Right product needed to attract foreign property investors - developer

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to promote the right property products to attract foreign investors, said a leading Malaysian property developer.

Citing Phuket and Bali, group CEO of Perdana ParkCity, developer of Desa ParkCity in Kuala Lumpur, Lee Liam Chye said properties in these two places could attract foreign buyers because they have products which are attractive to foreign investors. Malaysia, despite having beautiful natural assets such as beaches - does not fully make use of its assets.

He was speaking as a panelist at a panel discussion on 'Opportunities in the New Decade : Creating The Malaysian Property Hub' at the 21st National Real Estate Convention in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday Aug 4.

“I don’t foresee foreign investors buying terraced house in Petaling Jaya or Shah Alam. We have to come out with the right products. We want to attract foreign investors to buy high-priced, marketable products to be turned into second homes or a vacation home. We have the assets, if we build the right products, they will come,” he added.

Another panel member FIABCI Asia Pacific president Dr Yu Kee Su said the introduction of other forms of investment in properties such as Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and property securitization could help increase foreign property investments from the current percentage of less than 3%.

Yu added that Malaysia still has a lot to do to make REITs more attractive to foreign investors and suggested more choices for investors such as property derivatives.

Meanwhile, deputy managing director and property consultant of DTZ Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd, Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin felt that the country has been promoting an undervalued image of Malaysian property.

He shared his experience at an international property exhibition where properties in Bali, Phuket and Batam were priced from US$1.5 million to USS3.5 million and people would flock to their booths whereas high-end properties exhibited by a Malaysian developer  promoting properties priced at only RM1 million, “and people tend to just pass by”.

Although properties in Malaysia have better facilities and concepts, it did not manage to attract buyers. “Developers need to take further steps to enhance property values as a whole. Communication and exposure by the frontliners (marketing team) is very
important,” he added.

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