Remember the recent confusion about foreign buyers of property in Malaysia? Here is a strong view from Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents immediate past-president Siva Shanker, “I think our property market has been in a negative territory for so many years now. The thing to do is to introduce stimulus, not restrictions, even at Forest City. When you have too much speculation, then you can introduce restrictions. But the days of introducing restrictions are gone. Overall, although I don’t have statistics to back me up, I do not think foreign participation in the Malaysian property market is so high that it warrants concerns. However, we need to look at this holistically. We cannot take the whole country and use it as a ratio. Perhaps, there are concerns that there are too many foreigners in Forest City and that it will become a foreign city.” His views were published in an Article in NST here.
He further reiterated the need for the government to introduce stimulus to revitalise the property market. He further shared that Johor may have higher foreign participation than any other states but this is because Singaporeans are buying there and also due to mega projects that have attracted foreigners. He agrees that it is not right to offer visas to foreigners who buy properties in Malaysia but foreign property participation in the market is good for the industry. According to Country Garden PacificView Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Md Othman Yusof, Forest City is an international project. With regards to the issue of ‘too many’ foreign buyers in Johor, he disagrees. He said, “By and large, I do not think such a problem exist. Perhaps it exists in Johor, but if you take the whole of Malaysia and average it out, i don’t think there is a problem.” Currently, China buyers accounted for about two-thirds of the owners of Forest City units sold so far. A few reasons they bought include relocation to Forest City, as a place to retire and as a long-term investment. Here’s that Article in NST for reference.
I personally believe instead of debating on the number of residential units which are coming up, it’s even more important to start sharing about the number of new industries opening up in Iskandar. The number of new jobs for example will be a very important factor to determine if the current number of residential units is healthy or is way too many for the next couple of years. From reports, there has also been higher number of tourists visiting Johor Bahru due to the many theme parks. Beyond just these, what about the education institutions. Surely the management of these schools, colleges and universities did not decide to open in Iskandar simply because the land is cheap? Once these become more transparent, the discussion will become much more beneficial. Another matter would be the RTS between Singapore and JB. Personally that’s a huge catalyst to the Johor property market too. Hopefully the relevant parties will keep everyone updated. Happy following.
written on 17 Sept 2018
Next suggested article: Third link from JB to SG within 3 years?