KUALA LUMPUR, JAN 28 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled the Budget 2016 revision today at Putrajaya that further enhances the well-being of lower income groups, including the introduction of a new policy to help first-time home buyers.
“Sale of housing costing below RM300,000 will only be limited to first-time house buyers,” Najib said in introducing a new policy for property ownership in Malaysia.
Various parties, including property experts and developers, lauded the move by the premier to introduce this move to give the younger generation a chance at property ownership.
“The Government’s mandate that all houses priced up to RM300,000 limited to only first-time house buyers as well as the Integrated House Ownership Expo roadshow will definitely boost home ownership among Malaysians,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Leong Hoy Kum, Group Managing Director of Mah Sing Group Bhd.
Tan Sri Leong further elaborated that the recalibration of Budget 2016 to address the current challenges in the global economic environment will be proactive in providing sufficient liquidity in the financial system for home buyers.
He added, “It will also drive demand for our housing projects located everywhere around Malaysia.”
Soma Sundram, member of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agent’s (BOVAEA) Estate Agency Practice Committee (EAPC) applauded that the new policy will definitely help the younger generation in home ownership.
“The first-time house buyers including the Gen-Y’s will have a better chance of owning an affordable home for themselves due to the reduced competition from property investors,” he elaborated.
However, Soma urged the Government to come up with counter-measures to curb abuse of the new program as the policy is relatively new in Malaysia.
“Some irresponsible parties will use all available loopholes in the system and it will be advisable for the Government to apply more stringent checks on these property buyers,” he added.
James Tan, Associate Director of Raine & Horne International believes says that the new initiative for first-time house buyers is a laudable move. However, he points out that there are very few residential units in the Klang Valley that cost below RM 300,000.
“Those that fall within the price range are mostly too small or located on the outskirts of the city centre and they are lacking in terms of connectivity and facilities,” he said.
Tan also pointed out that with the recent amendments to the Housing Development Act 1966, developers now have to bear additional costs in terms of development charges, higher construction costs as well as contribution for water and sewerage. Thus, it is unlikely that some developers will be able to supply housing units below RM 300,000 within the Klang Valley region.