Property agents out to attract first-time home buyers

Car sales executive Howard Peh (in coat) introducing a car to customer in a car show room at Jelutong, Penang. (March 30,2021). - CHAN BOON KAI/The Star.

GEORGE TOWN: It is a timely combination to spur sales of development projects and address existing property overhang with the i-Sinar payout and the Home Ownership Campaign.

Within the property industry, property agents are now looking at the perfect opportunity to attract first-time home buyers with a higher disposable income following the relaxed conditions in withdrawal of their EPF money.

Property agent and consultant Jordan Lim, who is based in Penang and Selangor, said as the campaign will end in May, they hope to engage buyers who are able to utilise i-Sinar.

“We are looking at younger buyers, those in their 30s up to the 50s.

“These are the groups that are likely to apply for withdrawal in order to place a downpayment for their target property.

“In the past, it would be hard for people in these groups to fork out a huge sum as downpayment, so the i-Sinar facility is the perfect way for them to buy their first property, ” he said when contacted.

Coupled with the campaign, Lim said they expect the combination to spur the property market.

“It is a perfect opportunity for first-time buyers to save up on costs and maximise their funds.

“Under this scheme, successful applicants are able to enjoy a complete exemption of stamp duty on Instrument of Transfer for any residential home purchase up to the value of RM1mil.

“Since many youngsters are setting a budget of around RM500,000 for their first property, this is the perfect opportunity for them to lock down a property unit.

“But as the campaign is ending soon, we are not too optimistic that we are able to benefit from the i-Sinar stimulus, ’’ he said.Another property negotiator, Crystal Ch’ng, hopes the campaign could be extended or for new initiatives to be introduced.

“If the i-Sinar and campaign were to run together for a longer period, we can definitely see a higher stimulus to the market.

“Right now, demand for property is still high. But people need to first visit showrooms and property units and this takes time. As such, if the government could extend the campaign and help these groups to maximise usage from their i-Sinar payout, it would be even better.”

The campaign was launched in January 2019 to address property overhang in the country.

Initially, it was for a period of six months before it was relaunched and extended until May this year.

Separately, players in the automotive industry are not keen on banking in consumer benefits from the i-Sinar programme.

Mazda Penang sales centre branch manager Jesse Montano said in the selling of motor vehicles, they did fairly well last year when the sales tax exemption for passenger cars was introduced.

“Presently, those who opt to buy cars are usually those who are already financially independent and stable.

“As the automotive industry is moving on its own, we do not emulate offers or promotions to attract consumers of the i-Sinar groups.

“But we offer services like extended warranty to five years instead of a three-year period, ’’ he said.

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