The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) has called on the government to extend more assistance to help reduce the cost of doing business.
The association believes that doing so would eventually give a much-needed boost to the country’s affordable housing segment, reported Bernama.
“Besides, the federal government should also advocate for standardised guidelines and rules to be adopted nationwide, especially those which could benefit all parties,” REHDA told Bernama.
It noted that state governments have their own set of guidelines and requirements that sometimes go beyond those required by the federal government.
REHDA explained that such requirements affects development costs, and ultimately, the affordability of homes.
To keep development costs sustainable, the government should take steps such as not imposing any new charges or conditions, or allowing utility companies and local authorities to raise contribution rates, it added.
REHDA also urged the government to extend the ongoing measures aimed at helping the property industry, while rolling out new ones to boost the industry’s recovery in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its prolonged impact.
“The most urgent one needed by the industry currently is the amendment of the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Act 2020 with regards to contractual obligations to account for the Movement Control Order (MCO) 2, MCO 3, Enhanced MCO, Full MCO and National Recovery Plan Phases One and Two,” it said.
“Amendment of the Act is important to protect the interests of the affected parties for their inability to meet the contractual obligations due to reasons which are beyond their control.”
REHDA also wants the government to take steps to stabilise building material prices, such as those for steel bars, which had been fluctuating in recent years.
“We also hope the government would review or abolish some measures introduced when the property market was at its peak, as they might not be relevant for now,” it said.
“Additionally, the government could consider the downward revision of the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), with zero imposition for properties disposed of from the sixth year onwards, as well as the total removal of the Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio for the purchase of third property onwards.”
Moreover, the association hopes the long outstanding issue of foreign workers within the construction industry would be resolved.
Meanwhile, Datuk Chang Kim Loong, Honorary Secretary-General of National Housebuyers Association (HBA), wants the government to reduce the income tax for individuals that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that deserving individuals are provided access to financing, particularly first-time home buyers.
“We also hope that developers building affordable homes costing RM300,000 and below would be given incentives,” said Chang as quoted by Bernama.
“Besides, we hope the government would repeal the RPGT which is currently at five per cent for disposal of property held for more than five years, and increase RPGT rates for disposal of third and subsequent property.”