Nay to vacancy tax on unsold luxury high-rise units, for now

Posted on: 2020-09-10

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need to impose vacancy tax on unsold units of luxury high-rise residences next year, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said.

The government, she said, was focusing on tackling the problem of potential buyers' ability to get loan and mismatch between supply and demand in the market.
Zuraida said the vacancy tax had only been discussed at one of the economic council meetings.

"The idea of vacancy tax only came around when we thought about the high-end property that is unsold.

"Since the number of unsold units is only 29,000 to date, there is no need for now but such a proposal would be studied further.

"The tax is not going to be implemented in 2021, we have other mechanisms," she told reporters at the launch of Digital Skim Rumah Pertamaku (Digital SRP) here today.

Zuraida said the ministry has taken several measures to ensure home buyers-related issues can be resolved, especially involving applications for the purchase of affordable houses.

She said the ministry would also help promote affordable houses, mostly those priced below RM300,000, at the next Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) in November.

"This HOC will be a good platform for buyers, especially the B40 group, to look for more affordable houses," she said.

Zuraida said the availability of affordable housing could take a hit because of the construction delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said the aim to build 100,000 units of house each year continuously for B40 might remain on the drawing board over six months to one year, deepening the housing construction crisis.

"All development projects in Malaysia have been halted during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

"However, we have seen 85 per cent of developers have resumed their construction work after the restriction was lifted. Thus, we are still hopeful of reaching the target," she said.

On the Digital SRP, Zuraida said the new digital integrated platform was seen to be able to increase home sales in the country.

She said with the new platform, buyers will have easier access to buy a house, especially for young people because applications can be made online.

"This Digital SRP launch is timely. It will help first time home buyers to a wider selection of more than 130,000 properties nationwide," she said.
SRP Digital enables first time home buyers to purchase and apply for loans online.

Cagamas SRP is in partnership with property technology portals such as Didian and MHub to launch the digital integrated platform that connects home buyers, banks, developers and real estate agents.


Source From: New Straits Times

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