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Budget 2024: REHDA hopes for ‘reintroduction or introduction’ of incentives for Malaysians to buy homes

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) Malaysia is hoping that Putrajaya will “reintroduce or introduce” incentives that “will allow more Malaysians to buy a house to call their own”.
In a media release stating the association’s wish list for Budget 2024, it stated that “housing affordability remains a major issue for the rakyat and industry alike” and therefore REHDA called on the government to “include incentives in the form of tax deductions, grants as well as lower interest rates” in the coming budget “that will surely lessen the burden of future homeowners, particularly first-time buyers”.
REHDA stated that developers have also requested for the Home Ownership Campaign to be continued, as its two iterations in 2019 and 2020-2021 have not only “helped thousands of Malaysians own their dream home but also contributed significantly to the country’s GDP”.
The “affordability or rather the unaffordability of houses” is a major issue and “Other than the cross-subsidy method that developers have to undertake to build affordable housing, another major factor that contribute to the issue is the rising input cost for building materials, which correlates directly with rising house prices”, stated REHDA.
It added that government action such as temporary reduction or removal of import levy will go a long way in mitigating the problem.
“Similarly, the rising land cost is adversely impacting house prices,” according to REHDA.
Overhaul of state finances
The association stated that in a recent news report, the Employees Provident Fund’s chief strategy officer Tn Nurhisham Hussein remarked that for housing to be truly affordable, there should be an overhaul to state finances.
Nurhisham said that 95% of state income was derived from some form of property tax, such as land conversion premiums, and therefore reforming state finance is essential when it comes to discussing affordable housing.  
“As developers, we concur that should charges imposed by state governments and local authorities are reduced, house prices will most likely be reduced to levels that makes homeownership attainable for more rakyat,” said REHDA.
“REHDA is encouraged by PM Datuk Seri Anwar’s numerous calls for a fair and transparent government at all levels, including state and amongst privatised utility companies. In terms of housing and construction, such transparency will accelerate approval process and bring costs down, leading to housing affordability.”
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Source: EdgeProp.my

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