Properties

Luxury property guide: How to apply for and invest in Malaysian real estate

Looking to settle down in the tropics? We take a look at who can and how to invest in Malaysia.

Mar 09, 2017 | By Robbie Wilson

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia city skyline.

Over the previous two issues of Palace, we’ve looked at investment visa hotspots around the world. From Florida to Greece, investors are scooping up visas, while making considerable investments into economies and reshaping communities. Our final part of the series looks closer to home. Malaysia and its Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme put the country on the map for foreign investors looking to relocate to South East Asia. We show you how to apply and where the best place to invest in property is.

Who can apply?

Anyone who is a citizen of a country recognised by Malaysia can apply.
The MM2H does not require investors to purchase property, although many who attain the visa will eventually end up buying a home.

So how exactly does it work and what do I get?

If you’re 49 years-old and below, you’re required to show proof of liquid assets worth MYR 500,000 (approx. USD 114,000) and an offshore income of MYR 10,000 (approx. USD 2,300) per month. You can show this by providing bank account statements covering the last three months.

Upon final approval, you must deposit MYR 300,000 (approx. USD 67,000) into a fixed deposit account. You need to maintain half of this sum from the second year on and for the rest of your stay in Malaysia if you’re still under the MM2H programme.The other half can be used for approved expenses.

Now if you’re 50-years of age and above, things change a little bit. In fact, it’s actually easier. You only need to show proof of liquid assets worth MYR 350,000 (approx. USD 80,000), albeit with the same offshore income amount of MYR 10,000 (approx. USD 2,300).
If you’re a retiree, you must also show that same amount of offshore income from a government pension.

Upon final approval, make a fixed deposit of MYR 150,000 (approx.
USD 34,000) or if receiving a full government pension of at least MYR 10,000 (approx. USD 2,300) per month, you may apply for exemption from this. After the first year, the investor can withdraw up to MYR 50,000 (approx. USD 11,400) for approved expenses, but the remaining MYR 100,000 (approx. USD 23,000) must stay in the account from the second year onwards.

All property purchasers may also apply for a visa if the value of the purchase is at least MYR 1 million (approx. USD 226,000). Younger investors will be required to make a higher fixed deposit of MYR 150,000 (USD 23,000), while investors aged 50-years and above will be required to deposit MYR 100,000 (approx. USD 23,000).

Once everything is complete, you will receive a Social Visit Pass for an initial period of 10 years. This is open for renewal at the end of the term. With this pass, you can work and study, as well as bring any unmarried children who are below 21 years old.

Tropicana The Residences, KLCC

Who will my neighbours be?

Well if you are investing in the types of property other foreigners invest in, which let’s be honest, you probably are, then you are likely to live next to people from China, Japan, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Iran, South Korea and Singapore. China, Japan and Bangladesh have led the statistics for years now, although application numbers have consistently fallen since 2013 pretty much across the board.

Where should I live?

There are a number of great places in Malaysia for foreign investors to live in, with the most popular being the capital, Kuala Lumpur. There are several new and exciting projects being launched there that would automatically make you applicable for a visa.

Located within walking distance to KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) is the 58-storey Star Residences Two. The 5-star integrated development features 482 units ranging in size,from 707sq. ft. to 2,992 sq. ft. The Residences are connected to the Star Boulevard Signature Retail with restaurants and shops aplenty. Its expected completion date is 2019 and the developer, Alpine Return Sdn Bhd., is a joint venture between Symphony Life Bhd and United Malayan Land Bhd. Priced from around MYR 1,369,000 (approx. USD 307,000),it should definitely be on your radar.

Another great property in Kuala Lumpur is Tropicana The Residences. Located across the street from the Petronas Twin Towers in KLCC, 353 premium serviced apartments and a W Hotel will make for one of the most sought after places to live in Malaysia. The units range in size from 710 sq. ft. to 1,604 sq. ft. Completion is set for 2018 and prices start around MYR 1.8 million (approx. USD 405,000).

Looking forward

That wraps up this series. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the carefully selected investment opportunities around the world. So many countries now offer incentives like these, to entice investors and boost local economies. Your best option really depends on where you want to be and how much you have the ability to meet the criteria of the various nations. As government programs become more popular, we are actually seeing a curb in availability and even an increase in investment commitments. If you find a program that fits the bill, then move as fast as you can.

MM2H INVESTMENT RECAP

10 YEAR SOCIAL VISIT PASS

Option 1:

49 Years and Below

  • Liquid assets of MYR 500,000 (approx. USD 112,000)
  • Offshore income of MYR 10,000 (approx. USD 2,300)
  • Deposit MYR 300,000 (approx. USD 67,000) into a fixed deposit account.

50 Years and Below

  • Liquid assets of MYR 350,000 (approx. USD 80,000)
  • Offshore income of MYR 10,000 (approx. USD 2,300)
  • Deposit MYR 150,000 (approx. USD 34,000) into a fixed deposit account

Option 2:

Property purchase: minimum MYR 1 million (approx. USD 226,000)

This article was first published under Features in Palace 18.