In recent years, there has been a growing apartment trend in Brunei Darussalam moving away from landed property. This can be traced to 2012 when a government legislation was passed prohibiting Brunei land ownership by permanent residents and foreigners, discontinuing their right to purchase property or land through power of attorney (PoA) or trust deeds.
In March 2015, former Minister of Development, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, announced that foreigners are allowed to own properties in Brunei under the Land Strata Act title for 99 years, without the need for a Power of Attorney. This enabled land owners to develop land without restriction. The minister highlighted that the strata title is a way to optimise land ownership and encourage investment in the real estate market.
The benefits of applying for strata titles were highlighted during a briefing regarding the implementation of the Strata Act by the Ministry of Development on February 27, 2017. Saharana binti Haji Ahmad, Head of Registration of the Land Department said, “The strata title is proof of ownership issued for each unit of a building. Besides attracting overseas investment, benefits of strata titles include ensuring proper maintenance of a building’s surroundings and making sure the use of land is optimised in line with the vision of the Land Department.”
She added that Brunei citizens, permanent residents and foreigners are allowed to purchase strata title property based on the consideration of the relevant authorities that approve applications for strata title ownership. The supply and demand projection for the Brunei property market, based on the nation’s population growth, indicates a healthy increase in the number of new homes required. Today, the country’s population is roughly 417,200 – compared to 127,554 in 1970 – and is projected to balloon to 638,000 by year 2050.
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