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foreign property at a high Print E-mail
Friday, 29 January 2010 13:41

PETALING JAYA, Jan 19 — Interest in foreign properties has surged among Malaysians thanks to favourable investment conditions at the destination countries, coupled with uncertainties on the domestic front.

Developers from the UK and Australia, in particular, have been actively wooing Malaysian investors with many high-end condominium projects being launched in Kuala Lumpur.

These include projects such as the Lumiere Residences in Sydney, which is priced between A$1.16 million (RM3.59 million) to A$2.88 million (RM8.91 million) and the Waterline House and Woodberry Park apartments in London that start at £340,000 (RM1.856 million) and £199,950 (RM1.1 million) respectively. From a news report, Malaysians made up 20 per cent of all buyers in November last year.

According to sources, one Kuala Lumpur office of a London-based real estate agency managed to garner sales of UK properties worth £70 million (RM382 million) last year and expects to do £140 million (RM764 million) this year.

Meanwhile, the Australian Trade Commission says Malaysians invested about A$4.9 billion (RM15.3 billion) in Australian property in 2008.

The amount invested in overseas property also suggests a continuing trend of brain and money drain from the country, as those who can afford to purchase property in Australia and UK tend to be educated and skilled and many do so with an eye on migration, either for themselves or for their children. It also contributes to the outflow of capital from Malaysia, which has exceeded inflows for the past decade.

However, interest in these real estate markets is not only limited to Malaysians but has become a trend among Asians, led by China.

Jellis Craig, a leading real estate agency in Melbourne said that in 2009, overseas Asian investors had become much more predominant in the Melbourne real estate market, with homes worth about A$1.5 million (RM4.64 million) being the most popular.

“We find that most overseas Asian buyers are considering moving with their families to Australia themselves, or investing for their children to live in Australia,” said a Jellis Craig spokesperson in response to questions sent over e-mail.

“In some cases, the mother and children have moved to Australia, while the father commutes between Asia and Australia. Melbourne is considered an attractive city to live [in] because it is renowned for top-quality schooling and lifestyle and is a city of multicultural communities.”

As many Asians tend to move to Australia with an eye on education, Jellis Craig said that they are attracted to areas around Melbourne’s more recognised and prominent private schools; for example in Kew, Hawthorn, Camberwell, Balwyn and Armadale.

In the case of London, the economic slowdown affected property prices in UK, making it relatively cheaper to acquire while at the same time reducing the number of potential local buyers, forcing developers to look abroad for customers.

Jellis Craig added that the Melbourne real estate market is poised to grow thanks to record low interest rates, the Australian government’s stimulus package, higher immigration, the relaxation of Foreign Investment Review Board regulations and news of increased consumer spending, contributing to a ground-swell of support for the property sector.

Source: themalaysianinsider business



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