Promote property sector, help first-time buyers

BUDGET 2021 should include initiatives to boost the property sector and assist first time buyers to get their homes.

In a statement, PropertyGuru Malaysia country manager Sheldon Fernandez said despite a variety of incentives and favourable lending environment, many are unable to purchase property to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Therefore, job creation and income growth must be looked into, along with digitalisation and PropTech incentives to enhance awareness of available initiatives and opportunities,” he said.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz is scheduled to table Budget 2021 on Nov 6.

To date, the Government had announced six stimulus packages, amounting to over RM300 bil to keep the nation going while doing its best to keep the COVID-19 pandemic in check.

Fernandez said the Government should look into reducing compliance costs surrounding development such as infrastructure costs and revise foreign ownership programmes.

“The government can look into extending maximum loan tenures and review the eligibility criteria for home loan applicants.

“And a review of foreign ownership guidelines may address overhang concerns to some extent, but it may not be popular with Malaysian home seekers,” suggested Fernandez.

Focus on youths, B40

He added when it comes to reviewing loan tenures and eligibility criteria, most financial institutions already have their own mechanism to assess risk and minimise non-performing loans.

“However, concerns by developers regarding compliance costs, if addressed, would promote ease of doing business,” he opined.

On that note, Fernandez said Budget 2021 should place initiatives on long-term job creation measures and economic drivers by targeting youths and the B40 group.

“A continued focus on digital incentives such as grant funds for pilot projects on digital applications, particularly for PropTech players, would help foster innovation and uptake in the industry.

“This is important to raise awareness of current initiatives, both in terms of property and other areas as well such as reskilling opportunities,” he added. – Oct 27, 2020


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