Complete Guide: Buying Property As an Expat in Malaysia

Getting a property in Malaysia can be tedious for foreigners regardless with or without an agent. Before taking a huge step that you are unsure of, here is the foreigner’s survival guide to make Malaysia your second home.


Introducing: a Crash Course for Buying Property in Malaysia as a Foreigner

Why foreigners like you should invest in Malaysian property
  • Is still affordable

Despite the high growth over the last two decades, Malaysian property is still among the cheapest in Asia in comparison to Singapore and Hong Kong. Malaysia has a good growth on the amidst a resilient economy. To add on that the Malaysian Ringgit is also relatively weak at the time of writing this, so that makes Malaysian property affordable.


  • Financial aids available

Other than that, number of banks are available to finance, which will be further explained down below. And Malaysia also places no restriction on transfer of capital (funds) to and from other countries, so it wouldn’t be a problem right there!


  • The country, Malaysia itself

Malaysia is fulled with charms and hidden treasures. The people, the culture, the food itself. The natural beauty of jungle, tropical island and pristine beaches for relaxing weekends. You need to try it yourself, and if you’re not convinced I can go on and on……forever.


First thing first!

Well you can use the home ownership section of SPEEDHOME to browse for options. Leave your details and we will contact you within 3 working days and we will assist throughout your journey to your house purchase.


Owning land and types of property in Malaysia

Yes, foreigners definitely can own land in Malaysia. The Malaysian foreign ownership of property is liberal. This means that you can even own 100% of the property in Malaysia as long as you meet the minimum requirements. However, there are a few restrictions such as:

  1. Properties valued less than RM1 million
  2. Low and medium cost residential units as defined by state authority
  3. Properties standing on Malay Reserved land
  4. Properties distributed to Bumiputera interest in any property development project as determined by state authority

Still, there is a long list of options available. There are options such as bungalow, terrace house, condominium, studio unit, agricultural land eligible for foreigners to purchase.

There are two categories of titles in Malaysia available for foreigners. Freehold and leasehold. For the former, the you will be given full, permanent ownership of the property. Meanwhile for leasehold is a title for property that the owner is allowed to stay in possession for a limited period. Most leaseholds titles are originally for 99 years and can be extended on paying a further sum.

A house receives a “title” once completed and an apartment or condominium is given a “strata title”. In the case of new apartment buildings, the strata title may not be issued for some time after the building is completed.


Is there a limit on number of properties you can own in Malaysia?

Good news, foreigners are allowed to purchase as many properties! Well, given that you comply to the options that is available for your purchase as mentioned above.


What’s the procedure to buy a property in Malaysia?

Here’s a breakdown for you for the normal transaction in Malaysia. 

The first step to purchasing a 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 between buyer and seller, and a 1%-3% earnest deposit is expected from the buyer.


Within 14 to 30 days, the Sale and Purchase Agreement is signed. The buyer must pay another 7%-9% deposit to make up a 10% down payment. From the date of the signing, the buyer has a maximum of three months to accomplish full payment upon receiving Land Office consent.


The Sale and Purchase Agreement must be stamped at the Stamp Office. After the examination on the property by the valuation department, Stamp Duty is paid to the Stamp Office. The transfer must be registered at the Land Office Registry. These are all done by your real estate lawyer after signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement and before the completion of transaction.


A lot of deposit, you have been warned. But that’s where SPEEDHOME comes to the rescue. Skip all the deposits and commissions with SPEEDHOME.


Buying a house at a lower price

It is definitely possible for foreigners to buy a house at a lower price. For foreigners who wish to stay or even retire here in Malaysia, there is the “Malaysia My Second Home” (MM2H) programme.


Before putting in an application, foreigners below the age of 50 need minimum of RM500,000 whereas those above 50 must at least have RM350,000.

But don’t let that stop you. One clear advantage is that MM2H gives foreigners access to the property with a lower value.


The table below, taken from iProperty, shows the lowest value of property foreigners can buy with/without MM2H:Table-1-01-2-768x523

*Zones in Selangor
Zone 1 – Districts of PetalingGombakHulu Langat, Klang and Sepang
Zone 2 – Districts of Kuala Selangor & Kuala Langat,
Zone 3 – Districts of Hulu Selangor and Sabak Bernam

NOTE: In the state of Selangor, foreign purchasers are prohibited from:
1. Purchasing landed residential properties unless said property is issued with a landed strata title (e.g. gated community). 
2. Buying auction properties
3. Purchasing agricultural land


Minimum value requirement for the property

But what is the minimum requirement? Typically it is at the value of RM1 million is applied to all kinds of property throughout Malaysia however the value may vary according to the state authorities. They have the power to amend the minimum value in states that they control.


Penang, Selangor, and Melaka are stricter on minimum purchase prices, Note that Penang, Melaka, and Johor impose a ‘state levy’. State levy is a legal seizure of taxpayers assets to repay the taxes owed. Penang imposes a state levy of 3% whilst Melaka and Johor charge a state levy of 2%. This can significantly bump up your buying costs.


Selangor is the strictest of all states, although it doesn’t impose a levy state, they only allow foreigners to buy landed properties. This usually limits foreigners from buying in gated developments.


Singapore FAQs

Can Singaporean own Malaysian Property?

The (Johor) state welcomes foreigners to buy property in the state but is subjected to conditions and regulations stated at the beginning of this article. The minimum property price for foreigner in Johor is priced at RM1 million or above.

There you have it!

And there you have it… Whilst initially it might all seem a bit complicated, it’s really not that bad once you’ve narrowed down your search and know exactly which rules apply to you.

If you’re keen to rent here in the meanwhile, go ahead to our website SPEEDHOME for a deposit-free rental!

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