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KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — “Elite” Malaysians who can afford to buy houses abroad favour Australia, Singapore, India and Germany, according to the latest survey by online real estate firm PropertyGuru.
Of the 326 people polled online, only 7 per cent admitted to owning a high-rise or landed residential property outside Malaysia.
“With the increasingly desperate circumstances of the political and economic state in Malaysia, owning a property abroad is a privilege that only the elite can afford,” the regional property portal said in its Malaysia Property Market Sentiment Survey Report H1 2016 released today.
Out of the small group of 21 individuals who said they owned homes overseas, Australia topped the chart at 23 per cent, while Singapore, India and Germany were also popular choices at 20 per cent, 18 per cent and eight per cent respectively.
Other locations where respondents owned homes are Hong Kong (7 per cent), Japan (6 per cent), China (5 per cent), Thailand (5 per cent) and the UK (4 per cent).
Despite the weak Malaysian ringgit, 51 per cent of the 23 who owned either residential or other properties overseas said they found property prices there more affordable than in Malaysia.
The other common reasons are for capital appreciation (30 per cent) and planning for children’s education (29 per cent), while those who said the overseas property is located in their actual country of residence or citing good financing options both stood at 27 per cent.
Other reasons given include favourable government policies (24 per cent), retirement purposes (23 per cent), migration plans (20 per cent) and better environment at 16 per cent.
PropertyGuru noted that more Malaysians have now expressed interest to buy residential or commercial properties or land overseas, with Australia still remaining the firm favourite of 52 per cent of 37 people.
Out of this pool of respondents keen on overseas property buys, Singapore, Indonesia and the UK also led the country choices named at 23 per cent, 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
“According to other studies, many Malaysians choose Australia as their second home as it is located comparatively close to Malaysia at a few hours’ plane flight, and for its better working environment and better education system,” the report said.
In a separate report for 2015’s fourth quarter by international property consultancy Knight Frank, its latest Global House Price Index showed the Australasia region – covering Australia and New Zealand – as experiencing the highest annual price growth last year at 12.4 per cent.
Knight Frank’s index also showed Australian house prices rose 10.7 per cent — the fourth highest spike among 43 countries that experienced price increases.
Singapore experienced an annual reduction in house prices by 3.6 per cent, while increases were marked in India (3.9 per cent), Germany (5.6 per cent), Indonesia (4.6 per cent) and the UK (4.2 per cent).