PETALING JAYA: Property industry players are skeptical that an increase in the number of property enquiries from China-based buyers will result in many sales.
Speaking to FMT, Henry Butcher chief operating officer Tang Chee Meng and Melaka-based developer Anthony Adam Cho said capital controls in China made it difficult for Chinese buyers to purchase property overseas.
They were responding to a statement by a Chinese holding company, Juwai IQI Group, that said there were twice the number of Chinese enquiries about Malaysian property in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2018.
There was also an increase in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The Chinese company attributed the rise in enquiries to the lower threshold of RM600,000 for foreigners buying high-rise strata properties in major cities.
Tang said his company has noticed an increase in enquiries from China and Hong Kong buyers because of political unrest in Hong Kong.
“They have diverted some of their money out of the country and the Malaysian property market is one of the beneficiaries.”
There was Chinese interest in prime locations such as KLCC and Mont Kiara from those seeking an investment abroad or a home for children studying here.
However it remained to be seen if the enquiries would result in sales.
“We are seeing more enthusiasm, perhaps this is because of promotional efforts but whether sales materialise is another matter.”
Cho said sales to foreigners were not at the “fantastic” levels of the 1990s when Singaporean buyers rushed to buy Malaysian property and foreign purchases would not solve Malaysia’s property overhang.
“We must first resolve the issue of low wages relative to the rising cost of living. People just won’t have the purchasing power,” he added.
The National Property Information Centre said that in the first half of 2019, there were 32,810 unsold homes with a value of RM19.76 billion.