Minimum Malaysia Property Purchase Price for Foreigners
Malaysia has some of the most liberal regulations in the region when it comes to foreigners buying residential property, particularly landed homes. Unfortunately the rules have been changed a number of times over the last few years and there is still some confusion over the current policies particularly governing the minimum price at which foreigners can buy.
Foreigners may purchase property in Malaysia but there are various rules and regulations to follow, which we've outlined below.
The latest decision, by the Federal Government (October 2013), was to raise the minimum property price to RM1 million, effective 1 January 2014. In fact, over half the properties purchased by foreigners were in the RM250,000 to RM500,000 bracket so this hit the industry quite hard. Many foreigners do not know that property is actually a State matter which means individual States have the power to overrule the Federal policies. It is often quite difficult to obtain the latest ruling although visits to the State Land Offices will usually produce an answer.
Many foreign property buyers found this out the hard way when they read that the goverment no longer required them to get FIC (Foreign Investment Committee) approval for the purchase. However, FIC approval was not the problem. Usually it was given quickly. It is the State approval which can take many months to obtain.
As of 1st September 2014, the Selangor Land Office changed the minimum purchase price regulations for foreigners to RM2 million. Foreigners will now have to pay double the amount to purchase property in the following districts:
Also, foreigners can't buy landed properties (in Selangor) unless it's in a gated community, which has a Landed Strata title.
Penang used to allow people with Malaysia My Second Home visas to buy property priced over RM250,000. But the latest update from the Penang State Government (as of 1 July 2012) is that MM2H participants can only purchase a residential property at a minimum of Rm500,000 (limited to 2 units only). However, for foreigners there is no limit in units to purchasing a landed property on the Island (minimum RM2 million) and in Seberang Perai (minimum RM1 million). For stratified properties, it is a minimum of Rm1 million for Seberang Perai and on the Island.