clock 05-10-2017
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LBS Proposes Initiatives and More Allocation to Empower First-Time Home Buyers

Petaling Jaya - Everyone deserves a place to call home. Property developer, LBS Bina Group Berhad (LBS) firmly believes in this principle and places it as the central focus of its wish list for the upcoming Budget 2018.

"As a home-grown developer, LBS has played and continues to play an active role in supporting the nation's agenda of helping the rakyat realise their dreams of having their own home. We believe our proposals will greatly benefit home buyers, particularly first-timers, the property industry and the Malaysian economy as a whole. So we sincerely hope the Government will consider our proposals in the upcoming Budget 2018" said LBS Bina Group Berhad Group Managing Director, Tan Sri Lim Hock San.

Beginning with empowering the rakyat, LBS proposes the lowering of personal income tax rates. The property developer believes the additional margin in income can be used to ease the burden of the rakyat when purchasing their homes. LBS also suggested lowering corporate tax to reduce the burden of businesses, particularly developers. The Group is confident this will greatly benefit property developers who can then reinvest in the business, a move that can lead to improved productivity, increased job opportunities and increased quality and quantity of developments. Ultimately, the move is aimed at helping to provide more options for home buyers and spurring the growth of the property industry and the overall economy.

Secondly, LBS hopes for the easing of cooling measures on the property sector. One such cooling measure which should be reviewed is the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), with the aim of further stimulating the local property market. Relaxing the terms of the RPGT will encourage more Malaysians to invest or upgrade their homes, directly creating and further boosting property market activities. On measures to boost the local property market, LBS also suggests lowering the minimum threshold from RM1 million to RM500,000 for foreigners looking to purchase homes in Malaysia.

Many first-time home buyers still find it challenging to meet the strict terms of loan approvals. LBS believes more flexible end financing guidelines and additional incentives by the Government and Bank Negara will greatly empower first-time home buyers financially and bring them closer to realising their dream of owning a home.

In light of various external factors that have led to the escalating cost of housing, LBS proposes the expansion of the stamp duty waiver include properties priced between RM300,000 and RM500,000. LBS believes the move will help lower the cost of property transactions and greatly encourage the rakyat to make the first move towards home ownership.

The property sector in Malaysia continues to grow at a steady pace. This growth is spurred by the incorporation of best practices and more efficient processes such as the introduction of the Industrialised Building System (IBS). For the fourth proposal, LBS hopes the Government can grant incentives to encourage developers to implement the IBS into their practices which have proven to result in reduced manual labour required at construction sites, and neater and cleaner construction sites with minimal congestion. The IBS also improves quality control as processes are streamlined and managed in the factory assembly line setting, effective construction methods for waste minimisation, and most importantly, construction time is reduced by two to three months, leading to buildings being completed quicker and allowing an earlier return of investment.

As a means to increase the number of affordable homes in Malaysia, LBS' fifth proposal is for the Government to consider setting up a special fund for developers, with an interest rate of 4 per cent, to aid and encourage more developers, especially smaller players, to build more affordable homes.

For the sixth and final proposal, LBS hopes the Government will consider incentives for township developers. Township developers generally invest more in the overall planning which includes the strategic layout of homes, infrastructure, accessibility and, among others. LBS believes well planned and developed townships provide convenience by shortening travel time and opens opportunities for business. Hence, propelling the nation's economic growth. The incentives will encourage more developers to take on more township developments.

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