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Malaysia still top property hotspot for China

 | August 31, 2017

Real estate consultant Knight Frank says investors from China’s mainland account for most of the property deals in Malaysia by foreigners.

malaysia-chinaPETALING JAYA: Malaysia remains a top property hotspot for the Chinese even though overseas real estate investment by this group slumped by 82.1% in the first half of 2017, according to the PropertyGuru website.

It said although Beijing had restricted overseas property investments in a bid to limit capital outflows and strengthen the yuan, these rules mainly applied to private individuals and companies.

State-owned enterprises (SoEs) were not affected, it added, quoting an insider working for such a company.

The source from a large SoE told China Daily Asia Weekly that government-owned entities could still purchase real estate in other countries as long as they followed the proper procedures.

In fact, the insider’s employer was considering to acquire several land parcels in Kuala Lumpur and the transactions were expected to be finalised by year-end.

According to real estate consultant Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam, Chinese property players were still interested in purchasing development land and other properties in Malaysia even though it was now difficult to wire money abroad.

“I know a large private developer from China, who even after the capital controls, has nearly inked a deal for one large tract of land,” he said, adding that the firm intended to establish an office in Malaysia to kick-start their operations.

Despite Beijing’s restriction on money outflows that has negatively affected sales in some developments, he believed the property market in Malaysia would continue to attract Chinese investors in the long term.

This is due to Malaysia’s favourable foreign residency scheme as well as the strong ties and cultural similarities between both nations.

Another reason is Malaysia’s significant participation in China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Furthermore, Knight Frank revealed that Malaysia was the third top foreign property market for Chinese developers in the last five years.

Investors from China’s mainland also accounted for most of the property deals in Malaysia by foreigners, which accounted for 35% of all transactions.

“The size (of investment from developers from China) will reduce, but it will still be large,” added Sarkunan.


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