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clock 16-08-2017
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REHDA Calls for Easing of Rules for First-Time Home Buyers

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The Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) is appealing to the Government to relax regulations for first-time house buyers and properties below RM500,000.

President Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said the request includes a lower interest rate and longer loan tenure for transactions in the two categories.

"We would like an end to the financing issue, especially for first-time buyers, and property below RM500,000, to be more flexible," he told reporters after delivering his keynote address at the PropertyGuru Malaysia Real Estate Summit 2017 in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The summit was officiated by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong.

Fateh Iskandar commended the Federal Government for its efforts at helping first-time buyers with, among others, the MyHome Scheme which offered RM30,000 in incentives for each affordable housing unit built.

"It benefits both buyers and developers. However, the allocation is considered insufficient now and it is hoped the Government will increase it in the upcoming budget,' he said.

Fateh Iskandar also urged the Government to provide a level playing field for local property developers to compete with those from China.

"The developers from China, who come here, don't have a low cost or bumiputra quotas and are given a five-year tax break.

"So, what is given to them, also extend to us. We are the original taxpayers. Let's help the locals first," he said.

He also urged state governments to stop forcing property developers to build low-cost houses of RM42,000 and below in unsuitable locations as property developers are instead willing to pay the amount to compensate for the requirement.

"The state has the biggest landbank and should take this money and build the low-cost houses," he said.

Fateh Iskandar also said inconsistent policies among state governments and between state governments and the Federal Government is another of the challenges for the industry.

"This is a highly regulated sector, with over 50 laws, regulation and guidelines. Some obstruct the critical path of the approval process, eventually creating a bottleneck in housing supply," he added.

Meanwhile, on the Government ambition's to fully embrace the industrialised building system by 2020, he said it is highly unlikely to be achieved given the current state of the industry.

"We don't have enough machines nor skilled workers or their supply. For us to achieve the goal, incentives and rebates must be given, along with those using the IBS also receiving tax incentives, among others," Fateh Iskandar said. - Bernama


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