Glomac Bhd has called on the government to lower the price threshold for foreigners purchasing properties in Malaysia to help reduce the country’s property overhang and boost the market.
“At this moment, the foreigner threshold is very high, some states have a foreigner threshold of RM2 million,” Glomac Bhd Group MD and CEO Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor told the Malaysian Reserve in an interview.
“I appeal to the state governments to allow foreigner buyers to come in since there is global interest in Malaysia now due to our good health system and the country’s capability in controlling the spread of COVID-19.”
In urging the government to grab the opportunity, Fateh Iskandar, who also served as immediate past president of the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association, said it could raise the price threshold again once the economy has improved.
He noted that foreign ownership in Malaysia is less than 2%.
“Even when we had the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, foreign ownership is only at 1.8% from 1.3% previously,” he explained.
“If we can double up the current foreign ownership to 4%, it will help our national economy.”
As such, the government should reintroduce MM2H programme but with better guidelines, he said.
And while the government’s initiatives such as lower Overnight Policy Rate and the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) could help stabilise the property market and the economy, he believes that a new catalyst, such as foreign property buyers, could help enhance them.
With this, Fateh Iskandar expects the property market to face a challenging environment towards the end of 2020.
“Although Malaysia has shifted to the recovery phase of the Movement Control Order, our economy is only slowly opening up,” he said.
“Since a vaccine for Covid-19 is yet to be found, there is absolute uncertainty over the pace of recovery for both the economy and consumer confidence because of the risk that the pandemic may flare up again.”
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