Penang Developers Urged To Build More Affordable Homes




Private developers are encouraged to look for opportunities to build marketable housing products instead of high end properties which has resulted in the overhang in the property market
Penang housing executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo (photo) said he could agree there was an overhang in the property market, but urged developers not to put all their eggs in one basket
"Try to look for more opportunities to build affordable homes
"The numbers speak for themselves, 70 percent of all primary market products which are sold now are below RM500,000, which is the national affordable housing rates although in Penang, the rate is usually RM300,000

"In Penang, out of 70 percent sold, 50 percent are mostly priced at RM300,000, which proves that the affordable housing sector is very healthy, the overhang is more in relation to high end properties," Jagdeep said at a press conference in Komtar today
He was asked to comment about Budget 2020 in relation to foreigners being allowed to purchase properties at RM600,000, which was unveiled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng last Friday
Lim was bombarded with criticisms over the policy as the Pakatan Harapan government and DAP were accused of favouring private developers
Jagdeep said Penang is yet to decide whether to adopt the RM600,000 threshold for foreign purchase of stratified properties as "the circumtances here are different"
He said the state executive council will discuss the matter and make an official announcement so that every sector, including developers can understand why the state arrive at the decision
"We must look at two sides of the coin, there is an overhang problem. We need to set a proper time frame (to impose the policy) and identify what properties are applicable for the reduction," He added
Asked if Penang was planning to lower (less than RM600,000) the foreign purchase threshold, Jagdeep said it would be decided after discussion among the state excos
"Circumstances are different here and I have already explained this to Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin when she was here for the 7th Asia-Pasific Urban Forum
"The minister agreed and mentioned that the situation in Perlis cannot be compared to Penang, certainly there cannot be one answer for all (states)," Jagdeep added
He pointed out that the policy of reducing the threshold of RM1 million for foreign purchase to RM600,000 has never been practised in Penang
On the Penang island, the threshold for foreign purchases are RM3 million (for landed property) and RM1 million for stratified units
On the mainland, the threshold is RM1 million for landed properties and RM500,000 for stratified units, which is already less than than the latest national policy of RM600,000
Jagdeep said the main objective of the move to reduce the threshold was to address an issue in Malaysia where some RM80 billion properties are stuck in the market
In the wake up much criticism from the public, Lim said the policy would only apply to existing properties which cannot be sold
He added that the reduction of threshold for foreign purchase would only be imposed on stratified (condominiums) and not landed units
Jagdeep said on Monday at the sidelines of the APU Forum, Zuraida confirmed that all states were open to set their own threshold for purchases of properties by foreigners. - Mkini

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