RPGT base year revised to Jan 1, 2013
The base year for the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) has been revised to Jan 1, 2013 for assets acquired before the date, from Jan 1, 2000 previously. During the tabling of Budget 2020, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said this was done in response to the public’s feedback on the capital gains tax, which is imposed on profit earned by homeowners and businesses by selling property. The shifting of the base year for the RPGT translates into lower tax payment, given the nature of appreciating property prices. (The Edge)

Bandar Malaysia project in Sungai Besi will proceed
The Bandar Malaysia project at the former Sungai Besi airport site in Kuala Lumpur will proceed, as outlined in Budget 2020. The 196ha development, which will include 5,000 affordable housing units and a people’s park, will see an increase in the participation of Bumiputra contractors. Proceeds from the project are set to go towards paying off the debts of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Property experts lauded the move, saying it would give the construction industry the kick-start it so badly needed and the project’s vantage location would help take the congestion away from the city centre, as well as provide city folk affordable housing in the middle of the city. (The Star Online)

No citizenship for foreigners buying homes in Malaysia
No automatic citizenship will be given to foreigners purchasing properties in Malaysia. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad assured that the move to allow foreigners to buy condominiums and apartment units was due to a huge property overhang nationwide at the moment. The government was forced to make a decision in allowing such properties to be sold at a lower price. He reiterated that the properties purchased by foreigners could only be used as a holiday home and would not see them being given Malaysian citizenship. In the Budget 2020 announcement last Friday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that price threshold of the sale of condominiums and apartment units to foreigners was reduced to RM600,000 from the previous ceiling of RM1 million. (NST Online)

Only one-third of unlicensed property managers registered with BOVAEP
Almost a year after the end of a window period for those involved in property management to register themselves with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), only one-third of the unregistered property managers have registered. It was reported earlier that BOVAEP has estimated that there were about 5,000 unregistered property managers in the country prior to the registration exercise. There are close to 3,000 registered property managers in the country to date. The board has proposed to the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) to amend the Act to allow only registered property managers to be appointed by Joint Management Bodies (JMB) or Management Corporations (MC). (The Edge)

Property investors turn to Malaysia, SE Asia amid Hong Kong unrest
From luxury Singapore apartments to Malaysian seafront condos, Hong Kong investors are shifting cash into South-east Asian property, demoralised by increasingly violent protests as well as the China-US trade war. Millions have taken to the streets during four months demonstrations, and the property sector is feeling the pain. Property stocks in one of the world’s most expensive housing markets have plummeted since June, with developers being forced to offer discounts on new projects and cutting office rents. Adding to the allure of Malaysia is its relative affordability and prices much lower than Hong Kong. Analysts warned there was little hope of Hong Kong’s property market recovering soon. (Malay Mail)