I am an expat planning to move to Penang. I am looking forward to buying a property for my family and me to settle in as well as maybe one to rent out as a source of passive income. Are there any special restrictions as to what kind of properties can expats purchase or is it free-game to anyone who has the cash? I know Penang is very multicultural – have been there with my family a couple of times but are there any other aspects that I should take into consideration when settling in Penang? Much appreciated.
I am not an expert but I made some quick google searches and found this:
“Requirement by Penang state consent. Foreigners or non-Malaysian will only be allowed to buy condo priced above RM1 million and for landed properties priced RM3 million and above.”
However, Malaysia has also introduced the Malaysia My 2nd Home Program (MM2H). I found this statement,
“MM2H participants can buy up to 2 units below RM500,000 with good reason & letter of support from the Tourism Ministry.”
Foreign purchasers are also required to “apply state consent and pay 1.5% to 3% levy fee based on the purchase price after signing the sales and purchase agreement. It normally takes 6 weeks to 8 weeks for the state approval consent.
The following particulars are necessary for the preparation of legal documentations:
1. Copy of passport(s) – owner and co-owner(s), if any
2. Correspondence address
3. Contact – house telephone no, mobile no, office no, e-mail address”
Google “penangproperties[.]com” and you will be guided to the same resources that I just shared with you.
In terms of other things, you might have to prepare for is the weather honestly. Not sure if you are a fan of the rain/shine seasons, but I know many expats find that as a charming side of Malaysia. In terms of domestic expenditure, the grocery is known to be quite affordable and eating out infrequently is something doable too. However, please note that most buildings are not pet-friendly. You might not be able to keep your pet dogs (or any other animals) in your condominium or any other buildings (even malls and grocery stores)
New legal implementation should make it easier for expats to come and purchase property in Malaysia. Given that there are a lot of unsold units, pretty sure the government is trying to mitigate the loss from such projects by making it easier for foreigners to purchase properties in Malaysia. The MM2H program is a great example of trying to achieve the integration between foreign element with the local culture.
IMHO, foreigners purchasing land in Malaysia is one of the reasons why properties are hiking up in price. Developers are targeting foreigners as buyers without considering whether affordability for the locals. My apologies if this in any way hurt your feelings. I’m more than happy to have foreigners living in Malaysia (absolutely love the diversity) but it would be nice if the locals can still afford the house and condos