Uptick in 2018 property transactions, says Guan Eng

The property market has been in the doldrums for the last few years but Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is hopeful of a gradual improvement.

BANGI: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says the volume and value of property transactions increased by a marginal amount in 2018.

“There were 313,710 property transactions in 2018 valued at RM140.3 billion, which translates to an increase of 0.6% in volume and 0.3% in value compared to 2017,” he said at the launch of the Property Market Report 2018 here today.

The property market has been in the doldrums for the last few years, recording declines in the volume and value of property transactions since 2015.

However, Lim said he was hopeful that the property sector would improve gradually this year with the introduction of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC).

Through this campaign, the government has exempted property valued at between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million from stamp duty on transfer documents.

The 100% stamp duty exemption is only available for the first RM1 million. Stamp duty of 3% will be imposed on the balance.

Lim said the government has exempted loan agreements for properties valued at between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million from stamp duty as well.

The campaign, which runs from January to June 30 this year, will also see house buyers given a discount of 10% for properties certified by the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association.

“The number of new units launched in 2018 declined by 14.9% to 66,040 from 77,570 in 2017,” Lim said.

The residential property overhang worsened in 2018 to 30.6% with 32,313 unsold units valued at RM19.8 billion.

Lim also said he was confident of further recovery in the proper sector as the government targets GDP growth of 4.9% in 2019 compared to 4.7% in 2018.