Survey: Foreigners blamed for high property prices

Malaysians are pinning the blame on foreigners for the rise in property prices in the domestic market, an online survey by Malaysia revealed.

Findings from the survey showed that 74 per cent of respondents felt that prices have been driven up because of foreigners snapping up properties in the country.

iProperty Group chief executive officer Shaun Di Gregorio said he was not surprised with the findings as Malaysia is liberal in terms of property ownership.

"With the Malaysia My Second Home scheme, which attracted more than 12,000 applicants, it's not surprising that Malaysians feel that foreign buyers and investors are driving up property prices in the country," he said.

More than 90 per cent of respondents also wanted the government to impose higher stamp duty and taxes on foreign buyers and investors.

The survey findings, which involved more than 1,000 respondents, revealed that in relation to the property market, 47 per cent of Malaysians want to see better control on house prices.

About 31 per cent want better public transport and more low-cost and affordable housing schemes.

Di Gregorio said 54 per cent of the respondents wanted the Real Property Gains Tax increased to curb speculation while 39 per cent wanted to see a decrease.

The RPGT was raised from 10 to 15 per cent last year for properties sold within two years of purchase. For properties sold between two and five years, the hike was from five per cent to 10 per cent.

"While the move to increase the RPGT was to curb speculation and to discourage people from buying and selling houses for quick profit, it has not been effective.

"According to market analyses, in the last two years alone, prices of houses in some areas of the Klang Valley have increased by between 15 and 30 per cent," said Di Gregorio.

In relation to property prices becoming increasingly difficult for buyers in the under-30 age bracket, close to half of the respondents would like the government to introduce other effective schemes by taking into account affordability, inflation and review of income levels.

Prices of properties in the Klang Valley averaged about RM700,000, he noted, adding that barely a month since the government announced an increase in fuel prices, an astounding 84 per cent felt that property prices, especially for new developments, will also increase.

Responding to a question on the government's role in managing the property market, 44 per cent want the government to maintain property prices at an affordable average while 35 per cent want to see measures taken to slow down the rate of increase in property prices. - By Business Times


October 11, 2013 at 7:57 PMewelee

blame is to the federal government. the main resources is controlled by small group of politicians. besides property, Malaysia has nothing to attract ppl to invest in.

October 11, 2013 at 7:58 PMPO

this is such a lie.
foreigners only buy less than 300 homes in 2012 and 2011.
It is less than 3% of total transactions.
the people buying up are actually locals and flipping.
Penang cannot sell in 3 years and they have to buy over 1 million ringgit.
So whats happening to those 300 k 2-3 years ago now 600 k is local buying. eg Times square,The peak or Bayswater

October 11, 2013 at 11:25 PMAnonymous

Someone has an interest in putting this story about . Who does it really benefit ? Delopers,Real Estate Agents, certain Politicians ? The truth is that foreigners have to pay a minimum amount set by the government for apartments ,, and this sets the floor price for property sellers ! Who are the friends of Developers ? Some politicians who vote in their favour. Developers in the know may buy land very early , before it comes up officially for building approval.

October 13, 2013 at 2:27 PMcondomana

Hi ewelee,

Would you give an example of another country where "the main resources is not controlled by a small group of politicians", therefore allowing the people to invest in other assets other than properties?...:)

Hi PO,

This is a survey of respondents' perception. Whether or not their perception tallies with reality is another matter. So in a way, you can't say it's a lie....:)

Nevertheless, the result of the survey is very telling of the current situation and highlights the impact of property buying by foreigners towards price expectations.

In other words, if 74% of the respondents "believe" that price has been driven up by foreigners, there is a high probability that a good number of those who purchased properties for speculation over the last few years did so based on that belief.

The selling of properties to foreigners at high price (eg. seri tanjung pinang etc) , the perceived consequences of property purchase by foreigners, coupled with actual speculative purchases based on that perception, have essentially changed the price perception of properties in penang, and pushed up price "expectations", allowing developers and land owners to price up their products, exacerbated by the limited supply of land on penang island.

That pretty much explains what we are seeing today, especially in Penang; over speculation, high price that is not correlated to affordability, empty houses etc. The state must take decisive action to address the issue.

October 18, 2013 at 10:11 AMtwyeow88

Iskandar maybe. Penang and KL hardly see any foreigners