How difficult is the property purchase process in Malaysia?
Foreigners can purchase any kind of property with a minimum value of MYR 1 million (US$270,270) as of 2014. They are allowed to purchase up to two residential properties – two condominiums (max. 50% foreign ownership within a block) OR one condominium and one of the following:
- Terrace or linked houses above two storeys, but limited to 10% of the total number of units built of this type
- Lands/bungalows and semi-detached houses, but limited to 10% of units built of these types
The first step to purchasing property in Malaysia is to hire a real estate lawyer to assist in the transaction. Once property is selected, a Letter of Offer/Acceptance is signed, and a 3% deposit is expected from the buyer.
Within 14 days, the Sale and Purchase Agreement is signed. The buyer must pay another 7% deposit. From the date of the signing, the buyer has a maximum of three months to
accomplish full payment.
The Sale and Purchase Agreement must be stamped at the Stamp Office. After the examination on the property of the valuation department, Stamp Duty is paid to the Stamp Office. The transfer must be registered at the Land Office Registry.
Be cautious when buying new property in unfinished condominium projects. Buyers may not be fully protected against default, an issue vigorously raised by the Malaysian House Buyers’ Association, which has pointed to flaws in The Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 2002, and the Strata Titles Act. Those buying unfinished property from developers should ensure that the developer has a valid Developer’s License and a valid Sales & Advertising permit.
Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table
The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property – lawyers’ fees, notaries’ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents’ fees, etc.
Malaysia uses Malaysian Ringgit. Exchange rate is at US$1=MYR3.6777 as of 26th October 2006.