Real estate federation cautions Putrajaya on lowering threshold for foreign buyers

Opalyn Mok
Fiabci Malaysia President Michael Geh said the reduction of the threshold from RM1 million to RM600,000 for both the primary and secondary market will benefit the housing industry as a whole. — Picture by Hari Anggara

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 11 — An international real estate federation has cautioned the federal government over its move to lower the threshold on high-rise properties in urban areas for foreign buyers by ensuring that only serious buyers who intend to live in these properties benefit from it.

Fiabci Malaysia president Michael Geh said the reduction of the threshold from RM1 million to RM600,000 for both the primary and secondary market will benefit the housing industry as a whole.

“It will move the industry but this would be more effective if it is tied with the MM2H programme to prevent property speculation by foreign buyers,” he said when commenting on Budget 2020.

He said other measures introduced in the Budget for the housing industry were positive measures to help the lower income group and first-time buyers to afford their own homes.

“The housing market is already moving this year due to the Home Ownership Campaign and we can expect to see more units sold next year through these various schemes,” he said, referring to the Fund for Affordable Homes, Rent to Own and Youth Housing Scheme.

He added that it will definitely help clear the overhang for properties that are priced below RM500,000.

“The continued presence of the hugely unpopular RPGT, which only had a revision of the base year for asset acquisition, may not lift the general sentiment of the property market in the country,” he said.

He said the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) for the disposal of properties after five years may dampen the property investment sentiment in the country.

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