2020 Budget: New measures will spur property market, says FIABCI

Last update: 12/10/2019

By Kenny Teng Khoon Hock

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 11  -- The International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) said the Fund for Affordable Homes, Home Ownership Campaign, Rent to Own scheme and Youth Housing scheme are positive measures taken by the federal government to spur the property market.

FIABCI Malaysia president Michael Geh said all these measures announced during the tabling of the 2020 Budget today are for the lower income group and first-time buyers to afford their own homes, which will also move the market next year.

"The housing market is already moving this year due to the Home Ownership campaign and we can expect to see more units sold next year through these various schemes. It will definitely help in clearing overhang of properties especially those priced below RM500,000," he told Bernama when contacted here today.

Earlier, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when tabling the 2020 Budget announced that the Youth Housing Scheme will offer 10 per cent loan guarantee through Cagamas to enable full financing to borrowers and RM200 monthly instalment assistance for the first two years, limited to 10,000 home units.

He also announced that the government will extend the Youth Housing Scheme administered by Bank Simpanan Nasional from Jan 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2021 and a sum of RM10 billion allocation for Rent to Own financing scheme by financial institutions with the support from the government via a 30 per cent guarantee.

Lim said the government would lower the threshold on high-rise property prices in urban areas for foreign ownership to RM600,000 from RM1 million, while enhancing the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) treatment by revising the base year for asset acquisition at Jan 1, 2013 for assets acquired before Jan 1, 2013 compared to the previous base year of Jan 1, 2000.

On the reduction of threshold on high-rise properties for foreign ownership to RM600,000 for both the primary and secondary market, Geh said it would help to spur the whole housing industry.

"The lowering of the threshold would be more effective if tied with Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme to prevent property speculation by foreign buyers," he added.

He also suggested for the government to link property purchase with MM2H as this is viewed as a more acceptable way of persuading others to buy Malaysian properties.

“MM2H should be continued along with stringent checks to make sure we are accepting genuine people who want to live here and contribute to the economy here," he said.

Meanwhile on the RPGT, Geh said the continued presence of the hugely unpopular tax, which only had a revision of the base year for asset acquisition, may not lift the general sentiment of the local property market.

It may dampen the property investment sentiment instead, he said.