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Hoping for a Land Rush

Indonesian Property Business Continue to Lobby for a Change in Foreign Land Ownership Rules

(4/28/2014) The leadership council of Real Estate Indonesian (REI) is again planning to discuss with the government its desire to see a change in the rules for foreign property ownership in Indonesia, arguing such change is needed as Indonesia embarks on the ASEAN Free Trade Zone (2015).

Past efforts to liberalize property ownership rules to allow foreign land holdings have failed with the Indonesian Constitution Court declaring foreign land ownership is not allowed under the 1945 Constitution.

The chairman of the REI council, Eddy Hussy, told Bisnis Bali: “In this period, the discussion has not yet begun. We have long struggled (for a change). We will try again to fight for foreign ownership.”

Hussy hopes the government will make new regulations allowing foreign land ownership in order to provide access to what is believed to be a large new potential property market. He sees access for foreign property buyers as capable of generating large amounts of foreign exchange and stimulating new investment in Indonesia.

Underlining both the need and the opportunities of allowing foreign land ownership in Indonesia, according to Hussy, is the coming ASEAN Free Trade Agreement that will allow ASEAN citizens to work freely in any ASEAN neighbor. With ASEAN nationals able to work freely in Indonesia, he believes will also come a concomitant desire to own land in Indonesia.

Among the issues being discussed by REI is whether or not foreigners should pay higher transactional taxes (BPHTB) when acquiring property in Indonesia.

If foreign property ownership is allowed in Indonesia, REI says Jakarta, Bali and Batam would be large potential markets for foreign buyers.

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