Developers: Easing Of Rules A Positive Step
 
 
PETALING JAYA: Housing developers generally welcome the Government’s move yesterday to relax the rules for foreigners to purchase high-end residential properties in the country.
 
The Prime Minister’s office said in a statement yesterday that foreigners would be allowed to buy residential properties worth more than RM250,000 each without approval from the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) and also lifted the restrictions on usage and number of units.
 
Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia president Ng Seing Liong said the association appreciated the Government’s efforts in encouraging foreign investment in Malaysian residential properties.
 
“Without restrictions on use and number of units purchased, foreigners are no longer limited to purchasing property for their own occupation only, but for wider purposes.
 
“Property developers would also find it easier to market their products outside the country. We hope this move would encourage more foreigners to take up Malaysian homes,” he said in a statement.
 
Ng urged the state authorities to complement the new guidelines by increasing their efficiency in granting approvals for property transfers to foreign purchases. He also emphasised that such information should be disseminated effectively and widely to foreigners.
 
“Finally, we hope the Government would continue to seek positive ways to liberalise the market for foreign investments to encourage capital inflows for greater economic growth,” Ng added.
 
Mah Sing Group Bhd managing director Datuk Leong Hoy Kum said the move was timely as it would boost the property market in tandem with all the other catalysts the Government was currently embarking on under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
 
“We believe this will definitely boost sales of our medium, medium-high and high-end properties, especially the Legenda series, which starts from RM1.3mil, the Residence series, priced from RM700,000 to RM1.3mil and the Perdana Series, costing RM200,000 to RM700,000,” he said.
 
Some 98% of the group’s high-end niche development, Damansara Legenda in Petaling Jaya, has been taken up while 95% of its Perdana Residence in Selayang, was taken up within two weeks of its launch in September.
 
Dijaya Corp Bhd group managing director P.K. Poh said the move was a step in the right direction.
 
“It’s a start but we do not foresee a flood of foreign investors coming in. We hope there will be a snowball effect later on,” he said.
 
Poh urged the Government to open up the property market by further easing the rules on the need for state authority approvals.
 
“Buying property is a long-term investment so the Government must instil confidence in foreign buyers by ensuring that rules that have been relaxed will not be re-enforced in the short term,” he added.
 
Sunrise Bhd chief marketing officer Lee Meng Tuck said the relaxation on FIC ruling was a positive step towards encouraging foreign ownership of Malaysian residential properties.
 
However, it would be more effective if state authority approvals for these purchases were to be abolished as well, he added
 
 
 
Source :The Star 21/12/2006 Close Window