Favorite Links

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Property Sector - Selangor Muted impact from higher foreign threshold OVERWEIGHT


- Higher foreign threshold in Selangor. According to press reports, the Selangor government has introduced a new set of guidelines on property purchases by foreigners, permanent residents as well as foreign-owned companies. The new measures are supposed to take effect on 1 September 2014. Based on this, residential, commercial and industrial properties are divided into three zones. Zone 1 covers the districts of Petaling, Gombak, Hulu Langat, Sepang and Klang. Zone 2 includes Kuala Selangor and Kuala Langat, while Hulu Selangor and Sabak Bernam make up Zone 3.

- Key components:

(1) Residential properties: The foreign threshold for Zone 1 & 2 has been raised to RM2mil from RM1mil previously

(Zone 3: unchanged at RM1mil). Products available for foreigners are confined to strata and landed strata properties.

(2) Commercial & industrial properties: The minimum foreign threshold for all zones has been raised from RM1mil to RM3mil.

(3) Foreigners are also barred from purchasing properties under the Bumiputera quota. For the non-Bumiputera units, the amount is capped at 10%. Agricultural land, Malay reserve land, non-strata landed residential and auction properties are also off limits.

(4) Malaysia My Second Home program (MM2H): Foreign participants are only allowed to purchase directly from developers, with a limit of one unit per family.

- Muted impact. The recent moves in Selangor are not new. Penang has set a minimum price of RM2mil for all types of foreign property purchases within the Island (mainland: RM1mil), while it is RM1mil in Johor. In addition, a foreign levy of 2%-3% has been introduced for both states. These new measures, if implemented, would mostly raise the minimum purchase price for foreign buyers to between RM2mil and RM3mil from the RM1mil cap as per last October’s Budget.

But, we are unmoved. Our channel checks with property players under our coverage indicate that their projects in Selangor are mainly driven by local buyers – including first-time owners/upgraders within the landed residential market.

A small segment of foreign buyers, if any, are mainly confined to the KL city centre, Bangsar and Mont Kiara. This is consistent with the national trend where statistics from Malaysian Properties Inc (MPI) reveal that foreigners only make up 4%-7% of Malaysian properties. And foreign buyers are largely concentrated in KL, Penang and Iskandar Malaysia.

In addition, any fresh moves by the Selangor government would need to be weighed against any socio-economic merits of key property development projects in the state (e.g. KWASA Damansara). Lastly, restrictions on agricultural land purchases by foreign developers appears to be a pre-emptive move to avoid any unmitigated distortion of land values and the ‘crowding out’ of local developers sourcing for development land, which are increasingly scarce.

- A glimpse of Budget 2015: We do not expect the government to introduce any further moves to rein in the property sector, as most these have been frontloaded last year. On the contrary, there have been fresh calls for the reinstatement of the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS) specifically targeted for first-time homebuyers.

- Maintain OVERWEIGHT. We maintain our positive stance on Malaysian properties. After a lull in 1H14, we expect new property launches to re-accelerate in 2H. Likewise, any slowdown in property sales post the Good & Services Tax (GST) in April 2015 is expected to be short-lived with transaction volumes tipped to normalise within a quarter or so. To be sure, landbanking momentum remains fairly robust among select developers (e.g. Mah Sing, Eco World).

Furthermore, we draw comfort that the take-up rates for recent prolific launches that either offer affordably-priced landed township homes (e.g. IJM’s Bandar Rimbayu) or integrated developments with good connectivity (e.g. Mah Sing’s Southville City@Bangi and Lakeville Residence@Taman Wahyu) continue to remain healthy. Our top property picks are Mah Sing, MRCB, E&O and Titijaya Holdings.

Source: AmeSecurities

No comments:

Post a Comment