Budget 2024: Reactions from property, construction sector


Mah Sing founder and group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum

Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum

Founder & group managing director

Mah Sing Group Bhd

THE outlook of the property sector remains optimistic, with Bank Negara Malaysia’s announcement in September to maintain its overnight policy rate (OPR) at 3% and expectations that the OPR will remain unchanged this year. Stable OPR will bring confidence to the real estate market, which will then have a broader impact on the overall economy.

With a total allocation of RM393.8bil, Budget 2024 aims to support Malaysia in achieving its Madani Economy vision, namely to restore the nation’s dignity by restructuring the economy and improving the quality of life for all Malaysians. We can see the Government's continuous efforts to address the issue on rising cost of living, improve the Rakyat's well-being, as well as to improve business competitiveness and value chain.

Mah Sing commends the government’s plan in easing the current conditions of Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) applications aimed at attracting foreign tourists and investors into Malaysia. On top of this, the new initiatives under the Visa Liberalisation Plan for easier employment procedure to attract strategic investors will give Malaysia an extra boost as the investment destination for this region. These adjustments are expected to stimulate investment in both the Malaysian financial market and the country’s property industry. We look forward to further information regarding this relaxation of the MM2H programme.

The government's urban rejuvenation initiatives aim to streamline and expedite the redevelopment of ageing sites and are expected to stimulate urban renewal, encouraging the redevelopment of older city buildings. This will encourage urban renewal and the redevelopment of old buildings in the city and is positive for developers who are actively looking for land for development.

The government’s plan to encourage high-growth and high-value (HGHV) sectors is commendable. The proposed Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) as a hub for the development of chemical and petrochemical sector will include tax incentive packages such as special tax rate or investment tax allowance. The increased interest would benefit our biggest township Meridin East in Johor.

We applaud the government’s announcement of increasing the guaranteed loans under Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan Berhad (SJKP) to RM10bil for the benefit of 40,000 required borrowers. This will make home ownership more accessible to first-time buyers and individuals without a steady income, such as gig and freelance workers, independent business owners, small traders, and entrepreneurs.

Mah Sing’s corporate responsibility strategic partner, Mah Sing Foundation (MSF) also appreciates the comprehensive initiatives tabled by the government aimed at assisting B40 communities as well as children, our future generations.

REHDA president Datuk NK TongREHDA president Datuk NK Tong

Datuk NK Tong

President

REHDA Malaysia

FOR the housing industry, the various allocations for the B40 are much needed that will allow more Malaysians to own homes, including RM546mil towards Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) in Johor; RM358mil towards the development of 3,500 residential units under 14 Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat; and RM460mil towards the extremely underprivileged in rural areas to build or repair their homes. This speaks volumes of the Government’s efforts to ensure that no rakyat is left behind when it comes housing.

The increase of the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme of up to RM10bil to benefit 40,000 borrowers is also much-welcomed news, which we hope will assist in increasing homeownership amongst gig economy workers and those without a monthly income statement.

We view with cautious optimism Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar’s announcement to reduce the majority consent for en-bloc sale from 100% to a level consistent with Singapore’s, which stands at 80% - 90%. This will better reflect the equity and voice of the people living in strata-2 titled properties.

As REHDA and other stakeholders await more details on the announcement, we believe that should this come into fruition, it will lead towards a reformed urban regeneration landscape that will finally see Malaysia on par with other global nations in terms of urban sustainability.

REHDA also welcomes the announcement to loosen requirements for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme. We look forward to receiving more information about these requirements, and as one of the stakeholders, REHDA hopes to be included in engagements and discussions pertaining to MM2H.

However, the association expresses concerns over plans to introduce a 4% flat rate for the stamp duty on memorandum of transfers on purchases by foreign individuals and companies. Although the number of foreign ownerships in Malaysia is negligible, this may discourage homeownership and MM2H to those looking into migrating to Malaysia in the future.

REHDA is also wary of the decision to increase service tax to 8% from 6% on selected industries and sectors. As a player of an industry that is still finding its post-COVID footing and struggling with increased development costs, we fear that this will directly or indirectly impact the livelihood and income of so many stakeholders across so many industries.

S P Setia Bhd president and CEO Datuk Choong Kai WaiS P Setia Bhd president and CEO Datuk Choong Kai Wai

Datuk Choong Kai Wai

President and Chief Executive Officer

S P Setia Bhd

WE are encouraged by the allocation of RM2.47bil for affordable housing projects in 2024, which will support the recovery of abandoned projects and contribute to housing development.

The special guarantee fund of RM1bil for reputable developers to restore abandoned projects is a positive step. The allocation of RM546mil to continue the People's Housing Programme (PPR) will provide much-needed housing, with 15 projects expected to be completed next year.

The maintenance of low-cost and medium-cost strata housing with an allocation of RM100mil will ensure the safety and quality of housing. Expanding the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme to RM10bil for the Homeownership Campaign is a positive measure.

We appreciate the government's takeover of the Bandar Malaysia development, highlighting people-centric projects and affordable housing. The proposal to impose a flat stamp duty rate of 4% on property transfers by non-citizens and foreign-owned companies is necessary to control land prices.

Relaxing the requirements for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme is expected to attract more tourists and foreign investors.

The proposal to reduce stamp duty for property transfers involving beneficiaries based on inheritance laws is a welcome development.

We welcome the focus on renewable energy and promoting a low-carbon economy. The National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) presents opportunities for investment in renewable energy sources.

To support electric vehicles (EVs), we will actively participate in the Corporate Green Power Programme. More electric vehicle charging stations and Setia eGreen Living initiatives will be introduced.

While we appreciate the government's efforts, key areas in the property market such as affordable housing supply, property financing, and rental market regulations were not specifically addressed. These issues need to be considered to create a comprehensive plan for industry development.

Addressing these issues will contribute to a more vibrant and sustainable property market. We remain optimistic about the government's commitment and look forward to collaborating with relevant authorities and stakeholders to develop affordable and quality housing.

Master Builders Association Malaysia president Oliver HC WeeMaster Builders Association Malaysia president Oliver HC Wee

Oliver HC Wee

President

Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM)

WE thank the Government for the list of construction projects announced. However, in bigger reality, they are still insufficient for the industry at large. Some of the projects announced are those to enhance the infrastructure for public use while we are happy to observe that allocation has also been made for G1 to G4 categories of contractors.

We are pleased to see that the government intends to implement the Penang to Seberang Perai LRT which amounts to RM10bil according to the public-private partnership (PPP) method.

Generally, MBAM was expecting a more uplifting 2024 Budget announcement for the construction industry. In order to pump prime the revival of the Malaysian construction industry, MBAM appeals to the Government to provide more assistance for the construction industry to revive and sustain the construction sector.

However, it's crucial to ensure that speedy implementation is efficient and transparent to maximise the impact on the construction economy. We hope that the groundwork for the projects announced can be rolled out as early as the first quarter of 2024.

MBAM hopes that there will be a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to regularly assess the progress of projects, identify challenges, and make timely adjustments to ensure successful outcomes. We also urge the Government to engage with local communities to address concerns, gather feedback, and ensure that construction projects align with the needs and aspirations of the people.

<a href='/business/marketwatch/stocks/?qcounter=NCT' target='_blank'>NCT Alliance Bhd</a><a href='http://charts.thestar.com.my/?s=NCT' target='_blank'><img class='go-chart' src='https://cdn.thestar.com.my/Themes/img/chart.png' /></a> executive chairman and group managing director Datuk Seri Yap Ngan ChoyNCT Alliance Bhd executive chairman and group managing director Datuk Seri Yap Ngan ChoyDatuk Seri Yap Ngan Choy

Executive Chairman and Group Managing Director

NCT Alliance Bhd

NCT Alliance lauds the 2024 National Budget in addressing the pressing challenges posed by abandoned property projects in the nation via the special financing guarantee of RM1bil to encourage developers to restore identified abandoned projects.

With our robust track record and established reputation as a ‘White Knight' in rejuvenating abandoned projects, we are confident that the Government's approach will breathe life into ailing projects, transforming them into dynamic and purposeful spaces. More importantly, we echo the Government’s commitment in ensuring the completion and delivery of the homes to the homeowners.

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Property , Mah Sing , Rehda , S P Setia , MBAM , NCT Alliance

   

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