Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum, managing director, Mah Sing Group
The property industry will benefit from an economic boost, resulting from various initiatives in Budget 2018, said Mah Sing Group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.
He cited the government's initiatives that focus on lower and middle income segments, address the cost of living, affordable housing issues and new technology as beneficial to economic growth.
He added that Mah SIng aims to the leading property developer in the affordable segment and will be launching more affordably priced projects in line with the market needs.
"In line with the government’s broad Budget 2018 objectives in helping rakyat to own a home, we just launched our ‘Reinvent Affordability’ campaign that aims to reinvent what it means to be affordable by providing homes with superior product specifications at a price point many can actually afford," he said.
In addition, Leong believes the government's incentives for first-time home buyers such as Pr1MA Skim Pembiayaan and MyDeposit programme will assist them with their deposits and instalment when purchasing a home.
A 50% tax exemption for rental income amounting to up to RM2,000 a month would also be encouraging to property investment, he said.
"This would be beneficial for Mah Sing as we have a lot of investable projects in prime location and near public transportation. Our completed projects such as M City, Jalan Ampang and Icon Residence, Mon’t Kiara which are fetching rentals up to RM2,000 will be able to benefit from this tax exemption."
Leong is positive on the income tax reduction for those earning between RM20,000 and RM70,000 annually as this will provide more disposable income for those planning to invest in a home.
And finally, Leong lauded the plans to further upgrade the public transport infrastructure, citing how the group's various projects have benefited from the added public transport facilities.
Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector, Malaysia (PEPS)
PEPS, an association representing valuers, property managers, estate agents and property consultants in the country, is positive on several of the government's initiatives tabled in Budget 2018 although not all the items on its wish-list were fulfilled.
PEPS commended the RM2.2bil allocated for housing, of which RM1.5bil is allocated for Pr1MA housing to build 210,000 units at RM250,000 and below.
"This is a very laudable move by the government to address the affordable housing issues in terms of financial capacity to buy and also to assist in increasing the supply of affordable homes.
"The step-up financing scheme provided to PRIMA is now extended to private developers under Budget 2018 is also welcome news," it said.
However, PEPS noted that the allocation of RM2.5bil for Industrialised Building System (IBS) is only applicable for the upgrade and maintenance of dilapidated school buildings. It hopes that incentives will be widened to include builders and developers who adopt the IBS.
On healthcare tourism, PEPS is positive on the incentives to private hospitals in attracting health tourists.
It also commended the upgrading of airports, the extension of incentives for investment in new four- to five-star hotels to 2020, and the introduction of the E-Visa regional hub to ease the entry of expatriates, foreign students and Malaysia My Second Home participants.
It added that the 50% exemption of up to RM2,000 per month of rental income was a welcome announcement.
"The Property Industry and Property market are still faced with many challenges and problems such as oversupply, overbuilding, high costs and mismatch between supply and demand and issues on end financing," said PEPS, while noting that it would have liked to see these issues addressed in the budget.
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