Buying a House in Malaysia: Part I


All Malaysian citizens are free to purchase houses within Malaysia save for low-cost houses which can be applied for through the relevant land offices or registries based on the relevant rules for eligibility.

Houses built on Malay reserved land can only be purchased by Malays. Thirty percent of each housing project is to be reserved for Bumiputra purchasers who enjoy 5% to 8% discount on the purchase price.

Foreign purchasers are subject to the approval of the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) of the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department based on the FIC "Guidelines on the Acquisition of Properties in Malaysia by Foreign Interests".


There are two categories of titles:-
  • freehold - which gives the owner perpetual ownership;
  • leasehold - which allows the owner to stay in possession only for a specified period. When the specified period ends, ownership reverts back to the authority which issued the title.

Generally, a house is issued a title for the piece of land on which the house is erected; and an apartment is issued a strata title for the specific area on the specific floor of the building in which the apartment or condominium is located. A search can be done at the relevant land offices or registries to determine whether the title is encumbered. If the title has not been issued, a search can be done on the master title on which the whole or part of the housing project is erected.


Banks and other financial institutions have different packages of housing loan to assist house buyers in their purchase. Pursuant to a recent Bank Negara guideline, house buyers can now only obtain housing loan of up to a maximum of 60% of the purchase price for the purchase of a second or subsequent house.

Other than financing from a bank or financial institution, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) currently provides two schemes of withdrawal for its depositors prior to attaining the age of 50:-
  • for purposes of buying or building a house or a shophouse consisting of a residential unit, depositors can withdraw the difference between the purchase price and the loan obtained plus 10% of the purchase price, or 30% of the total amount deposited in the EPF whichever is lower
  • for purposes of reducing or setting housing loans, depositors can withdraw 30% of the total amount deposited in the EPF, or the amount of the housing loan remaining outstanding, whichever is lower.

Back to the top

Share this page

Knowledge Base ID :   1344
Last Reviewed :   May 31, 2001

Related Knowledge Base Issues