Dr M: Foreigners can help resolve Malaysia’s property overhang

Azril Annuar
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters in Parliament October 11, 2019, after the tabling of Budget 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Malaysia must resolve its property overhang problems for apartments and condominiums, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the tabling of Budget 2020 today.

Speaking during a press conference, the prime minister stressed that Malaysians will not be left out from purchasing these properties, while foreigners will not be allowed to purchase landed properties.

“As you know, there is a property overhang. This is limited to flats (apartments and condominiums). That’s just flats and if there’s a property overhang at this moment, we need to sell off these properties.

“Of course, there will be foreign buyers but local buyers should not be cut out just because foreign buyers are buying lower price flats,” he explained.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced that the threshold for foreigners to purchase urban high-rise properties has been reduced from RM1 million to RM600,000 next year when he tabled Budget 2020 earlier.

This was needed to reduce supply overhang of condominiums and apartments amounting to RM8.3 billion in the second quarter of 2019, he said.

However, Lim dismissed the possibility of housing developers taking advantage of the situation by engaging in high-rise property speculation in order to jack up prices.

“I don’t think foreign buyers are that stupid to buy houses that don’t reflect the market value,” Lim said.

“If we are afraid of foreign buyers buying (the houses), we have a supply overhang. Locals can buy it if they want to but they are not buying and now we got a surplus.”

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