Budget 2021 initiatives will boost real estate industry, say Sabah housing developers

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s housing developers believe that Budget 2021 would perk up the real estate industry in the country.

Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) president Datuk Chew Sang Hai said that two measures - the waiver of stamp duty and Rent-to-Own scheme - would help boost the real estate market.

Under Budget 2021, it proposes that a stamp duty waiver on both instruments of transfer and the loan agreement for first-time home owners with house value up to RM 500,000.

The exemptions would be effective for Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPA) completed from Jan 1,2021, to Dec 31,2025.

Chew said the proposal for Rent-to-Own Financial Schemes by selected GLC housing projects would further enhance the real estate industry.

“This will help the rakyat own their dream homes, ” he said, adding that the proposed measures will further help to recover and revitalise the real estate industry as well as extend the home ownership ability of the people.

Based on nationwide sales through the Home Ownership Campaigns (HOC) over the last two years, he said that there has been “obvious slow take-up rate on bookings in the last few months, mainly caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Shareda, Chew said, now hoped the Sabah government will include more incentives in the state budget to boost the property market in the state.

“We propose for the Sabah government to consider waiving at least three to five years of assessment tax for properties registered under the HOC.

“This would be an additional effort and incentive from the state to help revitalise the Sabah property market and subsequently improve market sentiment and confidence, ” he added.

Shareda also proposed financial aid from local financial institutions such as Borneo Development Corporation (Sabah) and Sabah Credit Corporation to provide 100% end financing with subsidisation of interest to Sabahan owners who had purchased affordable houses at a value of below RM 380,000.

He said such a measure would be similar to the Sarawak government providing such facilities through Mutiara Mortgage & Credit Sdn Bhd to help Sarawakians to finance affordable housing.

Chew also hoped that the “Sabah My Second Home”, which was proposed during last year’s budget, would be implemented the soonest possible by the new state government.

“The initiative should encourage greater foreign investment by reducing the foreign purchaser threshold to property valued at RM500,000 onwards, ” he added.

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