2018 Budget requests made

Affordable housing needs to be a priority for the Budget according to experts in the field.

The 2018 Budget is due to be tabled on Friday. Ahead of this many have vocalised their views on what actions should be included as part of it. Due to high property prices there is a fear that Malaysia will have a homeless generation. Thus for property the affordable housing shortage needs to be addressed.

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) believe this can be overcome. Citing there is a need to reduce speculation by increasing stamp duties. Additionally HBA want property owners who have more than one property to be penalised with increased property gains taxes.

At the same time the government need to play their part in increasing the supply of affordable housing. A topical subject which is expected to be discussed by Prime Minister Najib Razak in the Budget as well as being an important theme of the next general election. There is a severe deficit in affordable housing. According to figures from Bank Negara there is a shortfall of 960,000 units. A figure that is expected to reach one million in just three years time.

HBA feel the shortage can be met by encouraging developers to build low cost housing. Aiding developers by including partial tax exemption and fast tracking planning approval. However some have said that affordable housing needs to be taken out of the hands of developers and built by a central agency instead. At present developers only need to build 30 percent of affordable housing.

The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) have also voiced their opinion too. Compiling ten suggestions in order to aid the current housing situation. They too have suggested that affordable housing needs to be a priority. Rehda believes that this can be achieved by waiving the Goods and Services Tax on construction materials used for affordable housing. Additionally they have requested that first time buyers are financially assisted in their attempt to reach the first rung of the property ladder.