SDB’s wish list for Budget 2020 to help the younger generation

Group Managing Director Ms Teh Lip Kim

Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB) hopes that the New Government would introduce policies and incentives to further revive the local property sector. Its group Managing Director Ms Teh Lip Kim said that emphasis should particularly be placed on Millennials seeking to own their first homes.

“The leaders of tomorrow are the younger generation who are expected to carry economic growth forward in forthcoming years. Since a number of them struggle to own their first home, we hope that the government would provide encouragement for them to realise this dream with the necessary policies and incentives”.

“To encourage new homeownership and to have a more robust property market, we hope the government would introduce a policy whereby first-time property purchasers are given a higher margin of financing to lessen the burden on their shoulders and perhaps a longer loan tenure of 45 or 50 years,” she added.

Bearing the plight of Millennials and first-time home ownership, SDB would be launching a project in Subang Jaya next year specifically targeted towards Millennials and at attractive price points. Details of the projects would be announced early next year.

Ms Teh also commended the New Government for having extended the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) for another six months from July 1, 2019 until Dec 31, 2019. As a result, stamp duty exemption for HOC first-time homebuyers have also been extended to year-end.

“Some of our purchasers have expressed appreciation with the extension of the HOC campaign as they could enjoy stamp duty exemption and other incentives to ease their financial burdens,” she said, while expressing hope that the government would extend the campaign beyond 2019.

Under the campaign, first-time homebuyers get stamp duty exemption on the memorandum of transfer and loan agreement for property purchases priced no more than RM300,000. For purchases of between RM300,001 and RM500,000, a similar stamp duty waiver is applicable (limited to only the first RM300,000 of the house price), and applicable for sale and purchase agreements completed between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31, 2020.

SDB is also hopeful that more relaxed lending guidelines for housing loans would be encouraged. “At SDB, we have encountered numerous cases whereby potential purchasers had paid their booking fees only to withdraw subsequently as their housing loans were not approved,” added Ms Teh.

SDB also hopes that the government would introduce cost-sharing mechanisms with the relevant service providers during development phases. “As a developer, we are subject to pay various costs to local councils and various authorities and agencies. All these costs contribute to the development cost of the intended project; for example, the cost relating to utilities, which the developer has to contribute towards.”

For example – depending on the location of the land and the distance of the land to the point where water, electricity or sewerage can be connected or “tapped on” to; the cost of infrastructure – pipes or cables to connect to the utility service – are currently wholly borne by the property developer and can be hefty figures.

SDB also hopes the government would also simplify the process of applying for Bumiputera Quota release. The process for the release of Bumiputera units is currently made via an application for approval, after various stages of construction.

“More often than not, this approval process takes many months and it would mean that property developers are straddled with units that they are not able to sell (until the approval is granted).

“As such, we need to make the process of release more efficient, for instance (when conditions are met) the property developer could submit a notice to release after the stipulated stage, rather than an application for approval (which generally requires a longer wait time),” she added.

And with next year being Visit Malaysia Year 2020, SDB is also looking forward to forward-thinking policies for the tourism sector.

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