13th July – 18th July
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed that first-time home buyers can enjoy a 100% stamp duty exemption for properties priced at RM500,000 and below via the Keluarga Malaysia Home Ownership Initiative (i-MILIKI).
Meanwhile, Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research expects the mass rapid transit three (MRT3) project to bolster the country’s construction sector, despite the low number of contracts during the first half of 2022.
1) First-time home buyers to enjoy stamp duty exemption
First-time home buyers can enjoy a 100% stamp duty exemption for properties priced at RM500,000 and below via the Keluarga Malaysia Home Ownership Initiative (i-MILIKI), announced Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He revealed that a stamp duty exemption incentive of 50% will also be given for housing units priced above RM500,000 to RM1 million, reported Bernama.
“The exemption is for sale and purchase agreements completed from 1 June 2022 to December 2023,” said Ismail Sabri.
He explained that while the stamp duty exemption would mean lower revenue for the government, the move was a testament to the government’s commitment to Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family).
2) MRT3 project to boost construction sector
Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research expects the mass rapid transit three (MRT3) project to bolster the country’s construction sector, despite the low number of contracts during the first half of 2022.
“We continue to expect recovery in flows this year mainly driven by the MRT3 rollout in December 2022,” said the research house as quoted by The Star.
Since the project is private finance initiative-based, risks of delays to fund high subsidies may not be substantial this year, said HLIB Research.
It noted that three of the civil turnkey tenders for MRT3 could offer RM27 billion worth of contracts.
The research house expects the mega-project to take off in December assuming no general elections are held in between.
“Thereafter, we would expect a string of subcontract awards in the first quarter of 2023,” it said.
With this, HLIB Research maintained a “neutral” call on the construction sector amid the increasing material cost, which impacted margins and job flows, as well as possible event risk in 2H 2022.
“We continue to expect sector coverage earnings to recover this year but we flag rising concerns over the deteriorating labour shortage situation,” said the research house.
3) 11 building materials included in variation of prices clause
Eleven more building materials have been added by the government in the implementation of the Variation of Prices (VOP) clause, bringing the number of items in the VOP to 15.
These include bricks, glass, cement as well as ceiling and roof materials.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the move is aimed at helping contractors face the increasing building material prices and ensure that projects are completed on time, reported Bernama.
He shared that the government is aware of the inevitable increase in building material prices following the Russia-Ukraine conflict and global economic uncertainties.
“I was made to understand that building materials, including steel, which is among the main items in the implementation of projects, have gone up by 180%,” said the prime minister.
“However, the government always listens and understands these issues and has reinstated the VOP to ensure projects are completed on time.”
4) Allow illegal immigrants still in Malaysia to work in construction sector, says PKBM
The Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association (PKBM) has urged the government to whitewash the process for illegal immigrants who are still in Malaysia and allow them to work in the construction sector.
Ahmed Zaharani Yusof Omar, PKBM’s Secretary General, believes that doing so would help save time and cost in hiring foreign labour as well as revitalise the construction industry, reported The Malaysian Reserve.
He pointed that some of the construction firms in the country have ceased operations amid the hike in construction costs and labour shortages.
In fact, up to 80% of construction projects in Malaysia are in a critical state.
“We opined that this issue is very worrying and such things are very unhealthy and have a negative impact on the construction industry,” said Ahmed Zaharani.
“Many of the members of the association could not complete the work according to the contract and most sadly had to retire,” he added.
5) Mah Sing to launch more affordably priced properties in Klang Valley
The high take-up rates and enquiries are seen for reasonably priced properties in Klang Valley increased the confidence of Mah Sing Group Bhd to offer similar residential properties.
With this, the company intends to launch M Astra in Setapak, with prices starting from RM399,000, and M Nova in Kepong, with prices beginning from RM318,000, in the second half of 2022, reported the New Straits Times.
Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum, Founder and Group Managing Director of Mah Sing, said the move is aimed at capturing potential spillover demand from M Luna in Kepong, which is priced at RM385,000, and M Adora in Wangsa Melawati, priced from RM468,000.
“Apart from that, we are also constantly on the lookout for attractively priced lands which can replicate the success of our affordably priced M Series residential developments,” he shared.
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6) The Logg’s Parkhill condominium project gets positive response from homebuyers
Sabah-based developer K.T.I Sdn Bhd received positive response for The Logg’s Parkhill condominium project, which saw all units fully booked between January and June.
In fact, 130 homebuyers have already signed a sales and purchase agreement – making their purchase official, said K.T.I Project Director Wilson Loke.
Located in Luyang, Sabah, mixed-use project The Logg features a hotel, a shopping mall and three residential towers. Parkhill is one of the residential towers in the project, the other two are Shorea and Astonia, reported the New Straits Times.
The 250-unit Parkhill offers one- and three-bedroom condominiums, with sizes ranging between 620 sq ft and 850 sq ft. Unit prices start from RM330,000.
Meanwhile, the company assured buyers of the structural integrity of the project by solidly building the foundation walls and slab by using a fully contiguous bored pile, while designing the development to withstand earthquakes.
“We took the extra initiative of applying this measure to ensure the longevity of The Logg by preventing soil erosion. Our buyers are assured of their decision and feel safe when in their new homes,” said Loke.
7) Increase in plot ratio may worsen traffic jams, flash floods
Residents and business owners in and around Taman Goodwood, Happy Garden, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park as well as Jalan Kuchai Lama within Jalan Kelang Lama, Kuala Lumpur are concerned that the proposed change of land use for their township will only worsen traffic congestion.
“The proposal is to change the land use zoning of 1.4ha land from the current residential low-density housing to mixed development with an increased plot ratio,” said Happy Garden and Continental Park Residents Association (HGCPRA) as quoted by The Star.
Aside from congestion, residents are also concerned of flash floods.
“We have always had flash floods here, but of late, especially on 7 March, we saw one of the worst floods to hit the area,” said resident Joshua Low.
Residents believe the flash floods indicated that the existing infrastructure could no longer sustain the level of development within the area.
“The overdevelopment has also reduced the land available to act as water retention during heavy rain, causing all the rainwater to flow to the drains,” noted Joshua.
“We believe the recent flash floods will be the first of many to come if DBKL continues down the path of over-development in our community,” he added.