KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 15): The move to reduce the price threshold for foreigners to purchase property announced in the 2020 Budget was meant to address property overhang in the country that if left unchecked could contribute to financial woes like what was seen in some Asian cities, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir said today.
“So we have to get rid of this overhang so that the property market can become healthy again,” he told the media after opening the International Medical Device Conference here today.
The budget proposed to lower the price threshold from RM1 million to RM600,000 temporarily for foreign ownership.
Mahathir added the initiative is targeted to foreigners who are ‘not so rich’.
The prime minister also admitted that in the past he was quite critical on the idea of foreigners owning luxury property but stressed that the situation was different.
“The Forest City (in Gelang Patah, Johor) is quite different … I was critical because the development of the property was said to be freehold but it is a very luxurious property that only foreigners can afford to buy.
“That’s different. This move, however, the Malaysians can buy, but since not enough Malaysians are buying, there is property overhang and we have to sell them, otherwise the developers can get into trouble,” he said.