PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme has diminished in competitiveness compared to neighbouring countries including Indonesia and Vietnam, says Glomac Bhd.
“These countries have attracted many new foreign homebuyers into their market,” said Glomac managing director Fateh Iskandar.
He highlighted that 90% of the policies introduced in these countries are based on Malaysia’s own silver-haired programme, which was formulated in 1996.
“We’ve since lost our edge because we’ve made it (the conditions) so tight until potential foreign buyers have overlooked us after 2018 until now,” he said.
Introduced in 2002, the MM2H programme is aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners to reside in Malaysia and contribute to the local economy through their high purchasing power and high-value skills.
In 2021, the government introduced stricter conditions for the programme, such as increasing the monthly income threshold for prospective applicants from RM10,000 to RM40,000.
Additionally, Fateh raised concerns on the proposed 4% stamp duty on the memorandum of transfer (MoT) on property purchases by foreign individuals and companies by the government in Budget 2024.
“If we are trying to attract foreign buyers we shouldn’t have this (proposed stamp duty) until we are stable.
When the market becomes too hot, then you can put in certain conditions, but here, we are just out of a pandemic, and still in an endemic stage,” Fateh said during a press conference after the group’s 39th annual general meeting today.
He pointed out that the presence of foreign buyers in Malaysia’s property market is miniscule compared to financial hubs like Singapore or Dubai.
“Over the years, our foreign buyers even during the best of times is only slightly more than 1%. We are not like Singapore or Dubai where 40% to 50% of property purchases are by foreigners,” he said.
Revive HOC, MyHome
Additionally, Fateh hopes that the government will consider reintroducing the home ownership campaign (HOC) and the MyHome scheme.
“The HOC has been a tremendous help not only to homebuyers but to developers as well,” he said.
Under the HOC scheme, first-time homebuyers are fully exempted from stamp duties on the purchase of residential properties of up to RM1 million. The HOC was implemented from 2019 to 2021.
The MyHome scheme, introduced in 2014, allows first-time homebuyers to enjoy a one-time grant for the purchase of properties below RM500,000.
“These schemes are not something new, and have been done by the government before.
“We notice that potential buyers have no issues in servicing monthly repayments. However, to come up with the deposits, it’s tough for them,” he said.
At market close today, Glomac’s share price was unchanged at 34 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM276.03 million.