The Movement Control Order (MCO) rolled out by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 has resulted to a six-month delay in construction work nationwide, affecting the construction and housing development industry, said Sabah-based property developer WSG Group.
The company’s managing director Susan Wong Siew Guen said that this comes as developers had to shut down construction works for several months to comply with COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and regulations, reported Borneo Post Online.
She noted that the temporary closure of sales and marketing offices during the MCO had also significantly affected the developers’ sales of houses, condominiums, apartments and shoplots.
“This, in turn, slows down our income collection, making business tough to survive due to tight cashflow,” she said in an interview with RTM.
The restriction on people’s movement during the MCO indirectly affected sales as potential buyers were hindered from personally visiting and viewing the show units and make bookings.
“In addition, many people have lost their income and business, especially for those in the tourism and hotel sectors…Consequently, this weakens the purchasing power of consumers for properties,” she said.
Fortunately, demand for affordable homes in good locations remained strong, she noted.
In view of the rising trend of online shopping, she revealed that WSG Group promotes its housing projects through online advertisement on Zoom and Facebook as well as newspaper publications.
The company’s target buyers comprised mostly of federal and state government employees who have a steady source of income, including teachers, medical staff and those whose business were unaffected by the pandemic like fresh mart, essential retail services and supermarket.
However, she expressed regret over the decision of the Federal Government to slash the RM30,000 incentive for first-time homebuyers under the MyHome Scheme, in a bid to direct more resources towards the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
But with the economy now improving, she hopes the Federal Government reinstate the MyHome Scheme for first-time homebuyers to help young people acquire affordable homes priced below RM500,000.