The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) Malaysia has expressed its hope that the Malaysian government will reintroduce or introduce housing incentives to enhance homeownership opportunities for Malaysians. In its wish list for Budget 2024, REHDA emphasized the ongoing issue of housing affordability for both the public and the industry.
REHDA called on the government to incorporate incentives such as tax deductions, grants, and lower interest rates in the upcoming budget. These measures are expected to alleviate the financial burden on future homeowners, particularly those entering the property market for the first time.
The association also advocated for the continuation of the Home Ownership Campaign, citing its success in previous iterations. The campaigns conducted in 2019 and 2020-2021 not only enabled thousands of Malaysians to realize their dream of owning a home but also made significant contributions to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
REHDA highlighted the challenge of housing affordability, pointing out that rising input costs for building materials directly correlate with increasing house prices. To mitigate this issue, the association suggested that the government take action, such as temporarily reducing or eliminating import levies on construction materials.
Additionally, REHDA noted that escalating land costs are adversely affecting housing prices. In a recent news report, the Employees Provident Fund’s chief strategy officer, Tn Nurhisham Hussein, emphasized the need for an overhaul of state finances to achieve genuine affordability in the housing market. He explained that approximately 95% of state income is derived from property-related taxes, such as land conversion premiums. Reforming state finances is considered essential in addressing the challenge of affordable housing.
REHDA concurred with this viewpoint, stating that reducing charges imposed by state governments and local authorities could lead to lower house prices, making homeownership more accessible to a broader segment of the population. The association welcomed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar’s calls for transparent and fair governance at all levels, including state governments and privatized utility companies. Enhanced transparency is expected to expedite approval processes and reduce costs, ultimately contributing to improved housing affordability.