Control import tax on building materials to reduce property prices, Saarani urges Putrajaya

Photo: Ronnie Chin/The Star

IPOH: House prices can be lower if the Federal Government can control the import tax on building materials, says Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.

The Perak Mentri Besar said housing developers are still relying on import of certain materials, including steel, with import tax being a factor in homes being expensive.

"Steel and a few other items are imported, affecting the selling cost.

"This is something that needs to be discussed with the Federal Government," he said in a press conference after opening the new office of Perak Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association of Malaysia (Rehda) here on Monday (May 20).

"It's not only in Perak but the whole country where industry players are buying imported materials at a higher cost," he said, adding that other materials like cement can be supplied locally.

"If we can control the import tax, maybe we can lower the cost," he added.

He said the people also need to be fair to housing developers.

"Prices of houses are determined by building materials.

"If the materials used are expensive, how do you expect the developers to sell at a lower price?" he added.

Saarani also said that when the state becomes more developed, more people could afford to buy houses.

"When there are more job opportunities, there will be a need for more houses.

"And when we become more developed, more people will get jobs and money to buy homes," he said, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in job losses and reduced income.

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