Malaysia bans foreign buyers at $100B Chinese-backed development

Country is the latest to crack down on foreigners amid global affordability crisis

Sep.September 01, 2018 04:00 PM

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the city of Johor (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Malaysia is banning foreign buyers from purchasing homes in a new $100 billion development, the latest in a string of real estate clampdowns across the globe.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday said foreigners would be blocked from buying homes at Forest City – a huge residential complex being built by Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co. on a group of artificial islands in the city of Johor, Bloomberg News reported.

Mahathir also said foreigners would not be granted visas to live there.

The project has targeted buyers from mainland China, and Mahathir – who rose to power by tapping into nationalist rhetoric – has called foreign investments that don’t benefit Malaysians “a new version of colonialism.”

Across the globe, countries are putting protectionist measures in place, as low interest rates have made home buying unattainable for many.

“The tension around foreign investment is always going to be much more acute when affordability is getting worse,” Brendan Coates, a researcher at the Grattan Institute think tank in Melbourne, told Bloomberg.

He noted that even when foreign buyers have little impact on housing prices, as they do now on a global basis, they may still be blamed by locals priced out of the market.

New Zealand’s parliament last month approved regulations that prohibit foreigners from buying existing properties. [Bloomberg] — Rich Bockmann

Related Articles

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

By the numbers: Breaking down national housing agendas from the far left

Nuveen CEO Vijay Advani, Blackstone President & COO Jonathan Gray and one of the Texas properties

Blackstone just sold off a 29M sf national industrial portfolio

The purge continues: WeWork’s head of real estate is leaving

Judith and Rudy Giuliani Rudolph and Judith Giuliani are divorcing after 16 years. (Credit: Getty Images, Trulia, Highrises)

Luxury properties at play in Rudy Giuliani’s ugly divorce

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator James Skoufis (Credit: Getty Images, NY Senate)

Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind
LLCs anymore

Jimmy Van Bramer (Credit:, iStock)

After failing to meet his own deadline, Queens council member returns thousands in real estate donations

General contractors are suffering under Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese goods

The Real Deal picked up 9 awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors

The Real Deal wins 9 NAREE journalism awards