Properties in Malaysia


Malaysia is one of the top preferred investment destinations in South East Asia countries. Basically, there are several reasons why Malaysia is your top choice – it generates attractive rental returns, foreigners can own freehold or leasehold residential properties, no approval required from Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) for purchase of properties above RM250,000 and tax relief for foreigners under Malaysia My Second Home Programme.

Besides that, Malaysia provides excellent infrastructure such as private health facilities and amenities, quality higher education from wide selection of colleges and universities and most importantly, English Language is widely spoken among Malaysians.

There are two types of properties in Malaysia – residential and commercial. Residential properties can be divided into several types such as luxury homes, apartments, high-rise condominiums, townhouses, serviced apartments and landed residential houses. According to statistics acquired, residential houses are the preferred type of properties among Malaysian families. It is suitable for those who appreciate landed compound.

Meanwhile, luxury homes which usually priced at least RM1 million is equipped with luxury features include art gallery, gym, media room and Jacuzzi. Perhaps, the most common residential properties in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur are apartments and condominiums.

On the other hand, commercial properties are categorized into four types – shop offices, shop houses, commercial buildings and retail stores. Shop offices can be found in city centre and town especially in commercial districts. Retail stores are specifically catered for commercial use only.

Recently, The Star Online reported Malaysia real estate investment offers good value for money especially for Britons considering the exchange rate between ringgit Malaysia and the pound is profitable. This is also largely due to the fact that Malaysia emerged as one of the most popular holiday destination in South East Asia.

Other factors that encourage foreigners to purchase properties in Malaysia including the availability of mortgages offered by a number of international and Malaysian banks. Banks in Malaysia are willing to assist foreigners for mortgages. Based on a report (September 2008), interest rates are relatively the lowest in Asia that accounts up to 3.5 percent only.

It is always important to learn a little about property laws that are subjected to ownership of properties purchased. There are five types of property ownership in Malaysia namely freehold title, strata, leasehold, Malay reserve land and landed title. Freehold title means individuals are free to transfer the interest of property without getting approval from government. Meanwhile, strata title is a form of ownership for multi-storey properties.

It can be individual unit or common property. Leasehold (land lease) is granted by government for specific period – most commonly 33 or 99 years. There are some restrictions for land lease if you would like to transfer interest to another party. Malay reserve land is based on Article 89 of Malaysian Constitution. It clearly states that Malay can own land in a Malay Reservation area. Lastly, landed titles are only granted for individual properties built on individual plots of land.

There are many other factors that make Malaysia an ultimate investment destination. Political stability and booming economy are perhaps some of the best reasons that encourage local as well as foreigners to purchase properties especially in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.