Call for home ownership campaign

  • Business
  • Friday, 19 Oct 2018

Mah Sing group MD and group CEO Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum(pic file) said the project, with a gross development value of RM5bil, would be the group

PETALING JAYA: Mah Sing Group Bhd has urged the government come up with a strategic plan to encourage home ownership, especially affordable homes, to help reduce unsold stocks in the market.

In a statement titled Budget 2019 Wishlist, the property developer lauded the government’s continuous efforts to promote home ownership, especially for first-time home buyers.

“We also hope the government could initiate a campaign which involves the collaboration of all stakeholders such as bankers, lawyers and developers, to come up with a strategic plan to encourage home ownership, especially on affordable homes.

“This will help to reduce the unsold stock in the market,” said Mah Sing managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.

He said Mah Sing hopes that the government would consider to relax lending guidelines for housing loans to ease home ownership for first-time home buyers.

“It has been challenging for the property industry in Malaysia for the past few years especially with the loan eligibility issues.

“We understand that the government is working together with Bank Negara on relaxing lending guidelines to enable more first-time home buyers to secure housing loans.

“We hope that this issue will be addressed,’ Leong said.

He said that the initiative by the government to exempt 100% property stamp duty for the first property up to RM300,000 currently is a good move to lessen the burden for first-time home buyers.

“However, we hope that the initiative could be extended to first property under RM500,000, taking into account the affordable property prices in the main cities of Malaysia,” Leong said.

“This was a successful stimulator of property transactions in the past and would be an effective short-term catalyst to stimulate the property industry,” he added.

Leong is echoing Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia’s (Rehda) suggestion for the government to review and reduce the compliance cost, which is in line with the continuous effort to lower the housing price to benefit the market.

According to Rehda, compliance cost remains the most significant factor affecting developers’ cash flow and it takes up an average of approximately 20% of the total cost.

Leong said apart from land conversion premiums and development charges, the capital outlay for private utilities companies is very high which covers surrender of the land, construction of the infrastructure, and contributions to the utilities companies such as TNB, Syabas, Telekom and IWK.

“We generally hope that the compliance cost like the capital outlay for private utilities companies can be borne or shared by respective asset owners.

“Savings from the reduction of compliance cost can be passed on to the home buyers with a more affordable price point,” he said.

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