AS Malaysia continues its journey to recovery, Budget 2022 should be aimed at making homeownership viable to the B40 and M40 groups.
While more than four in five Malaysians intend to buy a property in Malaysia in the future, the high property prices are a major deterrent for home seekers, according to PropertyGuru’s Consumer Sentiment Study 2H 2021.
Although the Government has introduced various financial aids to provide relief to Malaysian property owners and support the property sector, the study found that 84% of Malaysians believe more can be done by the Government to make housing affordable while 58% want the Government to extend the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) to subsale properties.
“Despite the pandemic’s impact on the overall number of property transactions, it has nevertheless accelerated the popularity of subsale transactions throughout 2020 and now in 2021,” opined PropertyGuru Malaysia’s country manager Sheldon Fernandez.
“Hence, if the HOC is extended to the secondary market, it will provide a big boost to the housing market by encouraging more first-time homebuyers to consider subsale properties, especially as the stamp duty exemption can help reduce the upfront cost related to home purchases.”
Aside from supporting first-time homebuyers, there is also a need to assist those who are struggling to keep their homes during the pandemic, in particular “those who are in the ‘sandwich’ group between B40 and M40”.
“We urge the Government to consider providing income tax relief on interest accrued by home loans after the moratorium ends as this would help ease the household burden of those in need,” reckoned Fernandez.
For those who have to sell their homes in this difficult time, PropertyGuru hopes that the Government either extends the exemption of real property gains tax (RPGT) on residential homes next year or revises it downwards while Malaysians and the property market are still in the process of recovery.
“The extension would help alleviate the struggles of homeowners, otherwise the RPGT may be an additional burden on households who have been forced to sell their home as a means to survive,” justified Fernandez.
“In addition, this can stimulate the property market by encouraging buying and selling of residential homes.”
Elsewhere PropertyGuru also proposed rental incentives similar to that introduced by the New South Wales Government in Australia.
Under such scheme, landlords who provide a rent reduction to tenants impacted by COVID-19 can enjoy financial incentives.
“A similar measure can be implemented in Malaysia to help support tenants who are experiencing loss of income due to the pandemic and are unable to pay their rent temporarily,” suggested Fernandez.
“This incentive can also help tide landlords over financially so they do not need to resort to selling their property or evicting their tenants, potentially leaving their tenants homeless.” – Oct 5, 2021