New Straits Times, Photo Credit to Reverse Mortgage
clock 25-05-2019
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How Will a Central Database to Keep Track of Property Supply and Demand Helps Malaysia?

Malaysia's housing market is in need of a major overhaul to protect the interest of buyers. Industry players are suggesting for the setting up of a central database and single entity to enable effective management of property supply and demand. The key areas that should be addressed include the provision of adequate affordable housing, inflated prices, difficulty in securing loans, as well as the mismatch of supply and demand.

This call was made by panellists at a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) roundtable, themed "Coping with the New Property Landscape - Overcoming Challenges", at the National Housing and Property Focus Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur.

Industry players are suggesting for the setting up of a central database and single entity to enable effective management of property supply and demand.

By having a central database, developers can build the right type of properties that meet the actual requirements of buyers and this could help reduce the oversupply situation.

"More importantly, the database must be made accessible to all stakeholders," said LBS Bina Group Bhd Group Managing Director Tan Sri Lim Hock San.

Lim said collective efforts from all stakeholders, including the government, developers, banks and buyers are needed to solve the "housing affordability" issue.

He said housing affordability remains a major concern for the majority of Malaysian buyers and in many cases, it is a financial burden, especially for first-time and millennial buyers.

Recent data from Bank Negara Malaysia revealed that properties in Malaysia are labelled as "unaffordable" by international affordability metrics, with some 74% of the 171,000 unsold residential units priced beyond the affordability of ordinary Malaysians.

In order to lower prices, Lim suggested that more government land be set aside for affordable housing projects.

He said the shortage of land within the Klang Valley is one of the factors contributing to increasingly inflated prices.

"At present, we know only a small portion of affordable housing projects are built on government or state-owned land. If more land can be allocated for affordable housing developments, this would increase the supply of affordable homes. The raising household income level is also important as it will strengthen buyers' position to secure better financing."

Lim added that in realising the national housing agenda, it is important that more collective measures be taken including providing further incentives to widen the adoption of industrialised building system (IBS) among developers and builders.

"This will help speed up delivery of quality homes and bring down house prices. A special task unit should also be set up to expedite the approval process of affordable housing projects."

"In this day and age, building affordable homes has gone beyond developing a house with a roof. Property developers must study the actual needs of buyers in order to build homes that help improve the well-being of owners and their families."

"The housing issues at hand are complex, and there are no easy solutions. We need to work together and to think out of the box. Developers need to realise that 'affordable housing' is not about building cheaper houses. It is about building stronger and better communities which allow people to thrive in an active and safe environment," he said.

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