EXCLUSIVE: By Andrew Batt
Interest in Malaysian property among overseas property buyers and investors grew slightly in August according to the latest Top of the Props report by TheMoveChannel.com, a leading overseas property website.
Malaysia reached 40th place in the most-searched countries in the portal last month, achieving 0.06 percent of all searches but rising an impressive four places on the previous month's ranking.
Dan Johnson, Managing Director of the British-based website, speaking exclusively to PropertyGuru, said: "The global picture remains quite uncertain for many property investors. They are looking from familiar property destinations to increasingly varied markets for safe havens from the eurozone economy - and that includes Malaysia. Low prices or strong returns remain a priority regardless of location as well as wider financial stability."
He added: "For overseas buyers looking to Asia, Malaysia's strong economy therefore makes it an attractive choice for real estate, while the introduction of the additional buyers stamp duty in neighbouring Singapore may well have boosted its appeal."
Spain remained the most popular destination for real estate in August thanks to a large number of distressed properties on the market, but the Euro recession brought equal success for Germany, which jumped six places to join TheMoveChannel.com's Top 10.
Germany has long been regarded as a safe haven in Europe's uncertain economy. Indeed, it is no coincidence that as Moody's lowers its ratings for Europe, German property generated almost double the number of enquiries from overseas buyers than in the previous month. The country was the ninth most popular destination on the site in August, leapfrogging Greece as well as July's big climber Bulgaria.
Germany's surge was accompanied by another rising star in Malta. The tiny island rose four places from 12th to sit just above Germany in the chart. The growth in popularity marked each country's second appearance in TheMoveChannel.com's Top 10 within the past 12 months, as investors bank on familiar property markets that have resisted recession.
Johnson added: "The result is a mixed bag for overseas buyers, but once they have chosen a property market to bank with, they clearly like to stay loyal. It's telling that time and time again, the Top of the Props chart is dominated by European destinations. Real estate headlines will only stop being overshadowed by the Eurozone when buyers lose interest in its property. And judging by the repeated popularity of Germany and Malta, that won't be any time soon."
Thailand remained the most-searched country on TheMoveChannel.com during August. The kingdom dropped to 14th place - down one place from July, and achieved 1.46 percent of all searched on the portal.
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