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Malaysians to welcome more foreign property investments




Property professionals in Malaysia have welcomed the government’s announcement that it will review the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) guidelines, to help protect the country’s property market from a potential slowdown instigated by the global credit crunch.
Property professionals in Malaysia have long called for a further easing on the restrictions placed in foreigners buying property in the country, and increase its attractiveness as a property investment destination.
International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Malaysia president Datuk Richard Fong says that the FIC guidelines for the housing market that were introduced in December 2006 has already attracted stronger interest from Middle Eastern, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, British and American buyers.
Stressing that the property sector had the potential to attract higher foreign investments, Fong said the joint public-private sector initiative to launch Malaysia Property Inc next year to promote Malaysia’s real estate overseas had targeted to attract RM10bn (£1.8bn) in foreign investments over the next five years.
Meanwhile, Real Estate and Housing Developers Association president Datuk Ng Seing Liong said while the FIC had been relaxing guidelines for property purchases by foreigners, there were still restrictions imposed by state authorities.
At state level, each state authority has the discretion to consider acquisition by a foreigner based on the location and type of property and the percentage of total units in a project. The transfer of property titles is under the jurisdiction of the state government.
“These pertain mostly to issuance of property titles for projects involving state-alienated lands and bumiputra lots. State governments should abide by the Federal Government’s directive to relax rulings on foreign purchases to ensure the success of these measures,” Ng said.

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