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