Buying In Indonesia

Discussion in 'Where to Buy' started by CalNash, 27th May, 2015.

  1. CalNash

    CalNash Member

    Joined:
    27th May, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Hi Everyone,

    Im new herer, first thread. anyways...

    I am wanting information on an australian citizen buying property in indonesia, specifically The Gili Islands, Lombok or Yogyakarta.

    Regards,

    Callum.
     
  2. EN710

    EN710 Member

    Joined:
    10th Dec, 2011
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    I'm not sure you can.

    Try marrying an indonesian first :rolleyes:
     
  3. windyzz

    windyzz Member

    Joined:
    3rd Mar, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    sydney
    I'm from Indonesia, and from what I know, overseas cannot buy property in Indonesia. I think you can lease for a number of years....

    I can tell you that, it's not good to invest there. The country is not stable, some area near the CBD where the majority ethnicity is Chinese is Very Expensive,
    if not as Expensive as Sydney.
     
  4. CalNash

    CalNash Member

    Joined:
    27th May, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    I was thinking more along the lines of investing with a freind of mine that lives on lombok(local), is there a sort of 51/49 ownership split? can they buy the property for me but are just a 'ghost' name/ signature on the forms.
     
  5. EN710

    EN710 Member

    Joined:
    10th Dec, 2011
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Um, how good do you know this friend?
    Worse case scenario he'll get the entire property and you have none.

    And I don't think you can do ghost signature. Either in or out.
     
  6. Terry_w

    Terry_w Member

    Joined:
    19th Mar, 2012
    Messages:
    9,610
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    A client of mine flew me to Indonesia a few years ago to try to help him recover a property that was stolen from him. My advice is to not even consider it. It will cost you dearly.
     
  7. freerange

    freerange Member

    Joined:
    27th Jun, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    SA
    My friends are currently selling a place they built over there, but i have no idea about the wheeling and dealling behind it. They live there 75% of the year so they no doubt have their connections.
     
  8. marg4000

    marg4000 Member

    Joined:
    27th Dec, 2006
    Messages:
    3,906
    Location:
    Brisbane
    There is a book "sell up, pack up and take off" that investigates buying in Asia. It is aimed at retires but the basic principles would apply. Gives case studies including Bali.
    Marg
     
  9. JohnHenry

    JohnHenry Mister

    Joined:
    3rd Jun, 2011
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Wollongong
    How is that possible ?

    Look / read at this article from Estate Master:
    http://www.estatemaster.com/about-us/news-events/article?id=Indonesia-is-open-for-business

    The economic climate is getting better there. The number of Indonesian people or the population of Java island is driving the property prices up already.
     
  10. Blacky

    Blacky Member

    Joined:
    30th Apr, 2010
    Messages:
    1,403
    Location:
    WA sometimes
    I looked into it fairly extensively a few years ago.

    It can be done, but its not easy (or all that safe).

    Land can only be owned by Indonesian nationals. Or at least majority owned (51%). Buildings however, can be 'owned' by foreigners. You will often see 'right to occupy' properties for sale to foreign buyers. Often these are similar to town houses/apartment's where the land is owned by a national, and the apartments are sold to foreigners.

    An alternative option is to set up a company. The company can own the land. However, there are rules around who can own/direct companies. There are locals who operate specifically for this purpose.

    It can be done with a lot of effort and a fair amount of risk. In short you need a national who you can trust, which to me, was too big of a risk to take.

    A friend of mine lives in Bali and is married to a national. He (well she) owns their house there, as well as some other land. I was quizzing him about it and he said "if I knew when I bought what I know now, after owning for 10years, I would never have bought a property".

    For me, I didn't end up buying. Property rental is relatively cheap (often sub 5%). Its impossible to get a loan as a foreign buyer so ultimately the opportunity cost of that amount of capital tied up in the property - with the associated risk wasn't worth while pursuing.

    Blacky
     
  11. EN710

    EN710 Member

    Joined:
    10th Dec, 2011
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Their definition of stable is different from Australian definition.

    Before looking at the property price increase, look at the average income. I'd say the ratio are downright ridiculous.
     
  12. Batam Guru

    Batam Guru Member

    Joined:
    12th Oct, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Batam Island, Indonesia
    Indonesian Property 1 - Why Indonesia & SE Asia should be on serious investors? radar

    Australian offshore property enthusiasts seem to be unaware of the quite dramatic economic, political and social changes happening right next door in the countries of South East Asia.

    For example few will be likely to know that (April 2015 numbers) Indonesia currently ranks 16th in the world in terms of GDP on a current prices basis (Australia 12th) and as high as 8th on a GDP Purchasing Parity basis (Australia 19th). Indonesia?s GDP per capita (Purchasing Parity Basis) is now comparable to that of China.

    Indonesia is now a member of the G20 group of nations and the Government is aiming to join the global top 10 in GDP rankings by 2025. Noted economist Jim O?Neill - who famously coined the term ?BRICS? nations - has included Indonesia is his newer term ?MINT? nations (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria & Turkey) referring to emerging countries likely to become the next group of economic giants.

    It is now 16 years since Indonesia ended the 31-year Suharto dictatorship and moved to democratic government with regular parliamentary and presidential elections and peaceful changes of administrations. The system of government is still far from perfect and has many flaws, but the progress over such a short time has been remarkable. Those who fail to recognize this are making a big miscalculation.

    Many Australians looking for offshore property opportunities have focused on the USA (particularly following the Global Financial Crisis in 2008) and to a lesser extent places like the UK and New Zealand ? familiar countries with broadly familiar systems. Perhaps it?s time for a rethink.

    I have lived in Indonesia for more than 12 years and have owned (and redeveloped) property here for nearly 11 years. I have been quite disappointed to see the superficial comment appearing on some Australian property boards relating to purchasing and owning property in Indonesia (notably Bali).

    The reality is that there are now HUNDREDS if not thousands of Westerners from Australia, America, Europe, UK and elsewhere who have bought Bali properties, these days paying very high prices for the privilege.

    I have to confess I have never been to Bali (I live in Batam ? population around 1.5m and located next door to Singapore), but I do know many Westerners who own or have owned property there ? apart from the growing traffic congestion, they love the place and have never voiced any property ownership problems. Similarly, hundreds of Western expatriates own apartments, houses or business premises in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities which they enjoy without encountering problems.

    It's a shame that such poor information is being provided by posters who often do not seem to have first-hand knowledge and perhaps harbor prejudices based on hearsay or information from times past.

    For those prepared to do their homework and use their judgment there are excellent, SECURE property opportunities emerging in Indonesia and other countries of South-east Asia.

    These regions also happen to be very beautiful, warm and laid-back with INEXPENSIVE living costs and very attractive lifestyle options, particularly for people approaching retirement.

    This is not to say that Indonesia is not difficult or that it is not subject to wide corruption and frustrating bureaucracy, because it is ALL OF THE ABOVE. Cultural differences and differing expectations mean it is a challenging place to do just about any kind of business

    There also are plenty of sad stories of Australians and other Westerners who have had disastrous property experiences in Indonesia - usually because these purchasers failed to do their homework, preferred ?bar talk? to reliable advice, fell victim to shonky salesmen (often expatriate Westerners) or allowed themselves to be manipulated by local girlfriends or wives.

    But then there are plenty of sad stories of unfortunate property experiences in Australia and Western countries like the USA ? also because purchasers did not do their homework, accepted poor advice or fell victim to unscrupulous marketers (check out some of the past comments in these forums and watch for those likely to come regarding the rush to rental properties in North Dakota, USA).

    A big shortcoming for Westerners looking at property in this region is an assumption that if you know how the land system and property investment works in your home country you should be fine because it really can't be all that different.

    WRONG - you are operating in a very different, legal, bureaucratic and cultural system. If you recognize this and take the trouble to listen and learn you can make it work for you. If not then you can expect to have problems.

    Perversely the very challenges and difficulties of investing in places like Indonesia help to create the opportunities. And these opportunities are likely to be expanded further from the end of this year with the ASEAN Common Market to be implemented in the run-up to 2018.

    By way of background, I am a former licensed real estate agent in Western Australia and NSW (I have allowed my licenses to lapse due to my extended absence). Most of my Australian property experience involved putting together modest but successful developments (mainly Perth and Adelaide) and a role as development manager with a hotel company.

    I now head a small property investment company on the island of Batam renovating aging houses as a serviced apartments complex and operating associated hospitality facilities. We are mainly targeting a substantial floating Western expatriate community of professionals and specialists employed in Batam?s expanding heavy and light manufacturing industries.

    Through this hands-on involvement we have developed practical expertise and an understanding of the Indonesian property scene ? land titles and tenure systems, conveyancing processes, foreign ownership rules, zoning and planning issues, building approvals, company formation and structures, manpower and unions and the whole gamut of how to operate effectively within a VERY different culture and legal and bureaucratic and framework.

    I am planning to submit a series of posts explaining aspects of Indonesian property laws and regulations as they affect prospective Western purchasers (warts and all) and explain the approach and precautions needed to make successful investments in this region. The first of these posts, relating to land titles and safely purchasing property in Indonesia, will follow today.

    This information will be particularly relevant for CalNash and Blacky and will correct, refine or amplify some of the other comments on this thread.

    Perhaps these posts also will be helpful to others who might like to widen their comfort zone to extend into South-east Asia but do not have the knowledge and confidence to do so. Questions and comments will, of course, be welcomed.
     
  13. EN710

    EN710 Member

    Joined:
    10th Dec, 2011
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    The above are very important.

    I am not saying that it's impossible to make money there. However the culture, system, legality, ethics etc there are very different compared to how it is in Australia. Fail to understand the above and you will likely get in trouble.
     
  14. neeko

    neeko Member

    Joined:
    8th Mar, 2011
    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    007
    You can only lease on gili islands no buying champ.
     
  15. windyzz

    windyzz Member

    Joined:
    3rd Mar, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    sydney
    Lol you can say anything you like. I was born and grown up Jakarta. We still have businesses and real estate in Jakarta. The economic is so unstable, and yes prices of some of the estates is as high as Sydney.

    Seriously Its just not worth considering it.
     
  16. Encarta

    Encarta Member

    Joined:
    11th Feb, 2015
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I agree, though I'm not from there but we were over in Lombok 2 months ago looking at financing a local to build villas in partnership. In the end after enough dd we discovered it just wasn't worth the risk.

    A good way for anyone considering doing this and not just Indonesia, but any foreign market is to visit the area and then jump on facebook and find the expat pages/groups

    Join and then start asking a few questions, have a few coffees, make a few " property " friends and then get down to the real deal detail with true experiences through reliable contacts, Gold!
     
  17. Toon

    Toon Member

    Joined:
    10th Sep, 2006
    Messages:
    193
    Media:
    12
    Location:
    Victoria
    That basically sums up all the reasons I need to completely rule Indonesia out of places I would even consider risking my money in. I'm sure people can & will make tons of $$$ there, but unless you have money to gamble with, there are plenty of much safer options.
     
  18. Batam Guru

    Batam Guru Member

    Joined:
    12th Oct, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Batam Island, Indonesia
    Indonesian Property Information Part 2 ? How to obtain secure and clear Title

    Thanks to Neeko, Windyzz, EN710 and Encarta for your prompt replies. Some of these reactions perhaps underline the point I was making regarding a lack of first hand or complete knowledge and the need to really do your homework and not simply accept hearsay.

    For those who want to know, the following may help to shed some light on some important aspects of how the system works here. In particular it may be useful to CalNash and in providing a little more complete information forBlacky.

    For CalNash please note the section re using "nominee" purchasers with regard to your friend in Lombok - as Encarta obviously figured out, clearly not a good idea. Neeko please note the comments regarding the terminology "leasehold".

    Indonesian Land Titles System

    Foreigners wishing to use or purchase land for whatever purpose in Indonesia need to be aware that Indonesian Land Law is quite different to the laws that apply in most Western or developed countries and not ASSUME that legal conventions followed in their home countries necessarily apply in Indonesia.

    In fact the Constitution specifically prohibits direct foreign ownership of Indonesian land. This gives rise to a pervasive myth that foreigners simply cannot own land in Indonesia. The source of this information is often a girlfriend or prospective wife or an Indonesian ?friend? or agent who will be happy to ?help you overcome this problem? by allowing you to buy the property in their name.

    A variation is the expatriate agent or Indonesian property lawyer (Pejabat Pembuat Akta Tanah or PPAT) who will tell you that you need to buy in the name of an Indonesian nominee - they may even have a candidate standing by to fill this role.

    It is quite true that no foreign individual or corporation can OWN property in their own name in Indonesia in freehold in the Western sense - all land under the Indonesian equivalent of freehold title (Hak Milik) is restricted to Indonesian citizens (natural persons) or certain associations comprised wholly of Indonesian citizens. It CANNOT be held by a company ? Indonesian or foreign.

    However, much, if not MOST, land in Indonesia for which titles have issued is held in some form of conditional title loosely referred to as ?leasehold? and non Indonesians can readily obtain secure title to this property if they follow the correct procedures.

    The current system of certified land titles in Indonesia was established under The Basic Agrarian Law No. 5 of 1960. The primary title is registered in the Land Office?s records and is recorded on the land title certificate. Every region has its own land office, each of which is a subordinate of the National Land Office (BPN).

    The principal mainstream forms of land title relevant to foreign purchasers (individual or incorporated) are:

    Right to Build (Sertifikat Hak Guna Bangunan ? usually referred to as HGB)

    HGB title confers the right to construct and own buildings on a plot of land. It is transferable and may be encumbered. In effect HGB is the closest equivalent of widely available ?freehold title? and is the form of title under which real estate is most commonly held by Indonesian citizens and legal entities (corporations) established under the Indonesian Law and domiciled in Indonesia.

    Land held under HGB title CANNOT be purchased directly by foreign individuals but it CAN be purchased by foreign-owned companies incorporated in Indonesia (PMA foreign investment companies) and joint-venture companies with foreign shareholders.

    Banks and financial institutions accept HGB land as security for mortgages because it can be bought, sold and bequeathed and it is covered by the same planning and land use provisions as would apply with freehold land. HGB title is granted for an initial period of up to 30 years and this is extendable for a subsequent 20-year period.

    Upon the expiration of such extensions, a new HGB title typically will be granted on the same land with the same terms. This rollover process means that HGB is actually a quasi-leasehold title because it is can effectively be renewed indefinitely and it can be sold like freehold and can be used for loan collateral like freehold.

    Right to Use (Sertifikat Hak Pakai - HP)

    Hak Pakai title confers a right to use government or privately held land for a specific purpose and is used for social activities, religious worship, embassies and international organizations. The title can be held by Indonesian citizens, individual foreigners residing in Indonesia, foreign embassies or representative offices of foreign institutions.

    It has come to be used by foreign individuals resident in Indonesia to acquire property in their own name. The title can be granted for a maximum validity period of 25 years and is extendable for another 20 years.

    The Hak Pakai form of title is widely regarded as inferior because the purchaser is limited to owning ONE property, the lease duration is shorter and there are very limited rights to transfer, bequeath or mortgage the property. The purchaser must be domiciled (or at least spend extended periods) in Indonesia and is required to relinquish the property if departing Indonesia permanently. It can only be transferred to an Indonesian citizen or to another foreigner resident in Indonesia if that foreign purchaser has the relevant visa and work permit status.

    Property Rights on Apartment Units (Sertifikat Hak Milik atas Satuan Rumah Susun)

    This title is issued to the owners of residential, commercial or retail units in multi-storey buildings such as condominiums, strata-title offices and trade centers under 1985 amendments to the Agrarian Law. It is the nearest equivalent to strata title and is intended to confer an individual ownership right to a part of a complex and a collective or shared right to the underlying land and common property

    The term depends on the expiry date of the underlying land title of the plot on which the building is located. The underlying title will generally held under HGB (where the land on which the development is undertaken is a company) or can be Hak Milik where the original site owner is an individual.

    Other forms of Title

    There are various other designated forms of land title for specific purposes including rights covering cultivation, land clearing, water and fisheries, forestry, land management and so on. However, these generally are of little relevance for investors looking to purchase Indonesian residential or commercial property.

    How to Purchase Properties Safely

    Foreign individuals typically acquire property in Indonesia by using a nominee arrangement or by forming an Indonesian incorporated company.

    Under the nominee method, an Indonesian citizen or incorporated entity is nominated to buy the land on behalf of the purchaser. Land Title deeds will be under the name of the nominee. The PPAT (conveyancer) handling the land sale and transfer will simultaneously make a Power of Attorney giving the foreign purchaser total and exclusive authority to use, sell, transfer, or lease the land without any reference whatsoever from the nominee, along with a statement declaring that the money used the buy the land belongs to the foreign purchaser and not to the nominee.

    The power of attorney must give the foreign party full beneficial rights on the property and must waive all rights of the nominee. The foreign party is then free to build on the land, sell or lease the property and transfer the title to next of kin. Often, the nominee will receive a nominal fee.

    However, Gary Dean of Okusi Associates (a leading foreign investment consulting firm with offices in Jakarta, Bali and Batam) WARNS that nominee agreements for land between Indonesian citizens and foreign persons are legally very weak, and potentially will not hold up to legal challenge. Despite all legal agreements, he says, the beneficial owner is ultimately depending upon the goodwill of the nominee and of the HEIRS to the estate of the nominee in the event that the nominee dies.

    Earlier this year the head of the National Land Agency (BPN) and Minister for Agrarian Affairs, Ferry Mursyidan Baldan, issued statements indicating the Government would be clamping down on land "illegally owned" by foreigners throughout the archipelago, in particular on the resort islands of Bali and Lombok. They suggested that the BPN would survey and inventory land ?owned? by foreigners throughout Indonesia and this has been interpreted as clearly targeting land held under nominee arrangements (See more at http://indonesiaexpat.biz/featured/...ship-under-the-magnifying-glass-in-indonesia/)

    Gary Dean says that the only way for foreigners to safely secure Indonesian land and enjoy full beneficial rights is to establish an Indonesian company. Companies with 100% foreign equity (called PMAs) can be incorporated in Indonesia. Such a company can then become the legal owner of the land, with the Title Deed in the name of the company. Such a company can own multiple properties.

    It is not possible for a foreign purchaser (individual or incorporated) to acquire freehold title (Hak Milik) under either nominee or PMA company method, but as explained above, the Building Rights Title (HGB) has effectively the same strength as freehold title as long as the company continues to exist.

    Be aware that a foreigner or company cannot simply buy up land and then do nothing with it. Indonesian land laws are designed to prevent speculation by absentee landlords who leave land idle for years at a time.

    The key point to remember is that with a 100% foreign-owned PMA company, foreigners can safely secure Indonesian property. You do NOT need to have any Indonesian partner and the name of your company (rather than an Indonesian nominee) appears on the Certificate of Title.

    A PMA company must have two shareholders but both can be foreign individuals or entities (for example you and a company you already have at home). Foreign nationals (you) may be appointed as company officers. Creating such a company can also offer advantages in obtaining long-term visas for anyone wishing to spend extended periods in Indonesia.

    The base cost of establishing a PMA company is about SGD$4,000 but the consequences of not having real security of title do not bear thinking about.

    If you are looking to purchase an Indonesian property it is important to seek reliable advice from people experienced in the area, and to undertake proper due diligence. As Gary Dean remarks, not all PPAT or Indonesian Notaries were created equal, and in fact the vast majority of Indonesian PPAT are not competent to advise on such matters, despite being superficially qualified to do so.

    Confusion over the term "leasehold"

    The terms "long-term lease" or "leasehold" are widely used in reference to Indonesian land titles and this has caused confusion, particularly as to the duration and rollover of titles. It has been pointed out that the terms "lease" or "leasehold" appear nowhere in the Indonesian land laws governing mainstream property titles.

    In fact the various forms of title in Indonesia should be regarded as CONDITIONAL titles, usually related to the purposes for which the land is released. The Indonesian State remains the underlying owner of the land in much the same way as the Crown is the ultimately holder of lands in Australia.

    The system is in some respects analogous to those followed in the Australian Capital Territory and Singapore, though in those jurisdictions the titles are clearly defined as leasehold. A key point to keep in mind in this respect is that the absence of "freehold" title seems to have had little impact on the buying, selling, ownership and valuation of property in Singapore or Canberra.
     
  19. DavidMc

    DavidMc Member

    Joined:
    22nd Feb, 2005
    Messages:
    2,853
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I'd love to own some land in Gili (after seeing similar areas in Thailand boom over the years) but I just don't believe property ownership rights are strong enough there.

    I could imagine all it would take is a dispute with the local authorities (or change in government) and wham your property is taken from you.
     
  20. Batam Guru

    Batam Guru Member

    Joined:
    12th Oct, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Batam Island, Indonesia
    Buying property in Gili Island, Indonesia

    I understand your nervousness DavidMc but you really can purchase safely in the Gili Islands or elsewhere in Indonesia you follow the right procedures. I know my post of yesterday was a little long and involved but the key point was as follows:

    " ... the way for foreigners to safely secure Indonesian land and enjoy full beneficial rights is to establish an Indonesian company. Companies with 100% foreign equity (called PMAs) can be incorporated in Indonesia. Such a company can then become the legal owner of the land, with the Title Deed in the name of the company. Such a company can own multiple properties.
    It is not possible for a foreign purchaser (individual or incorporated) to acquire freehold title (Hak Milik) under either nominee or PMA company method, but as explained above, the Building Rights Title (HGB) has effectively the same strength as freehold title as long as the company continues to exist."


    The company you form is legally an Indonesian entity and in effect you get the same title and ownership rights as EVERY Indonesian corporation - pretty much the same ownership rights as you would enjoy in Australia. Further:

    "The key point to remember is that with a 100% foreign-owned PMA company, foreigners can safely secure Indonesian property. You do NOT need to have any Indonesian partner and the name of your company (rather than an Indonesian nominee) appears on the Certificate of Title."

    We incorporated our PMA company in 2004 and there have been two changes of Government and President since then and even more changes at the City, regional and provincial level. We have purchased some 14 residential properties (and a parcel of adjoining land) and taken long-term leases on others. We have been slowly re-developing and renovating pretty much continuously since 2006. We definitely plan to buy more!

    Many foreign expatriates have successfully bought residential properties, business premises and factories here and literally thousands more have done so elsewhere around Indonesia. I really do not know any who have had problems with ownership aspects or who lay awake at night wondering when some Government agency is going to swoop in, grab their property and throw them out.

    As mentioned in my previous post a PMA company must have two shareholders but both can be foreign individuals or entities (for example you and a company you already have at home or you and your wife). Foreign nationals (you and your wife) may be appointed as company officers. Creating such a company can also offer advantages in obtaining long-term visas for anyone wishing to spend extended periods in Indonesia. The base cost of establishing a PMA company is about SGD$4,000

    I do not know the Gilis but understand it is very beautiful and becoming very popular. If I can help you with any queries then please feel free to contact me. Good luck.