New housing policies to focus on affordability

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KUALA LUMPUR — The Housing and Local Government Ministry will be announcing new housing rules and policies once they are finalised and approved by the Cabinet within the next two months.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad said the main focus will be on the issue of affordable homes.

“Affordable homes will be one of our priorities. This is a challenge for private developers and government agencies as the new system needs to be updated,” he said, when met after the official launch of The People’s Property Expo by PropSocial yesterday.

He stressed that the issue of the central database on home ownership and distribution of these affordable homes are also important aspects, adding that it should be distributed equally according to eligibility.

“With this, I would like to emphasise on how important a central database is.

“Without a database, how can we properly ascertain the demand for housing (and) to know the right status of eligibility,” the deputy minister said.

Raja Kamarul said a database will help identify Malaysians who have yet to own a house and those who already own several units.

“The central data will certainly help with demand-and-supply issues within the sector, especially for low-cost and affordable housing, as authorities and developers would have information on potential buyers,” he said.

He added in Kuala Lumpur, the industry is more challenging due to the demand from the younger generation, especially newlyweds who find it difficult to own a new home.

Raja Kamarul noted that financial institutions should also look into the matter in terms of eligibility for young couples to be able to own homes.

He said the property market in Malaysia is still healthy although the industry has higher expectations and demands.

“We used to have a very lucrative real-estate market. When the market is slowing down like it is now, people tend to feel that it has already softened,” he said.

He added that the industry is expected to show an improvement next year due to the new policy which will help spur the property market further.