Written By: Henny Maherah
How is the Malaysian property sector responding to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19? In a surprising turn of events, property developers in Malaysia are engaging more clients from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Buyers Puts Property Investment in Malaysia On Hold
Interest in the Malaysian housing market reached a strong peak in 2019 as many Hong Kong residents attempted to flee from social unrest in their home country. Despite this promising start, property investment from Hong Kong has retreated by one-third ever since the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. Investors and potential buyers are taking a longer time to decide on property investment due to the lockdown measures in Malaysia.
Efficient Response from Property Developers and Government
Nonetheless, Malaysian property developers have learnt to adapt to the turbulent times quickly and are introducing more attractive prices and packages to entice hesitant foreign buyers. With such enhancements, property developers are working with 20 to 30% more clients from Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2020.
Furthermore, government efforts such as the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme further encourages buyers to settle on their property plans. Through this scheme, long-term residency visas are offered when foreigners invest in homes priced above RM1 million. The scheme proved to be effective in securing more foreign investors in the Malaysian market when application for MM2H increased by 20% in the second half of 2019.
Adaptability is crucial within the property market to respond quickly and be flexible to global changes. This efficient response together with timely and relevant government initiatives, could result in a better outlook in the slow housing market in the near future.
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