Melaka developers grateful to state govt for putting off new housing policy on bumi units

MELAKA: Housing developers in the state are relieved that the Melaka government has deferred the implementation of a state housing policy requiring new residential schemes to set aside 70% of houses as bumiputra units.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Melaka chapter chairman Datuk Ng Choon Koon said he received an official letter from Melaka Land and Mines director Datuk Md Azhan Samat on Monday (April 19) regarding temporary suspension of the policy.

“Housing developers in Melaka are thankful to Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali and key officials for listening to our plight.

“Rehda had earlier appealed against the policy, which was supposed to come into force on April 1, as the policy would restrict the creativity and innovation of developers in meeting the niche market output,” he said in an interview on Monday (April 19).

Furthermore, Ng said, there were more than 700 unsold bumiputra units worth over RM300mil in the state at present.

“It would only further exacerbate the developers' burden of disposing of the unsold lots and the cost would eventually be passed down to property buyers if the policy is introduced," he added.

Ng said Rehda believed the state government should encourage a competitive free market to suit the demand for both affordable homes and high-end units.

“We are willing to make more bumiputra units available if there is a shortage but currently there is an oversupply," he said.

Ng said before the proposed policy, Melaka imposed a bumiputra quota of 60% on residential units, 40% on commercial units and 30% on industrial units.

He said some 90 Rehda members had collectively submitted their concerns to the state government last month.

Meanwhile, Ng said, some 1,365 units of houses worth RM637mil were sold between January last year and Feb 23 this year.

He said properties are still saleable despite the impact of Covid-19 because of the price factor.

"Owning properties in Melaka is still considered affordable, hence there is minimal effect on unsold properties here.

"The segment that is facing lower sales is the high end," he added.

Ng said he does not see housing prices going down in Melaka in view of high building material prices, compliance costs and rising construction costs.

“Some potential buyers are speculating that the prices will drop because of Covid-19 and are waiting for the right time to buy.

“But this won't happen anytime soon,” he said.

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