Malaysia remains attractive to Chinese property buyers and their top five preferred markets are Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu, and Shah Alam.

Juwai IQI executive chairman Georg Chmiel said that Kuala Lumpur garnered the lion’s share of Chinese buyers in 2019.

Chmiel said that programmes such as the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) have made Malaysia a popular investment and retirement destination.

He said Malaysia is appealing to buyers motivated by lifestyle, retirement, or education.

“Malaysia has long been a favourite investment choice for Chinese buyers. It has affordable standards of living, high quality of life, medical facilities, and accessible educational institutions.

“The Expat Insider 2019 survey revealed that expatriates in Malaysia are generally happy with the affordability of life in the country and they found it easy to settle in.

“The MM2H has been popular with Chinese citizens, who accounted for 30 per cent of the more than 42,000 applications approved between 2012 and 2018,” he said.

According to a report by Juwai IQI, Malaysia had been ranked as the sixth most preferred destination in the world for the second consecutive year in 2019.

Chmiel said in a statement today that the finding is based on buying enquiries made by Chinese property buyers in over 90 countries.

The top five destinations for Chinese property buyers in 2019 were Thailand, Australia, Japan, the United States, and Canada.

The UK, Vietnam, the UAE, Vietnam, and the Philippines were ranked seventh to 10th.

Chmiel said according to the report, inquiries on residential properties in Malaysia by Chinese buyers had increased by 40.2 per cent in 2019 compared with 2018.

He said property in Malaysia is affordable and attractive to them as compared to other countries in Asia and beyond.

“Malaysia offers relatively low property prices, available financing for up to 80 per cent or 85 per cent of the total home price, sophisticated leasing and property management services, the right to freehold ownership, and a developed legal system that protects buyers from exploitation,” he said.

Chmiel said cross border property buying by Chinese consumers is evolving rapidly as these buyers gain in wealth, motivation, and sophistication while looking for asset diversification.

“For the same amount of money, they can get a larger sized property in Malaysia compared to purchasing in China or Hong Kong. They may also be moving to Malaysia, for example, to retire or for work, or they may just use it as a second home,” he said.