Lower threshold for foreigners only for existing unsold condo units

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Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says the proposal was made to reduce the supply overhang in condominiums and apartments, amounting to RM8.3 billion in the second quarter of 2019. (File pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The move to lower the threshold for foreigners to buy condominiums and apartments in urban areas from RM1 million to RM600,000 is only applicable to existing unsold units, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng clarified today.

He said this measure, announced in the 2020 Budget, effective from Jan 1 to Dec 31 next year, does not cover new projects that have yet to be launched.

“Existing units that have not been sold are the residential units that do not interest local buyers.

“Hence the relaxation in the price threshold for condominiums and apartments. This will not deprive the rights of local buyers,” he said in a statement today.

Lim said the move is expected to benefit the property sector without being detrimental to the interests of Malaysians.

“Local buyers who wish to buy are not being denied their rights. They can buy now so these units will not remain unsold,” he added.

Lim explained that the proposal was made to reduce the supply overhang in condominiums and apartments, amounting to RM8.3 billion in the second quarter of 2019.

“If these units can be sold, it will have a direct effect on the country’s economy,” he said.

Lim added that the finance ministry will monitor continuously the implementation of the measure to ensure it achieves its objective.

In LANGKAWI, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the decision to lower the price threshold was meant to reduce the supply overhang and did not mean that foreigners who bought such properties would be given Malaysian citizenship.

“If the locals want to buy the properties, they can buy it at the same price. We have built so many houses, but they were not sold. When a housing project is not sold, it causes the country to suffer losses.

“We want to get rid of this property overhang … This is a way to encourage sales.

“But if foreigners buy these properties, we will not give them Malaysian citizenship. They can only use them as their holiday homes,” Mahathir, who is also Langkawi MP, told a press conference after attending a briefing on Langkawi’s development here.