Malaysia is turning into the sweet spot for China developers. China developers turn their target as market restrictions in Hong Kong and Singapore become tougher and tougher. They are looking for cheaper housing and higher returns in Malaysia.
China state-backed Greenland Group announced this month to invest a US$3.3 billion deal in 2 residential and hotel projects in Johor Bahru, Flagship A Iskandar Malaysia. This is 4th China developer to invest into Iskandar Malaysia following its peers Country Garden, Guangzhou R&F Properties, and Agile Property Holding, which have invested in Iskandar Malaysia Flagship A, Johor Bahru City Center with a combined 2.7 billion US dollar in the past 2 years since January 2013.
In 2013 alone, Chinese investors invested a total of US$1.9 billion into real estate in Malaysia, exceeding the US$867 million invested in Hong Kong, US$1.8 billion in Singapore and US$1 billion in Australia, according to real estate consultancy Savills.
Zhang Yuliang said that Malaysia hosts a vast Chinese community and has foreigner friendly policies to attracted foreign buyers such as Malaysia My Second Home MM2H. These foreigner friendly policies has make Malaysia become a new investment destination.
He added that Malaysia has enjoy stable economic growth, high population demand, well connectivity within the region and Iskandar Malaysia is located at strategic location which near to Singapore separated by a causeway. These factors are the reasons for Greenland Group to invest at the Iskandar Malaysia.
According to Tim Murphy, CEO of IP Gobal, Malaysia property prices are the cheapest in the region. He added that Malaysia has strong foreign property ownership and loose lender policies. Mortgage terms are lower compares to region. Foreign buyers able to borrow up to 70% of property price, while Singapore is 40% to 60% and Hong Kong is 30% to 50%. Rental yield also more attractive in Malaysia at 4% compares to Singapore and Hong Kong which is 3% and 2.5% respectively.
Beside that, 15% stamp duties on foreign buyers are imposed in Hong Kong and Singapore. Foreigners are blamed for pushing up local property prices over the past few years. This policy has deterred many foreign buyers especially China investors.
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