Builders told to allocate 30% of project for affordable homes

Sharing insights: Abdul Rahim and Halimah at a briefing after the seminar.

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developers are being urged to allocate at least 30% of their development portfolio for affordable housing to cater to the growing demand for such properties.

Rahim & Co executive chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman said state governments should make it a condition to build affordable homes when property developers undertake the development of a plot of land.

“In the past, state governments used to impose a quota where 30% of the development should be for low-cost housing.

“If we were successful with that before, why not have a similar condition to develop affordable homes,” he said at the Rahim & Co property research seminar.

Rahim admitted that many developers avoid developing affordable homes because such projects yield low profits.

“I think developers can still make profits from the remaining 70% of their developments.”

Rahim noted that today, many people do not want to live in low-cost homes.

“They don’t want to live in low-cost properties because as their salary increases, they would prefer to upgrade or live in affordable houses.”

According to the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia’s (Rehda) Property Industry Survey, a total of 1,022 units of low-cost units with a built-up area of 650 sq ft priced between RM35,000 and RM42,000 were launched in the first half of this year.

None of them were sold. A year ago, 650 units were launched, of which 450 units were sold.

According to Rehda president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar, people don’t live in low-cost homes because the don’t want to be associated with them. “If they can afford it, they would prefer to purchase something bigger,” he was quoted during Rehda’s first half 2016 survey report in September.

Meanwhile, Rahim said while some developers had been holding back their launches this year, some were still generating good sales. “Purchasers are more discerning and selective of their purchases,” he said.

The full-day seminar, titled “The Malaysian Property Market: Opportunities Amidst Uncertainties,” was aimed at providing market updates and insights on the property sector and featured a panel of distinguished speakers from the sector.

The event was launched by Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, who said the Government plannned to streamline the quota and prices of affordable homes throughout the country.

She said her ministry was preparing a working paper that would be presented to the National Housing Council.

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