Ministry may extend construction time if project unsold

Rehda president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar (pic) said many genuine housebuyers had problems coming up with their downpayment when financial institutions only offered financing of up to 80%.. (Real Estate and Housing Developers

PETALING JAYA: The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association’s (Rehda) request to extend construction time from the current 36 to 48 months can be considered if the project is yet to be sold, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister said.

Tan Sri Noh Omar said however, “if the developer has already started selling the units, it is not possible to ask for the extension because the sale and purchase agreement has already been formalised”.

Noh was speaking to reporters after delivering a keynote address at the 20th National Housing & Property Summit 2017 organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute.

Rehda made the request earlier this year in view of high-rise housing becoming 40 to 50-storey blocks and construction time limitations. Noh said Budget 2018 would once again focus on affordable housing.

“The government has been forking out billions for housing for both the lower and middle-income group and this will continue, going forward,” Noh said.

Rehda president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohd Mansor said both developers and buyers want to believe that the worst is over in the property sector, but different risks, currency issues and global environment challenges continue to cast a pall over the sector.

“Developers continue to hold back on launches and buyers are not buying although there is demand,” Fateh Iskandar said at the summit.

The laudable macro-economic numbers are not translated into real numbers.

Key challenges with regard to consistency in policies and the rising cost of compliance remain unresolved, he said.

With the budget around the corner, Fateh Iskandar is asking the government to address the various issues and not to charge private developers the various infrastructure contributions, development charges and other costs which, at the end of the day, are passed on to house buyers.

The rising costs notwithstanding, low-cost houses are still priced between RM35,000 and RM42,000, the same price as 15 years ago, while affordable housing, which is different from low-cost units, is priced between RM80,000 and RM400,000 on a national basis, Fateh Iskandar said.

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