Saturday, September 30, 2023

Foreigners Only Need Passport to Buy House in Indonesia: Gov’t

Jayanty Nada Shofa
August 3, 2023 | 6:29 pm
This undated photo shows a property building in Indonesia. (B1 Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)
This undated photo shows a property building in Indonesia. (B1 Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)

Jakarta. Foreigners are required to show only a passport to buy a house or residential unit in Indonesia, but the number of foreign homeownership is still incredibly low, a government official said on Thursday.

Indonesia has rolled out a series of regulations aimed to make it easier for foreigners to purchase houses in the archipelagic country. For instance, foreign nationals do not need long-stay and permanent stay permits, locally known as Kitas and Kitap, respectively. The only prerequisite for foreign home ownership is immigration documents, be it a passport, visa or residence permit, according to a 2021 government regulation on land rights.

“We used to ask foreigners for their Kitas and Kitap before they could buy a house. But they now only need to submit a passport or visa to own a property in Indonesia. We will issue their Kitas/Kitap after they purchase a property,” Suyus Windayana, the secretary-general at the Spatial Planning Ministry, told a forum in Jakarta on Thursday.

According to Suyus, foreigners today typically own a house through nominees. In other words, foreigners would have a local to buy property on their behalf. Tourist hotspot Bali sees many of these nominee schemes. However, Suyus said he feared such a scheme would make it harder to monitor foreign property ownership. 


Foreign purchases of properties in 2017-2023 spread across 13 provinces. Foreigners mostly prefer to buy a residence in Jakarta, Bali, and Batam. 

“However, we have only had less than 200 foreigners who bought a property -- without using a nominee -- over the said period. We have only 36 registered foreign homeowners so far in 2023,” Suyus said.

The government official attributed the low foreign homeownership to technical issues on the ground. Suyus added: “Perhaps the system still asks the foreigners for their Kitas or Kitap permits despite the policy changes.”

Two types of housing are available for foreign nationals, namely luxury landed houses and commercial flats. The government has also set a minimum price for the purchase, although the numbers vary depending on the location and housing type. 

A foreigner’s landed house must cost at least Rp 5 billion ($329,190) if located in Jakarta. Foreigners will have to pay a minimum of Rp 3 billion to buy an apartment unit in the highly populated city. As for landed houses, a person/family is only allowed for one plot of land and its area should not exceed 2,000 square meters.

"It may go beyond 2,000 square meters, but the foreigner must prove that the expansion can result in economic impact. But this is subject to the spatial planning minister’s approval,” Suyus said.

Read More: Property, Real Estate Contribute 14.63 Pct to Indonesia’s GDP

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