MALAYSIANS are pinning the blame on foreigners for the rise in property prices in the domestic market, an online survey by iProperty.com Malaysia revealed.
Findings from the survey showed that 74 per cent of respondents felt that prices have been driven up because of foreigners snapping up properties in the country.
iProperty Group chief executive officer Shaun Di Gregorio said he was not surprised with the findings as Malaysia is liberal in terms of property ownership.
"With the Malaysia My Second Home scheme, which attracted more than 12,000 applicants, it's not surprising that Malaysians feel that foreign buyers and investors are driving up property prices in the country," he said.
More than 90 per cent of respondents also wanted the government to impose higher stamp duty and taxes on foreign buyers and investors.
The survey findings, which involved more than 1,000 respondents, revealed that in relation to the property market, 47 per cent of Malaysians want to see better control on house prices.
About 31 per cent want better public transport and more low-cost and affordable housing schemes.
Di Gregorio said 54 per cent of the respondents wanted the Real Property Gains Tax increased to curb speculation while 39 per cent wanted to see a decrease.
The RPGT was raised from 10 to 15 per cent last year for properties sold within two years of purchase. For properties sold between two and five years, the hike was from five per cent to 10 per cent.
"While the move to increase the RPGT was to curb speculation and to discourage people from buying and selling houses for quick profit, it has not been effective.
"According to market analyses, in the last two years alone, prices of houses in some areas of the Klang Valley have increased by between 15 and 30 per cent," said Di Gregorio.
In relation to property prices becoming increasingly difficult for buyers in the under-30 age bracket, close to half of the respondents would like the government to introduce other effective schemes by taking into account affordability, inflation and review of income levels.
Prices of properties in the Klang Valley averaged about RM700,000, he noted, adding that barely a month since the government announced an increase in fuel prices, an astounding 84 per cent felt that property prices, especially for new developments, will also increase.
Responding to a question on the government's role in managing the property market, 44 per cent want the government to maintain property prices at an affordable average while 35 per cent want to see measures taken to slow down the rate of increase in property prices.