Rehda urges the government to address housing unaffordability in Budget 2024 through reduced costs and charges, making homeownership accessible to Malaysians.
KUALA LUMPUR, 29 Sep 2023 – Rehda, the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia, has called upon the government to tackle the growing issue of housing unaffordability in the upcoming Budget 2024.
In a recent press statement, Rehda President NK Tong emphasized the importance of reducing input costs for building materials as a crucial step. He suggested temporarily lowering or removing import levies on these materials. Tong highlighted that alongside the cross-subsidy approach used by developers to construct affordable housing, the rising input costs for building materials play a significant role in driving up house prices.
Tong believes that such an intervention could substantially alleviate the problem of housing unaffordability.
He also pointed out that escalating land costs contribute to the inflation of home prices. He echoed EPF Chief Strategy Officer Nurhisham Hussein’s views, stating that approximately 95% of state income is generated from property-related taxes, such as land conversion premiums. Therefore, Tong stressed the importance of reforming state finance to address affordable housing concerns.
Reducing charges imposed by state governments and local authorities could potentially lead to lower home prices, ultimately increasing accessibility to homeownership for Malaysians, according to Tong.
Rehda has also requested the continuation of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), highlighting its success in helping thousands of Malaysians afford their homes and contributing to the country’s gross domestic product during previous iterations in 2019 and 2020-2021.
Furthermore, Rehda called for incentives in the form of tax deductions, grants, and lower interest rates to ease the financial burden on prospective homeowners, particularly first-time buyers. These measures aim to make homeownership more achievable for Malaysians facing rising property prices.