Johor govt mulls lowering price threshold for foreigners in bid to stop unsold property glut

Johor Housing, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said the state government will be seeking to review the current RM1 million threshold for foreigners to buy property in Johor before reaching a decision. — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor Housing, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said the state government will be seeking to review the current RM1 million threshold for foreigners to buy property in Johor before reaching a decision. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, Sept 20 — The Johor government will be looking at the feasibility of lowering the current RM1 million price threshold for foreigners to buy properties in the state, in an effort to sell off unsold properties.

Johor Housing, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said such a move will help with properties priced at RM600,000 and above that make up between 60 and 70 per cent of unsold properties here.

He said that the state government will be looking to review the current RM1 million threshold for foreigners to buy property in Johor before coming to a decision.

“At present, the state Land and Mines Office will review the proposal as the matter comes under their jurisdiction,” he said after launching the iProperty.com.my Home & Property Fair 2019 at Johor Baru City Square here today.

Dzulkefly was commenting on the state government’s initiatives to assist in the sale of more than 51,000 unsold properties within the RM600,000 to RM1 million threshold in Johor.

On the fear that such a move would affect the prices of property in Johor, Dzulkefly assured the public that the state government will make sure that lowering the minimum threshold will not increase property prices and burden locals.

“The threshold will not go down between RM500,000 and RM600,000 as it will jeopardise the property prices here forcing local buyers to lose out to foreigners.

“We are looking at having the threshold to be between RM600,000 and RM1 million for foreigners,” he said.

Dzulkefly, who is also the Kota Iskandar assemblyman, added that the state government was looking at simplifying the release of Bumiputera status lots for sale.

He said based on statistics from the Johor State Secretary’s Housing Unit, the number of unsold Bumiputera properties currently stood at 10,580.

“The incentives are now in the final stages where it will brought to the state executive committee’s meeting for approval where we are targeting to launch it by next month,” said Dzulkefly.

On September 7, Dzulkefly revealed that Johor currently has the highest number of unsold completed properties in Malaysia, with 6,066 units worth about RM4.06 billion in the market for over two years. Nearly 60 per cent of these units are priced at RM500,000 and above.

For Johor, the RM1 million property threshold for foreign buyers was a cooling measure introduced in December 2014 to stabilise domestic prices from excessive speculation.

This was done to enable locals to acquire properties valued less than RM1 million per unit.

However, over the years, these measures, on top of the rising number of unsold properties and cancellation of mega projects, have affected consumer sentiment and investor confidence.

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