Guidelines for foreigners buying a house in Malaysia

For all foreigners & expats: Check out our guide which details the property purchasing process and information on MM2H.

1. What kind of properties can foreigners own?

  Foreign ownership of property is liberal (foreigners can own 100% of the property) in Malaysia as long as minimum requirements are met. In law, foreigners can own any type of properties EXCEPT the following: 

  1. Properties valued less than RM1 million in most of the major states.
  2. Properties built on Malay Reserved land
  3. Low and medium cost residential units as defined by the state authority
  4. Properties distributed to Bumiputera interest in any development project as determined by the state authority.
  5. Do take note that there are two types of property tenure: 
    • Freehold
    • Leasehold (99 years but renewable)

2. What is the minimum property purchase price in each state with or without MM2H?


*Zones in Selangor

Zone 1 – Districts of Petaling, Gombak, Hulu Langat, Sepang and Klang
Zone 2 – Districts of Kuala Selangor & Kuala Langat
Zone 3 – Districts of Hulu Selangor and Sabak Bernam

NOTE: In the state of
Selangor, foreign purchasers are prohibited from:

  1. Purchasing landed residential properties unless said property is issued with a landed strata title (e.g. gated community). 
  2. Buying auction properties
  3. Purchasing agricultural land

3. What are the procedures for foreigners to acquire property?


  1. Sign the developer’s sales form or the offer to purchase form with the vendor, for sub-sale transactions.

  1. Apply for financing to purchase the property (if necessary)

  1. Provide the following documents to the solicitor: 
    • photocopy of passport
    • correspondence address and contact number(s)
    • income tax number & the place of submission of the income tax (applicable for sub-sale purchase only).

  1. Within 14 days from the date of signing of the sales form (or offer to purchase), sign the SPA, deed of the mutual covenant (if applicable) and other transactional documents. Pay the 10% deposit to the developer/vendor.

  1. Solicitor to apply for state authority consent. Purchaser to provide the following documents to the solicitor: 
    • 1 certified true copy of the SPA
    • 1 certified true copy of the Foreign Purchaser’s passport
    • 1 certified true copy of constitution (if the purchaser is a foreign company)
    • Latest quit rent and assessment receipt of the property
    • Application form under Section 433B of the NLC

  1. Pay the balance purchase price in accordance with the Third Schedule of Schedule H Housing Development (Control And Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (“Schedule H”) or the SPA.

  1. Pursuant to Schedule H, the developer shall deliver vacant possession of the property within 36 months from the date of the SPA (or such later date as may be approved by the relevant authority). Upon delivery of vacant possession, the developer shall deliver the strata title and certificate of completion and compliance to the foreign purchaser. In the case of a sub-sale transaction, the vendor shall deliver vacant possession to the purchaser in accordance to the terms of the SPA.

4. What are the costs involved?

Stamp duties & Memorandum of Transfer (MOT)

 Stamp duty rates for properties valued more than RM1 million will be increased from 3% to 4% from January 1, 2019 onwards. 

  Let’s say you are purchasing a home worth RM1.5 million. The final RM0.5 million amount will cost you RM20,000 (4% X RM500,000), bringing the total stamp duty to be paid to RM44,000. 

Legal Fees

Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT)

Rental Income

Yes it is accountable to Malaysia tax. If you are a foreigner with a permanent residence status, the tax rate will be from 0-25% depending on the tax bracket. If you are a foreigner without a permanent residence status, the tax rate will be 25%. 

Loan stamping fees

0.5% of total loan amount. 

Door tax & title deed 

RM 1,500-RM3,500 for condominium (charged by land office) 

Maintenance fee

This fee is based on price per square feet (psf) set by property developers. It will vary from project to project. A rough estimation of this cost will be from RM 0.30 – RM 1 psf. 


5. How do I transfer the funds if I choose to purchase a property in Malaysia using cash?

You may do a transfer the funds to the property developer’s Malaysian bank account by stages or to the bank account in other countries (if available). 

6. Can I purchase a property with 2 or more individuals?

There can be more than 2 individuals who own the property that was purchased. During the signing of the agreement, each individual’s percentage of shareholding must be stated. It will be equal share by default if there is no clause stating how much percentage each individual will own. 

7. Will the total square footage of properties sold in Malaysia include the common area?

Usually the total square footage of properties sold in Malaysia will consists of useful area & common area will not be included in the calculation. 

8. How do I furnish my units & who can manage my units for me?

Most property developers will provide semi furnish or fully furnish units. However, should you have your own preference on design taste, our in house design & renovation experts will be with you every step of the way. Additionally, we also provide property management services that will look after your property units when you are away. 

9. What are the home loan financing options?

MM2H holders can obtain loan as high as 80% margin from banks whereas non-MM2H holders can obtain loan margin close to 50%. Loan tenure can reach until 30 years, provided the applicant is not above 70 years of age when the loan tenure ends. Loan stamp duty is around 0.5% of the loan amount. Legal fees and disbursements will be around 0.8% of loan amount.

 Click here to fill up the enquiry form for our in house experts to give you the best advice and latest interest rates!

 *This article was repurposed from , first published on 


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