National Housing Policy to be reviewed, Landowners want Kampung Baru redevelopment to proceed and, more

26 Jan 2023

16th January – 25th January

 

The National Housing Policy will be reviewed to comply with the MADANI framework, said the Local Government Development Ministry (KPKT).

Meanwhile, a group representing majority of the landowners at Kampung Sungai Baru has urged the government to proceed with the redevelopment project within the Malay enclave.

 

1) National Housing Policy to be reviewed

The National Housing Policy will be reviewed to comply with the MADANI framework, said the Local Government Development Ministry (KPKT).

With the new housing policy and more organised planning, along with the cooperation of housing agencies at state and federal levels as well as developers, the government will be able to achieve its target of delivering 500,000 affordable homes by 2025, said the ministry.

“The ministry is prepared to review existing initiatives, find new incentive opportunities and facilitate all forms of procedures in the approval of housing development so as to give space for active participation by private housing developers to provide affordable houses that are of quality for the people,” said KPKT as quoted by Bernama.

It shared that the new National Housing Policy will consider the various needs of the people based on their customs, religions, culture as well as scenario of Malaysia’s multi-racial society.

The ministry revealed that it will look into the housing policies implemented at several countries, particularly Singapore, which had been successful in providing public housing to 80% of its eligible citizens, regardless of race.

 

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2) Landowners want Kampung Baru redevelopment to proceed

A group representing majority of the landowners at Kampung Sungai Baru has urged the government to proceed with the redevelopment project within the Malay enclave.

In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, the group expressed their disappointment over Anwar’s order to postpone the redevelopment project, saying such move had caused them distress, reported Free Malaysia Today.

“Our homes in Kampung Sungai Baru are dilapidated, old and no longer safe to live in,” explained Adam Abdul Aziz, who serves as the group’s representative.

“We hope this redevelopment project will change our lives and we would like to leave behind a comfortable and valuable home for our children and grandchildren.”

He pointed that media coverage on the issue had always favoured the minority group, who disagreed with the redevelopment plans. He added that such group had already received compensation based on the Land Acquisition Act 1960.

“We, the majority group of landowners, feel that our rights and our voices have been ignored by the government and that no one is listening to our plight,” said Adam.

 

3) Airbnb urge Penang not to limit short-term stays

Airbnb has urged the Penang government not to limit short-term stay (STS) rentals within residential areas to just three days per week per reservation and up to 180 nights per year for each unit.

It also urged the state government to allow all “tax-paying residents” of Penang to run STS businesses, instead of allowing only Malaysians with registered business entity for such purpose, reported The Star.

Notably, the portal for short-term homestays has shared Penang’s proposed guidelines for STS rentals on its platform, even as the state government has not officially announced such guidelines.

Airbnb believes the proposed guidelines, once adopted, would severely limit guest travel as well as undermine efforts to promote the state and Malaysia as a digital nomad hub.

 

4) BNM keeps OPR at 2.75%

The Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM; Bank Negara Malaysia)

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has kept the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 2.75%, following four consecutive hikes in 2022.

The OPR was raised by 25 basis points (bps) each in May, July, September and November last year.

The central bank said the decision not to increase the OPR would enable it to assess the impact of the previous cumulative OPR adjustments, considering the lagging effects of the monetary policy on the economy, reported Free Malaysia Today.

“At the current OPR level, the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative and supportive of economic growth,” it said.

“Further normalisation to the degree of monetary policy accommodation would be informed by the evolving conditions and their implications to the domestic inflation and growth outlook.”

BNM pointed that the latest data indicated that Malaysia registered economic expansion in Q4 2022. As such, growth for 2022 is expected to surpass the earlier projected range of between 6.5% and 7.0%.

While growth for 2023 will be moderate due to a slower global economy, BNM believes it would still be supported by domestic demand.

 

5) Property loan applications drop for third consecutive month

Loan applications for the acquisition of property dropped 2.9% month-on-month in November 2022, marking its third consecutive monthly decline, showed Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) data.

Total loan applications fell 11.1% and 7.3% month-on-month in September and October 2022, respectively, reported Borneo Post.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research) attributed the weak loan application to OPR hike in September and November as well as to buyers taking a wait-and-see stance amid the GE15 in November.

On an annual basis, loan application declined 21.3% in November 2022 after dropping 10% year-on-year in October 2022.

With this, total property loans approved fell 12.6% month-on-month and 15.2% year-on-year in November 2022.

“We see that further decline in approved loan going forward may signal challenging new sales outlook for property developers,” said MIDF Research.

“Despite the weakness in share price of property companies in 2022, we think that there are limited catalysts to spur the sector in the near-term.”

The research house expects property sales outlook to be subdued, amid the weaker loan application. It also sees property demand being dragged further by potential OPR hike this year.

“Hence, we are maintaining our neutral stance on the property sector,” said MIDF Research.

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