landed home. It's a luxury development on an island made of reclaimed land.

  • A foreign national who is not a resident or considered to benefit the country's national development is unable to purchase property in Indonesia.
  • There are 5 types of land rights: Right of Ownership, Right of Cultivation, Right to Build and Right of Use and Right to Operate/Manage. Out of these 5, only Right of Use can be held by individual foreigners residing in Indonesia.
  • Foreigners can purchase dwellings that add to the housing stock.

    This includes 'new dwellings'; off-plan properties under construction or yet to be built, or vacant land for development.

    Foreigners cannot buy established dwellings as investment properties or as homes.

Property investment rules for Asia-Pacific countries

  • Foreign persons or corporations are not permitted to hold title to land, but they are allowed to purchase leasehold interests.
  • Under existing regulations, foreigners may purchase a freehold interest in land if in a joint venture where they control not more than 49 per cent of the company.
  • Foreigners are allowed to own apartments and condominium units above the ground floor to a maximum of 70 per cent of any one apartment building, provided that the building has applied for and obtained 'strata title'.
  • Ownership of land is restricted to Cambodian citizens. Cambodian citizens include individuals and legal entities in which 51 per cent or more of the shares are held by Cambodian citizens. Foreigners may acquire leasehold and concessions.
  • On the other hand, a foreign national who resides in India can purchase immovable property in India.
  • Property investment rules for Asia-Pacific countries-5
  • Non-resident purchasers who do not meet other criteria set out in the country's laws are unable to purchase apartments or condominiums.

    And foreigners are not allowed to own land.

  • The holding of Land Use Rights (LUR) in the form of allocated land is to be regarded as being the closest approximation to freehold interests available in Vietnam.

    But holding LURs in the form of allocated land is technically not tantamount to freehold ownership, as the Constitution of Vietnam specifies that land in Vietnam is owned by the people of Vietnam and is administered by the state on behalf of the people.

  • Foreigners can buy property without restrictions but must pay a 15 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty on top of the current ad valorem stamp duty and Special Stamp Duty.
  • Non-resident foreigners are not permitted to buy property in mainland China.
  • No restrictions apply but you will be subject to a general pricing threshold of RM500,000 and above per unit.
  • Approval for property acquisitions will only be required from the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department (EPU) where the acquisition involves a dilution of bumiputera or government interests for properties valued at RM20 million and above.
  • Foreigners can buy private condominiums freely although they are subject to a 15 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty.

    Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where non-permanent resident foreigners may buy a landed home. It's a luxury development on an island made of reclaimed land.

  • A foreign national who is not a resident or considered to benefit the country's national development is unable to purchase property in Indonesia.
  • There are 5 types of land rights: Right of Ownership, Right of Cultivation, Right to Build and Right of Use and Right to Operate/Manage. Out of these 5, only Right of Use can be held by individual foreigners residing in Indonesia.
  • Foreigners can purchase dwellings that add to the housing stock.

    This includes 'new dwellings'; off-plan properties under construction or yet to be built, or vacant land for development.

    Foreigners cannot buy established dwellings as investment properties or as homes.