FOLLOWING the conclusion of Malaysia’s 15th general election, LBS Bina Group Berhad is pleased that the country has achieved political stability.
The developer is optimistic there will be a stronger and more stable economy in the coming months, as the Finance Ministry has projected that Malaysia’s economy will grow between 4% and 5% in 2023.
As a people-centric developer, LBS remains committed towards its goal to deliver affordable and quality housing to meet the nation’s demands. To fulfil this role, LBS looks forward to the measures that will be announced by the government in Budget 2023 on Feb 24.
Ahead of the announcement, LBS wishes to make various proposals that it believes are crucial towards revitalising the property sector and is hopeful that the government will take these into account.
With rising inflationary pressure in today’s environment, the prices of basic necessities, including housing, have also increased.
To alleviate the people’s burden when it comes to home ownership, LBS urges the government to implement additional measures for potential homeowners, and in particular first-time home buyers.
LBS requests that the government consider the reintroduction of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC).
The effectiveness of the HOC was evident during its implementation from 2019 to 2021. Hence, its reintroduction will help spur demand and further encourage homeownership by providing more options and price points for potential homebuyers.
Reduce financing costs
The hike in interest rates globally throughout 2022 led to properties becoming more expensive to own with the increase in mortgage rates.
It is anticipated that interest rates will continue to rise in 2023.
To assist with homeownership, especially for those in lower-income households, LBS proposes that the government introduce lower financing costs for mortgages or offer rebates of up to 10% to first-time homeowners to ensure that the buying sentiment remains.
Resolve foreign worker shortage
With the increasing importance of foreign workers, LBS is hopeful that the government can deliver on its recent plan to allow the entry of 500,000 foreign workers from 15 countries in 2023 to overcome the shortage of labour in various sectors, especially the construction sector.
An estimated 700,000 foreign workers left Malaysia due to Covid-19, hence this is the required number of foreign workers to address the country’s immediate labour needs and stimulate further economic growth.
LBS hopes that Budget 2023 will include initiatives such as reduction of foreign worker levy while introducing a more efficient and transparent application process to shorten the time for foreign worker approvals.
The developer is aware that the government has recently introduced the Foreign Worker Recruitment Relaxation Plan and Illegal Immigrant Recalibration Plan 2.0 to expedite the approval process, and hopes that the plan will live up to its purpose.
Subsidies for raw material
Property developers and contractors have not been spared by the volatility of raw material prices in the past year.
There is a huge responsibility on the developers’ part to ensure punctual delivery of their housing projects to meet the demands of buyers. However, contractors are often delayed as they are met with difficulties managing their costs, thus having a knock-on effect on developers.
To alleviate the burden caused by rising prices, LBS hopes the government will consider placing a cap on the cost of raw materials to prevent exorbitant prices. With this, property players will be able to manage costs more efficiently.
"We hope Budget 2023 will have a paradigm shift that delivers an upswing in property sentiment via stimulus packages,” says LBS executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Hock San.
“Budget 2023 is an opportunity for the government to assist the general public by alleviating the burden of everyday life, which includes homeownership.
“The formation of a unity government will be able to create an environment that attracts more investors, promote economic growth and increase the well-being of the people.
“With this, we look forward to the government’s commitment to ensure the provision of adequate, quality and affordable housing segments for more people to own their dream homes.
"On the back of our 2023 sales target of RM2bil, we are optimistic that the government will announce initiatives to give us an added boost as we remain focused on the delivery of our projects.
“We look forward to seeing a stronger recovery of the property market in 2023," he says.