MM2H applicants and the property market of Malaysia

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Personally, I like MM2H as a programme which features Malaysia as a second home for foreigners. I love Malaysia and I think foreigners would too. We are a friendly nation and more cultural exchanges are good too. Earlier article here: Best place to retire vs best place for retirement These foreigners would then be spending a lot of their time here and thus a lot of their savings too which is win-win situation for everyone. Earlier article about MM2H here: MM2H: higher quality applicants on the way I was thus happy when I met my good friend Sr Michael Geh who’s also the current FIABCI Malaysia President two weeks ago and we spoke about property matters.

Every time I sit down and speak to him, I would learn something new. I asked him about the thought that foreigners are to be blamed for the property price increase in Malaysia. He gave a frank answer, NO. These foreign purchasers are NOT contributing to the affordability issue in the property market. He said, “I find that foreign purchasers, who buy properties to live in, are an important group that contributes 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 as they want to stay here so they are contributing to the property market,” he added.

MM2H applicants should be welcomed into the country as they contribute substantially to the Malaysian economy and the property sector. He said Malaysia has much to offer foreigners such as a modern and peaceful environment, low pollution and warm weather all-year-round. “Malaysia do not have major natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and volcanos so it is also considered a safe place to retire in or to bring up 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 to let their children study in international schools here, some come here for our top-notch healthcare services and some are returning Malaysians who want to retire here.”

Geh however also shared that there are instances where foreign purchasers were invited by project developers and marketing agents to invest in Malaysian properties. This is not healthy. “I observe instances where foreign purchasers were invited by agents and developers to speculate in Malaysian properties.” He said these foreign investors invested in off-plan projects and then after a couple years, the investors will sell off the properties to locals for a profit. These instances contributed to the affordability issue in the housing sector. In such cases, he said stringent measures and policies should be put in place 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.

I think all stakeholders would agree that MM2H is a good programme unless the foreigners are speculating on the property market which is then very bad for Malaysia. Approve only quality ones and we will reap all the benefits. Let’s hope relevant ministries will work together in the MM2H programme which will be good for the property market as well besides the multiplier effects to the economy. Happy understanding and if you are a foreigner, Malaysia is certainly the best country in the world for retirement. Liveability wise, it’s nearing many of the advanced nations which meant that prices are still under the emerging category and can continue to grow too.

written on 26 Jan 2019

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