THE Malaysian government is planning to build 10,000 units of affordable homes within the next three years as the demand for mid-range properties grows in a market heavily-reliant on upscale units.
Dubbed the “Residensi Wilayah”, Federal Territories ministry, which oversees matters related to the capital, said the development is tipped to be an “improved” version of the Rumawip housing projects launched by the previous government.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said each of the new units would be slightly bigger at 900 sqft, offering 100 sqft more space than the average Rumawip unit sizes, while the density was at 800 people per acre compared to Rumawip’s 1,200 per acre.
The minister’s announcement comes amid a backdrop of a cooling regional economy, with experts at pointing to a worrying glut in unsold properties mostly beyond the reach of the average Malaysian.
The new units would be sold at RM300,000 (US$72,523) or less, the minister said.
“The development of this project will involve cooperation from the private sector,” he said, as quoted by Bernama.
The previous government under the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition approved 89 Rumawip projects with a total of 55,974 units since 2013.
In July, the minister said the new government under Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), which had won the May 9 election in a historic victory, would build housing units which were larger than those offered by Rumawip.
The ministry, he added, was also identifying land suitable for the projects.
Khalid said the development is part of a larger initiative of six key elements focusing on cleanliness, public safety, efficient public transport, socio-economic sustainability, inclusiveness and environment.
For public safety, the ministry will be installing more lights and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in more locations around the capital.
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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.
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.
Business publication The Edge Markets recently revealed that half of Malaysian workers still earned less than RM2,000 (US$480) a month despite substantial income growth since 2010.