Malaysians Still Investing In London, Say Property Experts

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PETALING JAYA, 14 March: London remains the investment location of choice for Malaysians who invest abroad, despite some selling in the market following the announcement of Brexit, say property consultants.

CBRE-WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen said investors who buy in the UK for recurring income and rent out their properties, especially to tenants working in the financial markets, would feel some jitters.

“This group of investors may start to look at selling their properties. But I don’t see them rushing to sell, as I believe most of them are long-term investors,” he told SunBiz.

For the long-term investors, the majority of whom buy for their children studying in the UK, Brexit has not had much of an impact on them, he noted. “Most of them have a wait-and-see stance because there is uncertainty at the moment.”

Foo said those who are most concerned with Brexit are the new entrants who are interested in but have yet to invest in the UK. However, the more favourable foreign exchange has been a small advantage for them.

“In any market, when there are jitters, there will be investors exiting. With or without Brexit, Malaysians are familiar with the UK market in terms of language, legal system and framework, in comparison with other markets like the US and Europe.

“The other markets Malaysian investors are familiar with are Australia and New Zealand. We are still comfortable with these markets,” he said.

Rahim & Co International Sdn Bhd research director Sulaiman Akhmady Mohd Saheh said in terms of investments overseas, the UK and Australia have always been the preferred locations due to the similarities with Malaysia.

“You can see a lot of people who are selling off now because they are gaining on the capital gains, capital appreciation but Malaysians are still looking at these traditional markets,” he said.

“There are a lot of Malaysians, buying through us, properties in the UK. What we have found, is there is a decrease in Malaysians now buying into the UK market because of Brexit. There is a wait-and-see attitude. Definitely London property prices have gone down about 10% as a result of the Brexit announcement,” said Rahim & Co International executive chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman.

However, he believes that the market will “find its level” as people in the UK and globally get used to the fact that the UK will exit the European Union.

“London has always been one of the centres of the world in terms of trading … but for the time being, people are having the wait-and-see stance and prices have gone down,” he said.

— THE SUN

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