PETALING JAYA: The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) has expressed hope that the government will look into making homes more affordable under Budget 2024.
Rehda president NK Tong said the government could consider reducing the input cost by lowering the prices of building materials temporarily or removing the import levies.
“Other than the cross-subsidy method that developers have to undertake to build affordable housing, another major factor that contributes to the issue is the rising input cost for building materials, which correlates directly with rising house prices,” he said.
Such an intervention, he added, will definitely go a “long way” in mitigating the housing unaffordability problem.
Similarly, Tong also said that rising land costs are inflating home prices. He added that reforming state finance is essential when it comes to discussing affordable housing, citing EPF chief strategy officer Nurhisham Hussein.
“He (Nurhisham) added 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,” said Tong.
If charges imposed by state governments and local authorities were reduced, home prices will likely drop and make home ownership more attainable for Malaysians, he added.
Rehda also requested for the home ownership campaign (HOC) to be continued as its previous iterations in 2019 and 2020-2021 have helped thousands of Malaysians to afford their own homes, as well as raising the country’s gross domestic product.
Additionally, it said any incentives in the form of tax deductions, grants and lower interest rates will lessen the burden of future homeowners, in particular first-time buyers.