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Malaysia – Buying Property

Legal Restrictions on Property Ownership and Sale in Malaysia

Malaysia imposes certain legal restrictions on property ownership and sale by foreign nationals:

  • State Regulations: Property laws vary by state in Malaysia, and some states may have stricter regulations than others.
  • Types of Properties: Foreign nationals are generally allowed to purchase only certain types of properties, such as condominiums, and are often restricted from buying landed properties.
  • Minimum Purchase Price: Some states require foreign buyers to meet a minimum purchase price threshold.
  • Leasehold Properties: Foreigners can own leasehold properties, but the lease duration is typically shorter for non-citizens.

It’s essential for foreign nationals to understand these regulations and seek legal advice when considering property purchases in Malaysia.

Average Property Prices in Malaysia and Regional Variations

Property prices in Malaysia vary significantly depending on the region:

  • Kuala Lumpur: As the capital city, Kuala Lumpur often has higher property prices, with average prices ranging from MYR 500 to MYR 1,200 per square foot.
  • Selangor: Selangor, a neighboring state to Kuala Lumpur, also has a competitive property market, with average prices between MYR 400 and MYR 800 per square foot.
  • Penang: Penang Island is known for its real estate market, with prices averaging between MYR 350 and MYR 800 per square foot.
  • East Malaysia: Regions in East Malaysia, such as Sabah and Sarawak, generally have lower property prices compared to the west coast.

Property prices also vary based on property type, condition, and local demand.

Popular Locations to Buy Property in Malaysia

Malaysia offers several popular locations for property buyers:

  • Kuala Lumpur: The capital city is a hub of economic activity and offers various residential options, from apartments to luxury condominiums.
  • Petaling Jaya: Located in Selangor, Petaling Jaya is a bustling city with a wide range of properties and amenities.
  • Penang: Penang Island is a favorite among expats, known for its cultural richness and attractive properties.
  • Johor Bahru: This city, located near Singapore, is becoming increasingly popular due to its proximity to the neighboring country.

The choice of location depends on factors such as work, lifestyle, and personal preferences.


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New Upcoming Areas in Malaysia

Several emerging areas in Malaysia are attracting property buyers:

  • Iskandar Malaysia: This economic growth corridor in Johor offers various investment opportunities and modern living spaces.
  • Kota Kinabalu: The capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, is undergoing development and is becoming more attractive to property investors.
  • Subang Jaya: Located in Selangor, Subang Jaya continues to grow and expand its residential options.

These areas may provide promising investment prospects due to their development potential.

Trends in the Malaysia Property Market

The Malaysian property market experiences several trends:

  • Green Buildings: Sustainable and environmentally friendly properties are gaining popularity.
  • Co-Living Spaces: Co-living developments cater to young professionals and offer shared amenities.
  • Digital Transactions: Property transactions are increasingly conducted online, streamlining the buying process.

Staying informed about these trends can help buyers make informed decisions in the Malaysia property market.

Is Buying Property a Good Investment in Malaysia?

Property investment in Malaysia can be a viable option, but its success depends on various factors:

  • Rental Income: Well-located properties can generate steady rental income, especially in urban areas.
  • Capital Appreciation: Some areas may experience property value appreciation over time, providing potential capital gains.
  • Market Research: Conduct thorough research to understand local property values and market trends.

Investors should carefully assess their goals and perform due diligence before making a property investment in Malaysia.

Common Property Types in Malaysia and Buying Procedure

Common property types in Malaysia include:

  • Apartments and Condominiums: High-rise living is popular in urban areas.
  • Terraced and Semi-Detached Houses: These houses are often found in suburban neighborhoods.
  • Bungalows: Luxurious bungalows offer spacious living and are common in upscale areas.
  • Land: Buying land is an option for those looking to build their own homes.

The typical house buying procedure in Malaysia involves several steps:

  1. Property Search: Find a suitable property, often with the assistance of real estate agents.
  2. Offer: Make an offer, which may be conditional on a property inspection.
  3. Letter of Offer: Once the offer is accepted, a Letter of Offer is prepared.
  4. Deposit Payment: Pay a deposit, typically around 2-3% of the property price.
  5. Loan Application: If financing is needed, apply for a mortgage.
  6. Legal and Title Search: Engage a lawyer for legal checks and a title search.
  7. Signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA): Sign the SPA and pay the balance of the purchase price.
  8. Transfer of Ownership: Complete the transfer of ownership at the land office.

It’s advisable to engage a reputable lawyer to guide you through the legal aspects of property buying in Malaysia.

Finding a Reputable Lawyer in Malaysia

When purchasing property in Malaysia, hiring a reputable lawyer is essential. You can find qualified lawyers through the Malaysian Bar Council. Legal fees can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction and the lawyer’s experience, so it’s advisable to obtain quotes and discuss fees upfront with your chosen lawyer.

Pitfalls and Problems in the House Buying Process

Expats and foreign nationals may encounter specific challenges when buying property in Malaysia:

  • Regulatory Changes: Malaysia’s property regulations may change, affecting foreign ownership.
  • Loan Approvals: Securing a mortgage can be challenging for non-residents.
  • Taxation: Understand the tax implications of property ownership in Malaysia.

Working closely with professionals and staying informed about legal and market developments can help avoid common pitfalls.

Purchasing Property through a Company in Malaysia

Yes, it is possible to purchase property through a company in Malaysia. This approach is commonly used for commercial properties and can offer various advantages, including asset protection and tax benefits.

The process typically involves:

  1. Company Formation: Set up a Malaysian company.
  2. Property Purchase: Purchase the property in the name of the company.
  3. Compliance: Ensure compliance with Malaysian corporate and tax laws.

Seeking advice from legal and financial advisors is advisable when considering property purchase through a company in Malaysia.

Keep in mind that property and company laws can change, so staying updated is essential when pursuing this option.


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