How to Buy Property in Malaysia: The Definitive Guide

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Malaysia is a great place to settle down if you prefer to have a high quality of life with low living costs. According to Forbes news magazine, Malaysia is the only Asian country that qualifies into the list “10 best places to retire around the world”.

It’s not surprising for a country that has a breathtaking nature, among the best cuisines in Asia, and locals that offer great service while communicating fluently in English.

Not to neglect, Malaysia offers the most favorable foreign property ownership regulations in Southeast Asia.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know before buying a property in Malaysia as a foreigner, including information about foreign ownership regulations if you can buy land, minimum investment requirements, visa regulations, taxes, and more.

Article Overview

Can foreigners buy property in Malaysia?

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Property for Sale in Penang: 6 Interesting New Projects & Launches

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Penang is one of the most sought after destinations for families and retirees in Asia. It’s been voted as one of the most livable places in the world numerous times, offering low living costs, great healthcare, tasty food, and a comfortable climate.

In this listing article, you’ll find interesting new property projects and launches in Penang, including condos, villas, and apartments.

The article is updated on a regular basis, and with explanatory information how it works when buying property in Penang.

If you have any information or recommendations about new interesting projects, you can contact us and we will do a review.

Viewing the projects and surrounding areas in Google Maps (Street View)

To check the projects and surrounding areas in Street View, simply zoom in the area of the marker and pull the orange-colored Pegman to the marker, or nearby areas. To go back to Google Maps, press the arrow in the top left corner.

Latest Update: 2018-10-07

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The 5 Best Places to Live & Invest in Malaysia Real Estate

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Malaysia continues to attract foreigners and expats who wish to either settle down or finding a retreat in Southeast Asia. Snapping the first place in our property index, it’s hard to talk badly about Malaysia as a real estate investment destination.

Thankfully, Malaysia has a lot of interesting destinations to choose from, all with different benefits and temptations. So the big question is: Where should you buy?

I’ve been to Malaysia numerous times and decided to write this article where I list the 5 best places to buy real estate in Malaysia.

1. Kuala Lumpur

kuala-lumpur

Kuala Lumpur tops the list of the places to buy real estate in Malaysia for several reasons.

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Malaysia Property Loans for Foreigners: A Complete Guide

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Malaysia is one of the top spots for retirees and investors alike. It’s not strange, buying a property here is fairly easy and the process comparatively transparent. You’ll also enjoy a great quality of life with costs that are surprisingly low. It’s not strange why Malaysia has been ranked as one of the best places to retire in the world.

A commonly asked question is how easy it is, or if it’s even possible, to get a local property loan as a resident or non-resident foreigner. I decided to do research on the matter and have presented the results in this guide.

Let’s have a look.

How can I obtain a property loan as a foreigner?

Malaysia has some of the most generous and favorable ownership regulations for foreigners in Southeast Asia (it’s basically the only country that allows foreigners to buy land, as I don’t count Singapore). Still, banks can be a bit restrictive handing out loans, this is mainly due to the current economic climate and the recession which hit hard after 2008.

I’ve personally been in contact with a number of big banks in Malaysia, and I can see a clear pattern: be locally employed, a permanent resident or an MM2H visa holder, and things will become remarkably easier. The same it goes in Hong Kong, where your source of income should preferably be in Hong Kong, to increase your chances of getting a loan.

If you haven’t heard about the MM2H visa before, you can find more exhaustive information by reading this interview with Andy Davison.

Simply put, the MM2H visa is a government backed visa program which allows foreigners to stay in Malaysia for up to 10 years. There are a few countries that offer similar visas in the region, a strong proof that Malaysia welcomes foreign investors.

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Top Property Management Companies in Malaysia: A Complete Guide

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Buying a property is just your first undertaking, oftentimes, you need to find a company to look after it for you.

Finding tenants, managing maintenance, and collecting rents are just some of the services that need to be taken care of.

Luckily, you can find plenty of property management companies in various parts of Malaysia that can help you.

In this article, I present some of the biggest and most popular property management companies in:

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Penang (Georgetown)
  • Johor Bahru

Kuala Lumpur

Below I’ve listed property management companies in Kuala Lumpur.

1. ARE Property Management

ARE Property Management is a fairly new company, founded in 2013 by MK Chen. It’s a small company offering services with a personal touch.

Services offered

The company offers comprehensive packages with leasing, management, and maintenance services. Some examples are tenant management, marketing, screening of prospective tenants, and more. They mainly focus on rental services.

Address

Suite A-05-07, Plaza Mont Kiara, 50480 KL, Malaysia

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Buying Under-Construction Property in Malaysia: A Complete Guide

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Under-construction and off-plan property are preferred choices when foreigners decide to invest in real estate in Southeast Asia. There are both benefits and drawbacks when going for this option, the buying process is also somewhat different.

I often receive questions related to the buying process, financing, payment schedules and taxes for these kind of properties, but it can be difficult to find summarized information about these items. In this article you will learn the following for under-construction property:

  • The buying process
  • Financing
  • Payment schedule
  • Legal fees and stamp duty
  • Procedure of the SPA (Sales and Purchase Agreement)

Buying process for under-construction property

a. First of all, you need to find a handful of properties, shortlist them and choose a property

b. You pay a booking fee to enter into the buying process. There is no fixed amount, as the booking fee is decided by the developer. Generally, it’s 2% of
the purchasing price but can be any other amount

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Getting an Overseas Property Loan in Malaysia: A Complete Guide

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Buying an overseas property in markets that perform better than the one in Malaysia is the preferred choice for many investors. Often, these investors are high-net individuals who don’t want to input a big chunk of their money into one project, hence they want to get some backing financially.

One solution for this is to apply for a so called overseas property loan. Personally, I believe that overseas property loans will get more and more popular as we become more globalized and tend to move around.

I’ve dedicated this whole article to explain how it works when you apply for an overseas property loan in Malaysia, which banks that offer the loans, what requirements that apply and more. Let’s have a look.

What is an overseas property loan?

Overseas property loans are designed for Malaysian citizens or residents who wish to finance a property overseas. As mentioned, when the local market performs worse compared to an overseas ditto, the preferred choice for many investors is to look outside the borders.

Stricter requirements normally apply, but you will find a handful of banks in Malaysia who offer overseas property loans.

Often, you can only get a loan if you’re a high-net individual and if the property is located in a prime location. Why? Because properties in such areas generally generate higher rental incomes and have a higher resale value. This is standard for similar loans in Singapore and Hong Kong as well.

Which banks offer overseas property loans in Malaysia?

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Top Conveyancing Lawyers in Malaysia: The Definitive Guide

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Malaysia is one of the prime spots when foreigners decide to buy property in Southeast Asia, it’s not strange as it’s probably the most foreign-friendly country in the region, when it comes to buying property.

Even if you’re not legally required to hire a property solicitor, also referred to as conveyancing lawyer, it’s highly recommended to assure that the process works smoothly and to avoid unforeseen issues later.

But it’s virtually impossible to find summarized information about conveyancing lawyers in Malaysia, therefore I’ve written this article where I present some of the biggest and most popular firms.

Introductory remark

The firms are listed in a random order.

Kuala Lumpur

Below I’ve listed conveyancing lawyers located in Kuala Lumpur.

1. Azman Davidson & Co

In 1981, in Ipoh, Perak, Azman & Co., and the Ipoh office of Lewis & Co. merged to form Azman, Davidson & Co. Lewis & Co. was named after its original senior partner JMM Lewis. The firm was known for representing the major players in the mining industry. On the other hand, the firm of Azman & Co was named after its founder, Dato’ Syed Azman bin Syed Mohamed.

Right after the merger, the firm opened the branch in Kuala Lumpur. Over time, Azman Davidson & Co in Kuala Lumpur emerged from a one-person company to one of the biggest mid-size firm in the country with 40 lawyers and 50 supporting staffs. Most of the partners in the firm are from Southeast Asia.

The current managing partner is HY Chong, who has been with Azman Davidson & Co since 1991. He specializes in real estate, corporate, commercial, and insolvency.

Services offered

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Top Real Estate Agencies in Kuala Lumpur: The Ultimate Guide

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Kuala Lumpur is the heart of Malaysia’s economic and business development, the urban landscape features many office skyscrapers and shop-offices that attracts many foreigners to invest here.

There are many real estate agencies located in this modern city, but it’s not that easy to find the information about them, in a summarized way. Therefore, I decided to write this article, listing some of the top real estate agencies in Kuala Lumpur.

Today, you’ll learn the following:

  • Introduction about the companies
  • Property types & areas served
  • Recognition and awards
  • Projects managed
  • Address of the offices

Introductory remark

The real estate agencies are listed in a random order.

1. Knight Frank Malaysia

Knight Frank is headquartered in London, UK, with 418 offices across 60 countries, including Malaysia, The company employs more than 15,000 professionals, spanning over five continents. You’ll be able to find many services offered, for example

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Top Real Estate Agencies in Johor Bahru: A Complete Guide

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With much investment planned the coming decade, Johor Bahru becomes increasingly interesting for foreign investors. The city is located within a short distance to Singapore, which makes it perfect to live in Johor Bahru but to work in Singapore. The main reason is lower living costs.

Being one of the major hubs in Malaysia, you’ll also find a number of real estate agencies here, catering both locals and foreigners. Therefore, I decided to write this article where I list some of the best real estate agents in Johor Bahru.

Let’s have a look.

1. Propmex Realty (优产业)

Propmex is one of the biggest real estate agencies in Johor Bahru and established in 2006. The company has grown much over the years and currently has two office locations.

The company has dozens of professionals and capable of communicating in both Chinese, English and other languages.

Property types

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