Experts laud affordable home policies

The Government has put in place the right policies in Budget 2017 to promote affordable home ownership for the right target groups.

Analysts, economists and industry players said the “step-up” end-financing scheme for PR1MA to check the high rejection rate of housing loan applications was a brilliant move.

Universiti Utara Malaysia’s economics lecturer Prof Datuk Dr Amir Hussin Baharuddin commended the move to introduce a full stamp duty exemption for first-time home buyers on houses costing up to RM300,000.

The current stamp duty exemption is 50%.

“This will encourage more people to buy houses, especially among the younger generation,” he said.

Prof Datuk Dr John Antony Xavier from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Graduate School of Business said the Government had found a solution to the problem of scarcity of land faced by Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA).

Budget 2017 proposes that vacant government land at strategic locations be allocated to government-linked companies and PR1MA to build more than 30,000 houses.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said the many provisions for affordable housing was a “Blue Ocean” strategy that would inspire other parties to explore new ways to provide more affordable homes for the people.

He said PNB was committed to doing its part to support the Government in implementing Budget 2017.

Among its measures were allocating more funds for investment in small- and mid-cap stocks, increasing the number of Skim Latihan 1 Malaysia participants, building more affordable homes through its various property development companies and ensuring active public participation in Transformasi Nasional 2050.

However, Asli’s Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam questioned why the Budget did not provide more incentives for providing houses through the Industrial Building System (where different parts of a house are manufactured in a factory and then assembled on-site).

“Houses should be affordable. Just tinkering with the system will not help much,” he said.