INDIANS KEEN ON APAC MPI survey shows more are considering Malaysia because of its position as a regional hub by A.Lalitha & Hazrul Izwan The Asia Pacific region is the top destination sought after by investors from India looking to park their money in real estate. A recent survey carried out by the Malaysia Property Incorporated team in India showed that investors from the subcontinent ranked Asia Pacific as the most desirable region to purchase properties, followed closely by Europe and the Middle East. The top reason fuelling their decision to purchase property in the Asia Pacific region is for business expansion purposes and for exploring potential partnerships within a moderate-risk environment. Zooming in on investors’ opinion of Malaysia as a place to invest, the MPI team discovered that more than 80% of the respondents showed keen interest in buying property in the country. On the business side, they see the country as a regional hub that offers potential for growing businesses. Its impressive transportation system and infrastructure compared with other developing countries in the region are also plus points for them. On the personal side, Indian investors are attracted to Malaysia’s culture, lifestyle, heritage and history, some of which overlap because of the commonalities in the colonial past of both countries. Both Malaysia and India were ruled by the British before they received independence. Malaysia’s natural scenery, sunshine and beaches are also a draw for Indian investors, some of whom have said they feel extremely comfortable living here.
ownership were abolished, Indian nationals emerged as the fourth largest group of residential property investors in Malaysia, with Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor being their preferred locations. Indian investors tended to mirror the investment patterns of their family members and friends, preferring to purchase where their countrymen had India Asean Business Fair 2011, New Delhi bought. Prices of properties purchased predominantly fell in the USD150,000 Almost one third of the respondents to USD300,000 category. said they favour high investment returns when purchasing property in a Indian celebrities that are rumoured foreign country. to own real estate in Malaysia include music director Deva as well as actors In terms of type of property and location, Madhavan and Vadiveloo. many Indian investors are zooming in on residential and commercial property As at November 2010, Indians make up in Kuala Lumpur’s suburban areas the eighth largest number of applicants like Bangsar, Mont’Kiara and Petaling from amongst the applications under Jaya. Many indicated a preference for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) landed residential property if they were programme. purchasing for their own use. If the United Nations Development An interesting fact that emerged Programme’s 2010 report is anything from the survey is that Vastu Shastra to go by, more Indian nationals may be compliance is important to Indian looking to own property in Malaysia. investors and they consider it part of the value-added package when buying Malaysia has one of the largest property. Vastu Shastra is the Hindu communities of Indian diaspora in the system of design based on directional world, making it a familiar place for alignments. Its Chinese counterpart, Indian nationals looking to live or work feng shui, already has a big following in overseas. The UNDP report states that the East. India is one of the largest “sending” nations in India, with an emigration rate Indian interest in the Malaysian property of 0.8%. The report indicated that 72% market is not a new phenomenon. Prior of those leaving the country have opted to 2008, before the Foreign Investment to work in other Asian countries. Committee Guidelines on property Investment 56%
Figure 3: Main intentions of property purchase in Malaysia
Business expansion 7%
Own residence 37% Source: MPI Research