Why are foreigners buying property in Malaysia

Why are foreigners buying Malaysia properties


malaysia buyers


Malaysia has long been a popular destination for foreign property buyers, and there are a number of reasons why this trend has continued.

One reason is the country’s relatively low cost of living compared to other countries in the region, such as Singapore and Hong Kong. Malaysia’s cost of living index is lower than the global average, making it an affordable place to live for foreigners who want to stretch their money further.

Another reason is Malaysia’s diverse and vibrant culture. The country is known for its mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, as well as its rich history and beautiful natural surroundings. This makes it an attractive place to live for those who are interested in exploring a new culture and way of life.

Malaysia is also known for its strong economy and political stability, which can be appealing to foreign property buyers. The country has a diverse economy with sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, and finance, and it has a relatively low unemployment rate. Political stability is also a factor, as Malaysia has a long history of peaceful transitions of power and a relatively low crime rate compared to other countries in the region.


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Who are buying property in Malaysia

How do expats buy property in Malaysia 3


The Malaysian property market has attracted a diverse group of international buyers, with the majority historically coming from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, particularly Singapore and Indonesia. Additionally, there’s a significant interest from investors and homebuyers from East Asia, notably China, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, driven by Malaysia’s comparative affordability and appealing lifestyle offerings.

Buyers from the Middle East, particularly from countries like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have also shown growing interest, attracted by Malaysia’s Muslim-friendly environment and investment opportunities. European buyers, mainly from the UK and France, are drawn by the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, which offers long-term residency options. The variety of buyers reflects Malaysia’s appeal as a multicultural, economically dynamic, and geographically strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia, offering a wide range of property options catering to different preferences and budgets.


Where are foreigners buying property in Malaysia

How do expats buy property in Malaysia 6


Foreigners buying property in Malaysia tend to gravitate towards specific areas known for their lifestyle appeal, investment potential, and compliance with foreign ownership regulations. Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, is a prime choice for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, modern amenities, and high-rise luxury condominiums. Penang, particularly the island part, is another hotspot, famous for its cultural heritage, scenic beauty, and vibrant expatriate community. Johor Bahru, located close to Singapore, attracts many foreign buyers due to its proximity to the Singaporean border and the development of Iskandar Malaysia.

The state of Selangor, especially areas like Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam, is popular for its well-developed infrastructure and proximity to Kuala Lumpur. Additionally, Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo are becoming increasingly popular for their natural beauty and unique lifestyle offerings. These areas offer a range of property types, from high-rise apartments to beachfront properties, catering to diverse preferences and budgets of foreign buyers.


How do foreigners buy property in Malaysia

What are the legal requirements


Foreigners looking to buy property in Malaysia must navigate a set of regulations designed to streamline their investment. Key among these is the minimum purchase price threshold, which varies by state and is intended to control the type of properties foreigners can buy. Typically, foreigners are allowed to purchase condominiums, apartments, and landed properties, excluding those on Malay Reserve Land and properties allocated for Bumiputera (indigenous) interests. The buying process involves due diligence to ensure the property is free from encumbrances and outstanding dues.

Foreigners are also required to obtain consent from the State Authority, a process that a lawyer usually facilitates. It’s advisable to engage with a real estate agent and a legal advisor familiar with Malaysian property law to navigate this process. Additionally, participating in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme can offer a more streamlined path to property ownership, alongside long-term residency benefits. This comprehensive approach helps ensure a smooth transaction and compliance with all local laws and regulations.



expat malaysia


Finally, Malaysia has a number of government programs and incentives in place to encourage foreign investment in the property market. These include the Malaysia My Second Home program, which allows foreigners to stay in the country for up to 10 years, and the Malaysia My Home Scheme, which provides financing options for foreign property buyers.

Overall, Malaysia’s combination of affordable living costs, diverse culture, strong economy and political stability, and favorable government policies make it an attractive destination for foreign property buyers. As a result, the country has seen a steady stream of foreign investment in its property market in recent years.


Ben Liau

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