There are two broad categories of property sale: sales by a developer of newly constructed properties and sales by individual owners of existing properties.
In Malaysia, it is common for developers to sell properties “off the plan” which means you purchase the property before it is built. Under the Housing Developers Act, property developers are required to complete the construction of these properties within three years of the purchaser signing the Sales and Purchase agreement. Purchasers are required to make periodic progress payments throughout the three-year period as the architects confirm that progress has been made on the overall project construction. Usually 5% of the price is held by solicitors for up to 18 months after completion to cover any defect
The Malaysian government is encouraging developers to change to a “build then sell” policy which means that they will complete construction before making the sale. The suggestion is that the purchaser then pays a 10% payment to secure the property and the balance is only payable when the property is completed.
Purchase of existing properties usually involves a down payment of 10% of the purchase price (this may be made in two installments – 3% with letter of offer and 7% within two weeks). The remaining 90% is payable within three months. After that period, then interest would become payable on the outstanding balance. Before buying an existing property you should ensure there will be no problems in obtaining the necessary State approval to acquire it as a foreigner.
Foreigners can acquire both freehold and leasehold land in Malaysia. Most leasehold land is owned by the state in which the property is located and leases are usually for 60 or 99 years.
At the end of the lease it is fairly easy to renew the lease for a further 99 years upon payment of a premium which is based on the current market value of the property. It is also possible to arrange for a new lease during the period of the existing lease.
This involves cancelling the existing lease and applying for a new one. Certain types of land cannot be purchased by foreigners.
Malaysians use the following terms to describe the types of residential property available:
These houses usually share a wall with the adjoining property on both sides. They are typically one or two floors high but occasionally they consist of three floors. Many terraced houses in major cities like Kuala Lumpur are being renovated.
Some of the end units (which often have extra land with them) are often reconstructed to substantially increase their built-up area with a corresponding reduction in their garden space.
These are essentially the same as terraced houses except they tend to be more upmarket and expensive. Some may have an internal patio.
This is short for semi-detached and refers to a house which is joined on one side to another property. Two homes make up one building.
This is a detached standalone house on its own land. Unlike some countries where the term means a single-storey, smaller dwelling, a bungalow can be any size in Malaysia. Some are extremely large with built-up areas exceeding 10,000 square feet.
There are a great variety of apartments available in nearly all major towns and cities. They vary from small and very cheap to extremely large and correspondingly expensive. However, do take note that many apartments are priced below the minimum purchase limit for foreigners. Newer, more expensive apartment buildings usually have security and offer various facilities like a pool, squash and tennis courts, and a gym.
Condominiums / Condos
Unlike some countries, where there is a legal distinction between a condominium and an apartment (flat), in Malaysia the terms can be interchangeable. Usually, using the term condominium means the development has more facilities.
This generally refers to developments which have controlled access with a guard house and fencing surrounding the whole development. This usually means security will be better, but it is advisable to check exactly what security is offered. Consider how easily you gain access, ask how often guards patrol the development, and what system they have to let visitors enter.
0Food & Drink
Go On The Ultimate Food Journey In Singapore
This article was written by expat contributor Jennifer Dawson. Going on a trip to Singapore is one of the best ways to satisfy...
Philippine Airlines Introduces Flights From Kota Kinabalu to Zamboanga
Fly non-stop from Kota Kinabalu to Zamboanga, three times weekly starting 31 March 2020 with fares as low as RM170*, for an...
0Culture & heritage
Behind the Animals of the Chinese Zodiac
Ever wonder why each Chinese New Year has a theme heavily centred around a particular animal? These animals represent the Chinese Zodiac...
Love & Laughter at Ramada Suites by Wyndham KLCC
Forget the traditional wine and dine with your beloved! This Valentine’s Day, fill the air with laughter and hilarity with the Love...
Enjoy a Taste of Tradition this Lunar New Year with Emirates
Travellers flying with Emirates between Malaysia and Dubai are in for a treat this Lunar New Year. Available for a limited time...
Different Destinations with Ethiopian Airlines
This post was written by expat contributor Jonathan Di Rollo. Even if your final destination is not in Africa, you can still...
Say Cheese! These Camera Apps Steal Personal Data
It’s probably no surprise that the #1 most posted ‘topic’ on Instagram is the selfie. So with millions of people snapping and...
0Design & Architecture
The World’s Tallest Skyscrapers 2020
What started as modern architectural marvels towards the end of the 19th century in the Western world, has continued to flourish well...
Hear it Live, Come Alive with Invito Hotel’s Live Music Special
That Friday and Saturday hangout you’ve been looking forward to just got so much better! Invito Hotel and Residence kickstarts the year...
Harvest and Holiness: Is There a Divide?
Just before the 15th of January, many Indian Tamil communities across Malaysia prepared to celebrate the festival of Pongal, one of the...