Complete Guide to Buying Property as Foreigners in Malaysia!

Buying a property can either be an exhilarating or stressful phase of your life.

This phase seems especially puzzling to foreigners since they are not citizens of the country.

On top of that, the home-buying process can vary from state to state, depending on local customs.

Buyers, especially foreign first-time home buyersneed a basic overview before stepping into the field.

So, if you are a foreigner and willing to buy properties in Malaysia, here is a guide for foreigners to help you along your path to becoming a homeowner.

  1. Types of properties that can be purchased by foreigners
  2. How to Purchase a property in Malaysia
  3. How foreigners can purchase a property in Malaysia (MM2H)

Malaysia as a place to buy property

Land is super affordable in Malaysia when it comes to buying properties in comparison to other countries in Southeast Asia.

Malaysia has seen high growth in the last two decades, and it has still managed to maintain its low buying costs.

Therefore, you can get considerable value for money if you are in the right place.

A foreigner can take out loans easily from banks and there are no restrictions to exchanging funds from other countries.

Having a relatively low Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) – mainly through holding the property for more than five years – makes Malaysia the right place to think about when buying properties as a foreign national.





1. Types of properties that can be purchased by foreigners

There are certain requirements needed to fulfill for foreigners looking for homeownership in Malaysia. The requirements depend on each state.

It is recommended to get in touch with the relevant state authorities for further clarification to find out the types of properties that can be purchased.

As per law, the only restricted properties that foreigners can’t own are:

  • Properties on Malay Reserved Land
  • Properties that are of Bumiputera interest in any developmental project
  • Properties like low and medium-cost residential units
  • Agricultural land (in certain states)

So, there are opportunities to own terraced houses, industrial land, bungalows, commercial property, investment property, and more. It is advised to check with the state authorities for confirmation.




2. How to purchase a property in Malaysia?

You will need to follow the steps to buy a property as a foreigner in Malaysia:

1: A form needs to be signed which is called the developer’s sales form or the offer purchase form. This form will be given by the seller for sub-sale transactions.

2: If it is necessary, they can apply for a loan.

3: You have to submit some documents – passport photocopy, contact number, address, income tax number, and the place where the tax is submitted (applicable for sub-sale purchase only) – to the legal representative.

4: Within a couple of days from the date of form signing, they have to finish signing the SPA, mutual covenant (if needed), and other transactional documents.

5: The 10% deposit to the vendor is also needed to be paid within these days.

6: The solicitor will then ask for state authority consent, and the buyer has to provide some other documents in the meantime – a copy of the SPA, a foreign purchaser’s passport, and more.

7: Then it is time to pay the balance purchase price as per the rules.




3. How can foreigners buy a house in Malaysia?

Foreign nationals who will stay in Malaysia for a long period of time, a 10-year visa to be specific, can get the chance of buying property from a program named Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H).

They just have to fulfill the following requirements –

  • Those aged 35 years and above, along with their families, for a period of 5 years (which can be renewed under certain conditions)
  • Must have a monthly income of RM40,000 (or its equivalent in USD) and liquid assets of RM1,500,000 (or USD360,000) worldwide

After being approved, the successful applicant must deposit RM1,000,000 (or USD240,000) into a fixed deposit account in Malaysia (along with an additional RM50,000 or USD12,000 per dependent if under the age of 50) and maintain it for the duration of their visa.

Half of the deposit can be withdrawn after one year for reasons such as purchasing property, paying for education, or covering healthcare expenses.

There will be a required processing fee of RM5,000 (or USD1,200) for the main applicant, RM2,500 (or USD600) per dependent, and an annual RM500 (or USD120) levy.

Additionally, the successful applicant must spend at least 90 days each year (or 450 days in total over the 5 years) in Malaysia.

One thing needs to be noted: the MM2H requirements for Sarawak are slightly different, so you are encouraged to check about it with the expert before making the decision.




Buying a property is, undoubtedly, one of the most emotionally charged purchases of one’s life.

However, to be honest, Malaysia is a suitable place for purchasing or living.

Just be sure to do a little research about the place and property you want to buy; the rest will be a smooth ride.

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