How to buy property in Kuala Lumpur
Updated 7 months ago

When in the process of planning to move to a different country or city, the first question tends to be where you will live. While renting is a popular option, buying property can be an attractive avenue if you’re looking to settle down in the long run. Before you start looking at potential houses, you should first understand the laws and policies that govern foreign property ownership in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur's real estate market

The real estate market in the city is a booming one. Buying property can be a good way to invest money but also to lay down roots in a new place and truly call it home. Malaysia is very welcoming to expatriates and foreigners in general. Thus, the country has a set of rules that regulate the buying and selling of property to foreigners but also facilities that easy property ownership for those who want to make Malaysia their home.

The main rules of the real estate market for foreigners state that foreigners can own 100% of a property and own any property subject except for properties valued at lower than RM1 million, properties designated as reserved for Malay ownership, low and medium cost units as well as property distributed to Bumiputera (people of the land) for development purposes.

Special schemes for expats

The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme is an expat-focused program that allows foreigners to buy property in KL at lower prices than is generally accessible but in line with regulations. It is a government initiative that aims to make the transition to life in Malaysia smoother. Applicants below the age of 50 are required to have at least RM500, 000 while those above the age of 50 should have at least RM350,000 in their account. The requirements to join the MM2H scheme are more stringent than otherwise but the perks involve access to lower-priced real estate.

In addition to the requirements, real estate ownership - with or without the MM2H scheme- also involves a series of additional legal fees and duties and is of course, subject to taxation.

Where to buy property in Kuala Lumpur

Once you've established that you want to invest in real estate, finding the perfect location for your investment is key. The city centre is expensive and realistically, you can only expect to purchase an apartment, condominium or penthouse in the heart of KL. In the suburbs, prices tend to be lower, depending on the area and the accessibility of public infrastructure and other facilities. Expats have for the most part invested in areas like TTDI, for the quiet residential atmosphere and Mont Kiara for the upscale neighbourhood and access to international schools. Bangsar has also proven to be popular as has Damansara.

When looking to invest in real estate in Kuala Lumpur, you might want to first look at what are the non-negotiable requirements when it comes to your life in the city. This will help you provide a clearer insight to your real estate agent or property manager.

Useful links:

Loan Street - Buying property
PW Tan & Associates - Guide to Real Estate for Foreigner

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