THE Malaysian government has asked property developers to dish out at least 10 percent discounts on homes during an expo in March that would see some RM22.5 billion (US$5.5 billion) in real estate be put on offer.
The drive comes amid the government’s plan to address the oversupply of properties in the country and the lack of affordable homes.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the expo between March 1 and 3 will see about 180 developers offer 22,000 units, of which at least a quarter will be priced RM300,000 or less.
“We hope that better discounts will be given to the people, as high as possible,” Zuraida said, as quoted by Bloomberg.
“We are trying to reduce the gap starting from the expo. From then on we will try to clean up.”
Would-be homebuyers will also enjoy exemption from stamp duty, she added.
In August, the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia said the average cost of homes in the country was five times the annual media household income in 2016 while the global standard was three times.
The Bank’s report estimated that RM282,000 was the maximum price achievable for the median Malaysian household when the median prices were 11 percent higher.
Zuraida said the ministry will take into account the income levels of communities before approving future residential projects.
The National Property Information Centre (Napic) recently published data showing a total of RM19.54 billion (US$4.6 billion) worth of unsold properties to date.
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The centre said by the third quarter of the year, the nation saw an increase in 30,115 units that were unsold, compared to the 20,304 units in the same period last year.
The government has also announced a stamp duty waiver for first time home buyers, enabling them to save thousands.
This applies to properties RM300,000 (US$72mil) and RM1mil (US$240,000) for the first half of 2019 as part of the National Home Ownership Campaign.