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Foreign investors dwindling Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 August 2010 00:00

THE Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) has reported a drop in the number of foreign purchasers and investors in the country in the first half of the year.

Its half-yearly Rehda Property Industry Survey of its members found that foreign buyers made up only 2.7 per cent of the buying crowd in the period reviewed, down from 3.3 per cent in the second half of 2009.

According to newly-elected Rehda president Datuk Michael Yam, among the reasons Malaysia has not been attracting as many foreign property buyers as some of our neighbours is that the capital appreciation we offer is "just not attractive enough".

He said this is despite the country having a more stable economy than some others in the region.

Yam noted foreign property investors would rather buy in Hong Kong and Singapore as these markets are larger and more liquid.

"Capital appreciation in the country is comparatively low ... in Singapore or Hong Kong, it's possible to buy a property for RM10 million and watch it appreciate to RM13 million the following year," he stressed.

"Part of the problem is we don't have a market that appreciates tremendously."

Rehda KL branch chairman Datuk N.K. Tong added: "The liquidity in markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong comes with a speculative element as well as volatile price changes. This is what investors look at."

Tong said the local market is still too small and too cheap to be a major investment destination for foreign buyers.

Other issues raised by Rehda include inconsistent government policies, which they said could have played a part in turning investors away.

Citing the Malaysia My Second Home or MM2H programme, it pointed out the current rules and regulations are almost a 180-degree turn from what they were four years ago.

Yam suggested that efforts be stepped up in coming out with consistent policies - if the government is serious about attracting foreign buyers.

"More efforts should also be concentrated on marketing Malaysia overseas in addition to offering more compelling property investment propositions," he added.

In recent years, Phuket in Thailand and Bali in Indonesia have been highly successful in attracting foreign buyers by promoting the tropical beachfront lifestyle.

However, Malaysia, despite featuring beautiful beaches among other natural assets, has not fully taken advantage of these assets - or marketed their full potential.

"It must be said, though, that the government has already taken steps to improve the ease of doing business in the country in a move to welcome foreign investors," Yam noted.

He added that the industry needs continued government support and accommodative policies to push forward and achieve greater success.

Source: http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/new-straits-times/mi_8016/is_20100820/foreign-investors-dwindling/ai_n54853657/



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