Malaysia’s housing market needs a major overhaul, with key areas requiring immediate attention including the provision of adequate affordable housing, difficulty in securing loans, inflated prices as well as mismatch of supply and demand.
This is the takeaway at a chief executive officer (CEO) roundtable at the National Housing and Property Focus Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur.
With this, industry players called for the creation of a central database and single entity to allow for effective management of property demand and supply, reported The New Straits Times.
Having a central database will help developers build the right properties that meet the actual needs of buyers and eventually help lower the oversupply situation.
“More importantly, the database must be made accessible to all stakeholders,” said Tan Sri Lim Hock San, group managing director at LBS Bina Group Bhd.
He noted that housing affordability is still a major concern for most Malaysian buyers and in most cases, is a financial burden, particularly for millennial and first-time buyers.
Bank Negara Malaysia data show that Malaysian properties are considered “unaffordable” based on international affordability metrics, with around 74 percent of the 171,000 unsold houses priced way beyond the reach of ordinary Malaysians.
To lower housing prices, more government land should be set aside for affordable housing projects, said Lim, who served as a panel guest speaker.
“At present, we know only a small portion of affordable housing projects are built on government or state-owned land. If more land can be allocated for affordable housing developments, this would increase the supply of affordable homes,” he noted.
“The raising household income level is also important as it will strengthen buyers’ position to secure better financing.”
To realise the national housing agenda, more collective measures should be taken such as providing further incentives to expand the adoption of industrialised building system (IBS) among builders and developers, said Lim.
“The housing issues at hand are complex, and there are no easy solutions. We need to work together and to think out of the box. Developers need to realise that ‘affordable housing’ is not about building cheaper houses,” he explained.
“It is about building stronger and better communities which allow people to thrive in an active and safe environment.”