KUALA LUMPUR: The housing and local government ministry has been urged to advise all states to agree to a uniform guideline on foreign investments in residential property in Malaysia.
Rahim & Co Research Sdn Bhd executive chairman Abdul Rahim Rahman pointed out that as it is now, conditions are different from state to state given that land is a state matter.
He said uniformity across the country would encourage foreigners to come to Malaysia under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.
“The problem with our country is that land is a state matter. I think the ministry should advise all states to agree (to a minimum standard),” Rahim told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing Malaysia Property Market Prospects for 2024 forum here today.
On Dec 15 last year, tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing announced the introduction of varying entry visas for the MM2H programme based on three tiers, namely silver, gold and platinum.
Applicants must show proof of fixed deposits in local banks amounting to RM500,000 for the silver tier, RM2.5 million for gold and RM5 million for platinum.
The minimum age for an MM2H participant has been revised to 30, and applicants can now also list as dependants their unmarried children aged between 21 and 34 who are not working in Malaysia, as well as their parents and parents-in-law.
Rahim & Co research director Sulaiman Saheh said there is also a need to improve or revise the MM2H programme to meet new challenges from neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines which are introducing similar programmes.
“Every country has a second home programme now. We just need to enhance ours so that we do not lose out,” he said.
He said Malaysia needs to have consistent policies in place so participants do not have to worry about possible changes in later years.
He said that while the MM2H and Malaysian Premium Visa Programme (PVIP) cater to different niches, they also create confusion for applicants.
“Clarity is needed so that we can bring people with investments into the country,” he added.
On the property market, Sulaiman said Malaysia should expect slower growth in 2024.
“Kuala Lumpur will be the first place where house prices will become severely unaffordable, followed by Penang,” he said.
Sulaiman said the increase in the sales and service tax (SST) to 8% will also push the cost of construction up.
“For buyers, this will be the new norm by the end of the year,” he added.