KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — The percentage of property ownership by foreigners in the country has declined since the government set a minimum RM1 million as property prices for foreigners in 2014, the Dewan Negara was told today.
Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Lee Chee Leong said statistics showed the percentage of transfer to foreigners for various property sectors was also less than two per cent, indicating that opportunities for locals to own houses were still not affected.
Based on the record, the number of unsold residential properties exceeding RM1 million has increased from 413 units in 2014 to 2,116 units in 2016.
The purchase of property by foreigners actually has a positive impact on the country because it can reduce the number of unsold properties, especially in excess of RM1 million, he said when replying to Senator Chia Song Cheng at the Dewan Negara sitting today.
Chia wanted to know the number of properties owned by foreigners based on the country of origin up to date, their price range and whether this foreign investment would affect the opportunities of locals in terms of home ownership or jobs.
In 2014, a total of 247,25 units were sold in the market with 2,406units purchased by foreigners covering 1%.
In 2015, the number of home ownership by foreigners declined to 1,156 units from a total of 235,967 units at 0.5% while for 2016, the percentage also dropped to 0.3% at 706 units from 203,064 units.
However, the percentage declined drastically since the introduction of the minimum property prices by the National Land Council in 2014.
Lee said the purchase of property by foreigners in the industrial and commercial sector was still needed as it could encourage foreign investors in the country which provided job opportunities to locals.