How MM2H applicants affect Malaysia’s property market

MM2H or Malaysia My Second Home is a programme which features Malaysia as a second home for foreigners. Many foreigners love living here because Malaysia is a friendly nation with a multicultural society.

They spend a lot of their time here, thus a lot of their savings are spent here. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

When asked if foreigners are the reason for the property price increase, Sr Michael Geh, president of FIABCI Malaysia said, “No.”

According to Geh, foreigners are not contributing to the issue of affordability in the property market.

He said, “I find that foreign purchasers who buy properties to live in are an important group that has contributed to the primary and secondary property market for the last 10 years.”

He shared that some foreign purchasers are here to stay under the MM2H programme. “They come here to buy or rent local properties to live in Malaysia. As a result, they are contributing to the property market.”

MM2H applicants should be welcomed into the country as they contribute substantially to the Malaysian economy and the property sector.

Malaysia has much to offer to foreigners – a modern and peaceful environment, low pollution and warm weather all year round.

“Malaysia does not have major natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and volcanoes, so it is considered a safe place to retire in or to raise children.”

Geh said foreigners want to sign up for the MM2H programme and live here due to several reasons.

“They want to escape winter or harsh weather conditions in their home country. Some want their children to study in the international schools here, some come here for our top-notch healthcare services, and some are returning Malaysians who want to retire here.”

However, Geh also shared that there were instances where foreign purchasers were invited by project developers and marketing agents to invest in Malaysian properties. This is not a healthy practice.

He said these foreign purchasers invested in off-plan projects, and after a couple of years, sold off the properties to locals for a good profit.

He blamed these instances for contributing to the issue of affordability in the housing sector.

In such cases, he said stringent measures and policies should be implemented to curb property speculation by foreign purchasers.

“Speculative foreign purchases will ultimately result in the purchasers off-loading the properties to Malaysian buyers at a higher price for a profit,” he said.

MM2H is a good programme unless foreigners are speculating on the property market, which is then very bad for Malaysia.

Only quality applicants should be approved, because only then will we reap all the benefits.

It is hoped that the relevant ministries work together on the MM2H programme which will be good for the property market as well as have a multiplier effect on the economy.

If you are a foreigner, Malaysia is certainly the best country in the world to retire in. In terms of liveability, Malaysia is close to acquiring advanced nation status which means prices are still under the “emerging category” and will continue to grow.

This article first appeared in kopiandproperty.com

Charles Tan blogs at property investment site kopiandproperty. He dislikes property speculators and disagrees that renting is better than buying. He thinks it’s either property or poverty. He is presently the CEO of an auction house auctioning assets beyond just properties.