THE Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) is calling on the government to provide leniency towards the property sector, especially its agents that are also affected by the ongoing Covid-19 movement control order (MCO).
MIEA president Lim Boon Ping said the MCO had brought the real estate fraternity to a “grinding stop” as they were unable to help house buyers in taking vacant possession of their properties, do any viewings and physically list any properties for sale or rental.
“About 25,000 agents and negotiators are like other Malaysians who are also affected morally and financially, as most commission agents do not have a basic salary. We are concerned that the market has taken a shift and that new strategies have to be placed to help balance the change,” he said.
Among the measures that MIEA is hoping the government would consider is to place the sales and services tax for real estate transactions in abeyance until the end of the year to help sellers from having to incur additional costs.
“We also hope that the real property gains tax could be be zerorised till the end of the year to help boost the already soft real estate market. This would help reduce losses for sellers who will face a ‘push down price demand’ from buyers,” he said.
Lim said the government should consider allowing the transfer of 10% of the funds in Account 1 of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to Account 2 to provide liquidity for the purchase of homes or assistance in repaying loans after the six-month repayment moratorium.
From the assistance aspect, he said that MIEA hoped the benefits made available for e-hailing drivers and subsidies for those earning up to RM2,000 monthly and households earning a monthly income of up to RM4,000 would also be automatically extended to registered real estate agents.
“MIEA also kindly requests all real estate portal companies that the real estate fraternity has fully supported throughout the years to give favourable incentives and cost benefit packages for agents to boost their advertising, which in turn can directly help to market properties for their clients,” he said.
On Friday last week, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a RM250 bil people-centric economic stimulus package with the aim of preserving the people’s welfare, supporting businesses and bolstering the economy during these tough times. – March 31, 2020, Bernama