Fine-tuning ‘affordable housing’


Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican

KEPALA BATAS: What might be affordable housing for one state may be rather expensive for another.

For that reason, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican has called for the redefinition of the term, which at present is tagged nationally at below RM300,000.

“As affordability varies by places, I’ve asked the National Housing Department to present the national affordable price index to be shared with all states as an indicator to avoid building houses that are too expensive and lead to property overhang.

“Out of about 35,000 overhang units in the country, about 7,000 are priced below RM300,000.

“The reason is due to poor understanding of aspects of affordability,” he said.

A property overhang means the supply of properties for sale is higher than the demand, especially due to a price mismatch.

He added that in the northern region, data from the National Property Information Centre (Napic) showed that Penang had over 6,000 unsold housing units, Perak 2,600 unsold units, Kedah 2,400 and Perlis 67.

Reezal Merican was speaking at the launch of the Jelajah Home Ownership Programme (HOPE) and Jom Beli Rumah Carnival at Dewan Milenium here yesterday.

He said the three-day event by 45 exhibitors and 23 housing developers were offering promotion for over 92,000 houses in the northern region.

“A total of 1,253 developers in the region are offering 232,000 units of houses for sale.

“Throughout the carnival, over 130,000 units of affordable housing priced below RM300,000 are on promotion,” he said.

Reezal Merican announced that the government planned to build 500,000 affordable housing units during the 12th Malaysia Plan term from 2021 to 2025 in a collaboration of the federal and state governments and private developers.

For Penang, he said the ministry was offering over 5,200 units of housing under the Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, 1Malaysia Housing Programme or Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia and Rumah Mesra Rakyat Keluarga Malaysia.

He added that the property industry recorded a better performance this year.

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