Johor mulls easing rules on foreigners buying homes

A condominium under construction in Johor.
PHOTO: Reuters

JOHOR BARU - Johor is prepared to relax regulations on foreign ownership of houses, and is looking into how it can be implemented.

Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Md Jais Sarday said the state was studying the possibility of providing incentives for developers to build homes costing between RM150,000 and RM400,000 for people who are in the mean income of middle 40 (M40).

He said that at present foreigners could only purchase houses which cost more than RM1mil.

"Maybe we can look at relaxing the requirements based on the size of the houses. We need to come up with a mechanism to address these issues including in the International Zones by early next year," he said after attending the state-level Landscape Day celebrations at Sireh Park in Iskandar Puteri here yesterday.

Md Jais said these were mere proposals and nothing had been finalised as it would require discussions with the Federal Government.

He was asked to comment on a recent Bank Negara report on housing issues nationwide.

At present there are more than 80,000 units of unsold bumiputra property statewide. Unsold non-bumiputra property is estimated at about 40,000 units.

Md Jais also thanked local developers for doing their part in building affordable houses but wanted more houses to be built for those in the M40 bracket.

"We may need to provide incentives to developers to build such homes," he said, adding that those in the M40 bracket were not eligible for homes below RM150,000.

On affordable homes, Md Jais said the state has a target to build 60,000 by 2020 and so far 15,000 have been completed.

"We cannot compromise on this as it is our target that needs to be achieved," he said, adding that they were allocating 65 per cent of affordable houses for bumiputras, 25 per cent for the Chinese and 10 per cent for Indians.

Md Jais said that in future there would be more promotions to publicise affordable and low-cost housing projects.

"If the bumiputra quota cannot be achieved, then we are willing to open it up to non-bumis," he added.