PETALING JAYA: The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) has praised the government over its incentives to mitigate the Covid-19 economic fallout.
Rehda president Datuk Soam Heng Choon welcomed the announcement, particularly the reintroduction of the home ownership campaign (HOC), the exemption of real property gains tax (RPGT) and the removal of loan to value ratio for residential units, priced from RM600,000.
“We are confident that these incentives will help alleviate the burden of buyers in home ownership and contribute to the growth of the economy, ” he said.
“We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the government for taking note of our proposals during our various engagements.”
Soam said such measures would play a key role in reforming the economic standing of all industries by encouraging consumption, as well as spending.
In George Town, Penang Rehda chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong said banks needed to ease up on the conditions for housing loan approvals in line with the government’s efforts for the property sector to recover from the Covid-19 fallout.
He said while the government’s short-term stimulus measures for the property sector would have a definite positive impact, the approval of housing loans remained a challenge.
He lauded the removal of the 70% loan limit for purchases of a third property and above RM600,000 and urged banks to do the same.
“The government made the right move. Now, banks must relax their risk assessment of loan applicants, ” said Toh.
“Buying a house is not like buying a car. A car is a tool but also a liability. A house is an asset that grows. So we hope banks will take the cue from the government and encourage people to own homes.”
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced three measures to boost the property sector and reintroduce the HOC.
Other than the removal of the 70% loan limit, he also announced a partial removal of stamp duties.
The stamp duty for the memorandum of transfers of properties, valued at between RM300,000 and RM2.5mil, is waived for the first RM1mil, while the stamp duty for the loan agreement is fully waived.
These waivers will last until next May.
Home sellers also need not pay the RPGT when they sell their homes until December next year.
They can get the tax break for up to the third home sold.
In welcoming the move, Raine and Horne Malaysia director Michael Geh said these measures should have a positive impact on the property market.
“The waiver will jump-start the property market, ” he said.
Separately, Penang Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers chairman Datuk Dr Ooi Eng Hock said some 250,000 workers were expected to benefit from the wage subsidy programme, which has been extended for another three months.
Ooi said the allocation, amounting to RM450mil, was a good move in encouraging employers not to cut headcount or pay off employees.
“About 250,000 out of the 400,000 workforces, earning below RM4,000 monthly, are eligible for it.
“The RM600 monthly subsidy per employee will ease the burden of employers.
“The manufacturing sector is showing positive signs. The recovery rate is now between 60% and 70% due to global economic slowdown, ” he said.
The government will be allocating an additional RM5.3bil to extend the programme.