Yes, foreigners can invest in Malaysian real estate. The country has liberal regulations compared to the others in the region as pertains to foreign residential property investing. Unfortunately, the regulations have been overhauled a couple of times in the last few years, making it confusing especially the rule on the minimum price a foreigner can buy property at.
Malaysian property is under the control of a number of Malaysian State Governments and the rules can vary wildly depending on the part of Malaysia you are buying in. While the Federal Government passes national regulations, States are not obligated to implement them. For example, the minimum price setting for foreigners can buy property was not implemented in some states.
Malaysia has two types of titles for foreigners purchasing property:
• Freehold: Gives the property owner permanent, full ownership of the property
• Leasehold: Allows the property owner to remain in possession for a set period with 99-year leasehold titles extendable upon payment of a further sum.
Houses get a title when complete, while a condominium or apartment gets a strata title. In the case of a condo, the strata title may be withheld for some time even after the building is complete.