Govt may raise floor price, or make them pay in USD

New Straits Times - - News | Dewan Rakyat -

For­eign­ers buy­ing prop­erty in the coun­try may soon be re­quired to pay more.

This is to safe­guard Malaysia’s in­ter­est and curb abuse, es­pe­cially with the weak ring­git now.

Ur­ban Well­be­ing, Hous­ing and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Tan Sri Noh Omar said a study had been con­ducted and the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment could con­sider two op­tions: to ei­ther raise the floor price of RM1 mil­lion per prop­erty, or switch the cur­rency for the floor price from ring­git to US dol­lars.

Noh was com­ment­ing on a re­port that the Pe­nang gov­ern­ment planned to al­low for­eign­ers to buy prop­er­ties on the is­land priced at be­low RM1 mil­lion.

The Pe­nang gov­ern­ment claimed that houses priced at RM1 mil­lion and above was not within the means of lo­cals due to fi­nanc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties from banks.

“If the state gov­ern­ment pur­sues its in­tent to lower the man­dated floor price (for for­eign pur­chases), then it would have breached the hous­ing pol­icy set by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

“The state gov­ern­ment can­not ap­prove the sales of lo­cal prop­er­ties to for­eign buy­ers,” said Noh yes­ter­day af­ter a work­ing visit to Jelebu Umno.

“At the present for­eign ex­change rate (of RM4.45 to US$1), there shouldn’t be any prob­lem to main­tain the RM1 mil­lion floor price for for­eign­ers,” he said, adding that pri­or­ity should be given to lo­cals on the is­land.

He said sell­ing prop­er­ties to for­eign­ers in for­eign-de­nom­i­nated cur­ren­cies was fair to for­eign buy­ers, adding that they should not have any prob­lems due to their strong cur­ren­cies com­pared with the ring­git.

“It is bet­ter for for­eign­ers to buy lo­cal prop­er­ties in US dol­lars as it will be fair to lo­cal res­i­dents,” he said.

PIC BY IQMAL HAQIM ROSMAN

Ur­ban Well­be­ing, Hous­ing and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Tan Sri Noh Omar says it is bet­ter for for­eign­ers to buy lo­cal prop­er­ties in US dol­lars yes­ter­day.

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