PETALING JAYA, Sept 26 — Developers defended today the government’s plan to sell homes to foreigners, insisting that this was a specific market only for high-end properties that most locals cannot afford.

The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) said home ownership among wealthy migrants remained relatively small, with sales often limited to properties only above the RM1 million range.

“If you look at the number of approval of the MM2H programme is only about what, 6,000 a year?” Its president Datuk Soam Heng Choon told a media briefing here.


The Pakatan Harapan administration recently came under fire for proposing its Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) — which it said was aimed at aiding first time home buyers — be opened to the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the proposal is meant to address the luxury housing glut.

Bank Negara Malaysia last year warned that the overhang in the high-end market was at a critical level, especially within the Klang Valley.


Two weeks ago Zuraida was reported to have proposed the MM2H campaign to attract buyers from China and Hong Kong as a solution. Official estimation of the unsold units are valued at some RM100 billion.

Soam said today the two countries have long been the target market for the upper segment of the local property industry, but denied claims that developers had expanded the HOC there. The Rehda president any exhibitions held in China and Hong Kong were in their own personal capacity.

“HOC...and affordable housing is only open to Malaysians, rest assured,” he said.

The HOC lasted six months and saw over RM19 billion worth of homes sold, with properties in the RM300,000 to half a million and RM750,000 price range forming the bulk, according to Rehda figures released today.

Sales of properties above that price range and up to a million ringgit were also considerable. In the RM750,000 to a million ringgit bracket, a total of 3,969 units were sold.

Meanwhile purchases of those priced at a million to RM1.5 million ringgit touched over 2,400. The combined sales were nearly 6,500 units.

Soam touted the sales numbers as a major success for the campaign, which was also part of a drive to cut the number of unsold luxury unit now littering most major cities.

But data on how many of these high-end homes were bought by foreigners was not available, though the Rehda said it was likely “small”.