Thursday, 23 November 2017

(NST) Property investment: Malaysia still top choice for China buyers

MALAYSIA remains a property hotspot for foreign buyers, especially the Chinese, and the top locations are Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Melaka, according to, China’s largest international property website.

Although Beijing had restricted overseas property investments in a bid to limit capital outflows and strengthen the yuan, the Chinese are still interested to buy real estate abroad. chairman Georg Chmiel said the popularity of the location or project among the Chinese depends on various factors.

These include the projects on offer and the efforts taken to market the properties, he told NST Property.

“There are some things that developers can do to improve the appeal of their projects to buyers from China. Developers who offer financing options to foreign buyers will find this makes their property more appealing.

“Safety is important to buyers from China, so emphasise on built features and aspects of the community that enhance residents’ safety. Developers should also offer post-sales services, property management services and rental guarantees to attract buyers,” Chmiel said.

He said an important driver of investment in Malaysia is the Belt and Road initiative promoted by the Chinese government, and the potential gains in terms of employment and gross domestic product.

“Malaysia attracts Chinese buyers who appreciate its relatively well-developed infrastructure, the opportunity to obtain quality English-language education and the chance to enjoy a more pleasant lifestyle and environment than in China.

“Most importantly, Malaysia is a springboard for second-generation Chinese who come here to study before they go to Europe, Australia or the United States. Malaysia offers a more pleasant lifestyle compared with Chinese cities. It is an appealing place for vacation homes and retirement living, given the excellent healthcare system and the easy travel to and from China. The country offers a convenient visa programme and an attractive second home plan.”

Chmiel said to market Malaysian properties overseas, developers should use a balanced strategy that combines branding, online traffic, Chinese-language marketing and listings and Chinese-language buyer services located in China — such as a service desk, property tours and local agent partners.

“These are elements we offer to Chinese developers. We think the most successful marketing campaign will combine them all.”

He said the majority of international real estate Chinese buyers are from Guangdong, Shanghai and Beijing, who come from the wealthiest parts of the country and who are the most integrated with the rest of the world.

He said the average price of Malaysian residential real estate that Chinese buyers are most interested in ranges between RM1.2 million and RM3 million.

“The majority of buyers are looking for individual homes and apartments. It is not uncommon for an investor to put money into an early-stage development project. There are also some families who purchase multiple apartments.”

Chmiel said Chinese buyers represent the biggest and most lucrative market for Malaysia.

“Chinese demand for Malaysian residential property increased 138 per cent in the first half of this year compared to one year earlier, and we expect demand to continue growing in the years to come,” he added.