Malaysia’s Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) has proposed several measures to the authorities to include in the 2018 Budget to help people buy their first home.
First, the organisation hopes the government will waive the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on construction materials used in building affordable homes costing RM500,000 or below.
According to REHDA President Seri FD Iskandar, although the GST has improved taxation, it has also further increased the cost of residential properties in the country.
The group is also urging the government to implement the Home Ownership Assistance Programme (HOAP), whereby home builders will include the interest of the mortgage disbursed while the property is being built.
HOAP’s primary goal is to ease a home buyer’s burden in paying rent and the interest of their housing loan during the construction stage. However, it should only be made available to people buying homes priced at RM500,000 or below and those who have sold their former homes.
Another measure is to allow buyers to use funds in their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) account to pay the 10 percent down payment for their property.
REHDA also wants the validity of the stamp duty exemptions to be extended from 31 December 2018. Its coverage should also be expanded to include more affordable houses with higher prices.
Moreover, it hopes that the government will introduce a special end-financing scheme for PR1MA homes that provides loans to fund 90 percent to 100 percent of the purchase price.
The group also wants the legal fee structure involved in buying homes costing RM500,000 or below to be changed back to the old structure.
To increase the supply of affordable houses, it is calling the authorities allocate state or federal government land for building such houses. It should also focus on building affordable homes where there is strong demand.
To reduce the cost of such houses, REHDA hopes the government will remove or lower unnecessary charges for housing developments.
For instance, private utility firms should be disallowed from imposing capital contribution charges on developers, which already sets up the infrastructure in their projects.
In addition, the minimum price for foreign property buyers should vary based on the urbanisation of the area where the house is located. For instance, the threshold price in the highly urbanised area of Kuala Lumpur should differ from those urbanised and less urbanised areas.
Urbanised areas include Selangor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Penang, while less urbanised places consist of Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.
Finally, REHDA hopes that the Bumiputra quota should be standardised across all states and capped at 30 percent. But unsold units should be released to the open market in a fixed schedule.
Likewise, the discount rate for Bumiputra units should only be up to three percent for residential properties and seven percent for commercial premises, while luxury properties should be excluded from this type of transaction.
Image sourced from Malay Mail.
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