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Chinese investors seek for Malaysia property
Brief:Chinese investment will help its plans to increase foreign investment in Malaysia property market.
Led by the government agency, Malaysia Property Incorporated (MPI) Malaysia is courting Chinese investors in the country's property market.

The government anticipates Chinese investment may help its plans to increase foreign investment in the country's property market from two to five per cent in the coming years.

According to the MPI, the Malaysian real estate market is uniquely affordable, open and stable and has emerged relatively unscathed from the global financial crisis.

Forecast returns for the property market range from 7.6 to 10.8 per cent across the various segments including residential, commercial and retail real estate, according to research by ING Real Estate Investment Management.

"For buyers in the region seeking a long-term investment that will steadily appreciate, Malaysia is the place," says Kumar Tharmalingam, chief executive officer of MPI.

Other favorable factors in the Malaysian capital include the relatively low cost of living; it was ranked 104th in a Mercer Cost of Living survey in 2011 compared to Hong Kong and Singapore which ranked 9th and 8th respectively.

There are few restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate and most ownership is freehold meaning foreigners can purchase it without a local partner. There is no limit to the number of properties a foreigner can hold and land titles are transparent and independent.

The one major caveat is that foreigners are only permitted to buy property at US$180,000 or higher but according to Kumar Tharmalingam this shouldn't be a problem as most investors are interested in the luxury market.

MPI says Malaysia has seen increasing inquiries from Chinese home buyers since the second quarter of this year.

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