KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association of Malaysia (REHDA) has lauded Budget 2021, which contains various measures to increase home ownership and to boost the property sector, as one that is "comprehensive, inclusive and promising".
In a statement, REHDA President Datuk Ir Soam Heng Choon said this national Budget is an extension of the various stimulus packages introduced by the Government since early this year, and focuses on the well-being of the rakyat, especially those most affected by the economic downturn following the COVID-19 outbreak, and to set the economy on the right path for recovery following the pandemic's devastation.
Expressing the association's gratitude for the incentives provided to the housing sector as well as the inclusion of some of its proposals in Budget 2021, Soam noted that these incentives are additional measures besides those announced earlier under PENJANA in June 2020.
In particular, Soam noted that the stamp duty exemption announced on the memorandum of transfer and loan agreement for residential units below RM500,000 and below, which is set to take effect from Jan 1, 2021, to Dec 31, 2025, is one expanded from an earlier initiative for houses worth RM300,000 to RM500,000. "We believe that the stamp duty waivers will benefit a lot of Malaysians who find it hard-pressed to own a house, particularly those in the B40 and M40 groups,” he said.
As for the stamp duty exemption on the memorandum of transfer and loan agreement for White Knight contractors and the original purchasers of abandoned projects from Jan 1, 2021, to Dec 31, 2025, Soam believes this will give peace of mind to purchasers who have been severely impacted when their acquired units were abandoned. "Similarly, the stamp duty waivers for the white knights is hoped to encourage more contractors to come in and rescue abandoned units which eventually will realise the dreams of home buyers to have their own homes," he said.
REHDA also welcomed the newly announced rent-to-own scheme for 5,000 PR1MA homes, with Soam noting that such a scheme was just what REHDA had previously called for to help those who have just started working and not ready to purchase a home yet. "However, we hope that the programme can be extended to more than just the 5,000 units of PR1MA homes, whereby purchasers in the open market can also benefit from the scheme," Soam said.
In addition, REHDA voiced its support for the RM1.2 billion allocated under Budget 2021 to address the housing needs of the B40 or Bottom 40 income group. “We believe that the various recipients of this allocation namely Program Perumahan Rakyat, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad’s Rumah Mesra Rakyat and Program Perumahan Penjawat Awam Malaysia will provide the much-needed relief for those in need,” Soam said.
The allocation, it added, would also benefit 200 other downstream and upstream sectors and the people behind them. "With Budget 2021, REHDA hopes we will all continue to do our part to elevate the industry and the economy to greater heights, despite the turbulence we are experiencing this year,” it said.
Separately, here are what the chiefs of several prominent developers in town have to say about Budget 2021:
S P Setia Bhd
President and CEO
Datuk Khor Chap Jen
We applaud the efforts of the government to help those who are in the B40 category to own a home. In line with these efforts, we hope that the government will consider to take over the responsibility to build affordable housing for the B40 as this will enable a more cohesive, consistent and efficient macro implementation and results while the developers can concentrate fully on the free market housing. Developers can contribute to a fund for this purpose.
We also laud the government's decision to avail the RTO scheme for those eligible for PR1MA as it would help ease the homeowners' challenge to come up with upfront down-payments. We do, however, hope the government would consider extending this scheme beyond PR1MA as more eligible homebuyers will be able to benefit from this effort.
The exemption of stamp duty on MOT (memorandum of transfer) and legal fees will help to encourage sales for first-time homebuyers. Waiving of this duty is a good move to help boost the interest as it lessens the affordability gap for first-time homebuyers.
The decision to spend on large infrastructure projects is also a big boost to the overall economy as it will impact the entire supply chain and rejuvenate the economy. It also encourages real estate development over a larger area.
Eco World Development Group Berhad (EcoWorld)
President and CEO
Datuk Chang Khim Wah
This is a very well-thought through Budget that recognises the myriad challenges we are facing due to the profound changes in almost every aspect of life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More importantly it offers a clear way forward for us as a nation in the specificity of the measures which cover just about every sector of the economy.
The government’s intent for this to be an expansionary Budget which prioritises public health, protects lives and livelihoods, ensures business continuity as well as strengthens the economy is also evidenced in the sheer size of the total expenditure of RM322.5 billion, which is very appropriate for the times. Social safety nets have been put in place to protect the most vulnerable and large allocations made for infrastructural investments to bridge the rural-urban divide and improve the nation’s transportation networks.
The focus on job creation, upskilling and re-skilling along with the many proposals to prioritise automation, digitalisation and move Malaysia further up the technological food chain is certainly the right way forward.
On the residential property front the government’s proposal to fully exempt stamp duty on instruments of transfer and loan agreements for first-time home buyers purchasing properties priced up to RM500,000 until Dec 31, 2025 is very welcome. It will certainly benefit many of our young purchasers, particularly those buying their first homes under our 'duduk' series as well as various other products such as 'Co-Homes' that we will be launching specifically to meet the homeownership needs of the M40 customer group.
Mah Sing Group Bhd
founder & group managing director
Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum
Budget 2021 showcases the government’s unwavering dedication and continuous effort in rejuvenating the Malaysian economy through three key objectives — people's wellbeing, business continuity and economic resilience.
The newly announced initiatives and measures would enable various industries to recover, and enhance the rakyat's financial ability to weather through the challenges due to the unprecedented pandemic.
The property industry provides a critical multiplier effect to the economy, impacting more than 140 industries. We believe with the new incentives offered by the government to stimulate the property market, this will eventually benefit the country’s economy as a whole.