PropertyGuru: Address Malaysians’ homeownership struggle in Budget 2023

PropertyGuru: Address Malaysians’ homeownership struggle in Budget 2023

A general view of high-rise buildings and houses in Bangsar March 7, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Thursday, 22 Sep 2022 6:45 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Economic uncertainties have caused potential housebuyers to put their plans on hold, according to PropertyGuru Malaysia.

Some buyers are also concerned about affordability issues amid rising inflation and overnight policy rate (OPR), a statement from the online property platform said.

Hence, Malaysia’s online property marketplace would like Budget 2023 to aim at making homeownership more attainable for the lower to middle-income groups.

Citing its Consumer Sentiment Study for the first half 2022, country manager Sheldon Fernandez said affordability issues continue to loom with 51 per cent of respondents unable to buy a house without government help, while 69 per cent plans to buy a house if there is Home Ownership Campaign (HOC).

Sheldon said the HOC has been a great help for many first-time buyers and has successfully encouraged activities in a slow property market and it will benefit even more if it were extended to the secondary market as well.

‘’This will help to create demand and further encourage homeownership by providing options and price points for potential buyers if sub-sale properties were included,’’ he said.

In addition, PropertyGuru Malaysia would also like the government to consider reducing or removing the stamp duty for residential properties RM500,000 and below for all Malaysians to further boost the market.

‘’We applaud the government’s move to launch the Malaysia Home Ownership Initiative (i-MILIKI) earlier this year and to give stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers.

‘’However, based on recent findings in the Malaysia Property Market Report for the third quarter (Q3) 2022, rental demand saw a massive 96.83 per cent year-on-year jump, indicating that potential buyers have resorted to renting in the interim,’’ he said.

Sheldon said property overhang issues also continue to be a concern, with a recent study by Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) indicating that residential overhang units increased to 35,592 units in Q1 2022 as compared to 27,468 units in Q1 2021.

In its latest first half 2022 report until June 30, 2022, the National Property Information Centre recorded a residential overhang of 34,092 units, valued at RM21.73 billion, excluding serviced apartments and small offices, home offices, or SoHos.

While the government is working towards providing targeted subsidies to the rakyat, aspiring house buyers will benefit from more schemes similar to the MyHome Scheme, aimed at allowing first-time buyers to attain low-cost housing via government subsidies.

He said now is an opportune time for the government to look into providing subsidy schemes for each house sold by giving an up-front subsidy to developers inclusive of buyers’ deposit fees and any qualifying payment amount needed to reduce the monthly repayments.

In addition, he would like Budget 2023 to scrutinise ongoing environmental issues, preparedness in facing natural disasters, and the equally crucial long-term agenda of promoting sustainable urban living.

He said the company is aware that construction cost of green buildings may be higher. Therefore, the government may also consider providing stamp duty exemption for buyers of green-certified properties. — Bernama