Hornbill Unleashed

November 13, 2014

We have no control over rise in housing prices, says minister

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Putrajaya said today it could not prevent housing prices from increasing, but could help mitigate the cost of home ownership by giving buyers incentives. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 12, 2014.MOHD FARHAN DARWIS

Putrajaya said today it could not prevent housing prices from increasing, but could help mitigate the cost of home ownership by giving buyers incentives.

Putrajaya cannot prevent housing prices from increasing because Malaysia practised an open economy, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said today.

But, it could help mitigate the cost of home ownership by giving buyers incentives, he said.

“This is a free country, the government cannot determine prices.

“We can, however, help to reduce the cost of home ownership through incentives.

“The property price increase phenomenon is not only happening in Malaysia, but all over the world. And, the government has responded with programmes such as PR1MA,” he said, referring to Putrajaya’s home ownership scheme.

He also said research showed that house prices would only go up by between 2% and 3% when the goods and services tax was implemented in April.

“If it goes up beyond 3%, action will be taken under the Anti-Profiteering Act,” he told reporters in Putrajaya.

He added that if house prices were raised beyond 3% by developers citing the GST, they could be referred to the GST monitoring committee under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

“My concern is that prices are hiked up not because of the GST but due to excessive profiteering. According to our calculations, the increase should only be about 3%.

“If it goes higher than that, then report it to the GST Monitoring Committee. We can manage it from there,” he added.

Rahman said he also appealed to state governments to work with government-owned outfits such as PR1MA to enable them to build affordable housing in the respective states.

“Our aim is to give our views to the state governments so that they will provide suitable sites to the National Housing Department under Suruhanjaya Perumahan Nasional Berhad (SPNB) and PR1MA, so that affordable homes can be built.

“But if state governments do not have the political will to give us the land, we cannot do anything,” he said.

He also admitted that the biggest challenge for his ministry was to secure suitable land tracts from the states.

He also urged state governments not to “compete” with the federal government for the name list of those qualified for affordable housing.

According to the minister, this complicated the process of delivering the homes, to the point of pushing individuals to wait years before they can own a home.

“I urge states not to compete. Sometimes when we do these housing projects, there are some states that scramble for the list.

“Some states don’t want to use the federal list and this causes overlap, and remains unresolved for years because they want to choose the home owners.”

 

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