Foreigners can buy Malaysian properties worth RM1 million or more, double from now

Malaysia's government has doubled the minimum value of properties that foreigners could buy to RM1 million (S$391,310), from RM500,000 currently.

Announcing this when presenting the 2014 Budget, Prime Minister Najib Razak said this was among a slew of measures being implemented to temper the sharp rise of homes in the country.

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The following is an excerpt from Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 2014 Budget speech on home ownership in Malaysia:

Increasing Home Ownership

- I hear the grouses of the rakyat who wish to own a comfortable home, especially from those in the low and medium- income groups. Various concerns have often been raised, such as soaring house prices, inadequate supply of houses and difficulties in getting financing.

- The recent sharp increase in the prices of houses has affected the ability of the rakyat to purchase houses. In addition, speculative activities have an impact on house prices and can adversely affect the real estate market in the long term.

- To increase the ability of the rakyat to buy a house and ensure stable house prices, as well as to control excessive speculative activities, the Government will implement the following steps :

First: Review Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT). For gains on properties disposed within the holding period of up to 3 years, RPGT rate is increased to 30%, whereas for disposals within the holding period up to 4 and 5 years, the rates are increased to 20% and 15%, respectively. For disposals made in the sixth and subsequent years, no RPGT is imposed on citizens, whereas companies are taxed at 5%.

For non-citizens, RPGT is imposed at 30% on the gains from properties disposed within the holding period of up to 5 years and for disposals in the sixth and subsequent years, RPGT is imposed at 5%.

Second: Increase the minimum price of property that can be purchased by foreigners from RM500,000 to RM1,000,000;

Third: Increase transparency in property sales price, where property developers will have to display detailed sales price including all benefits and incentives offered to buyers such as exemption of legal fees, stamp duty, sales agreements, cash rebates and free gifts; and

Fourth: Prohibit developers from implementing projects that have features of Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS), to prevent developers from incorporating interest rates on loans in house prices during the construction period. Therefore, financial institutions are prohibited from providing final funding for projects involved in the DIBS scheme.


- To further increase access to home ownership at affordable prices, an estimated 223,000 units of new houses will be built by the Government and the private sector in 2014. The Government will allocate RM578 million to the National Housing Department (JPN) for the implementation of Program Perumahan Rakyat which involves the construction of 16,473 housing units. In addition, JPN will construct 600 units for Program Perumahan Rakyat Disewa and Perumahan Rakyat Bersepadu with an allocation of RM146 million.