Ahmad Husni: Govt to provide affordable, comfortable housing for the lower-income

  • Business
  • Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013

PUTRAJAYA: The government is committed to provide affordable and comfortable housing for the people, especially to low-and middle-income earners, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said today.

He said the affordable housing issue was a major concern to the people due to spiralling house prices.

The rapid increase in house prices, particularly in urban areas, have made it extremely difficult for the low-and middle-income earners to own houses.

"Hence, the provision of low-cost houses has been a priority in the five-year Malaysia Plans and the annual Budget.

"Therefore, the Budget 2014 Focus Group Meeting on Providing Greater Access to Home Ownership today is part of the inclusive process, as we have with us representatives from the private sector, industry organisations and government agencies," he said in his opening remarks at the meeting in the Finance Ministry today.

Ahmad Husni said he looked forward to listen to views from key stakeholders on issues and ideas on providing greater access to affordable housing for the masses.

Since 2011, house price increases have averaged 11% to 12% annually in preferred locations such as Kuala Lumpur, which has the country's most expensive housing, averaging RM552,707 a unit in the first quarter of this year.

This is followed by Sabah and Selangor, with average prices per unit at RM391,981 and RM365,317, respectively.

Loans for residential property also accounted for a significant RM319.4bil or 49.6% of total outstanding loans to households as at May this year.

Likewise, the biggest portion of household debt is on the payment of housing loans followed by car loans, he said.

Ahmad Husni said issues such as mismatch between supply and demand, low-cost houses are not strategically located, abandoned and delayed housing projects, slow implementation of the Industrial Building System (IBS) and no valuation requirements on new house launches also need to be addressed.

The Focus Group Meeting is organised to seek views and suggestions for the 2014 Budget.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to table the 2014 Budget in Parliament on Oct 25.

The Finance Ministry has identified 15 specific topics covering macroeconomic, sectoral and social issues for the focus group discussions this year.

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