Malaysia’s housing sector will pick up after MCO, says minister

Radzi Razak
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur June 30, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin is hopeful that sales will improve again after the government lifts all restrictions under its Covid-19 movement control order (MCO).

She said sales plunged during the MCO as developers could not hold exhibitions and promotions.

“As people stayed at home during the movement control order, they have come to appreciate how important houses are and focused on their homes with better living spaces,” she said at a press conference in Cheras.

“We hope post-Covid-19, it will pick up again,” she added.

Zuraida said the government is providing various incentives such as suspending paying interest on housing loans, exempting agreement fees and stamping duties for buyers and offering tax rebates on houses below RM500,000.

“We have given certain exemptions on penalties to developers who cannot complete their projects on time,” she added.

Last Saturday, Zuraida announced that the government will table a Temporary Measures Bill to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, including protecting housing developers and homebuyers of projects affected by the MCO.

To date, she said 700 to 800 applications had been received from developers to extend their completion periods, which had been interrupted for three months due to the MCO.

On June 5, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government will reintroduce its home ownership campaign in a bid to revitalise the country’s property market and provide financial relief to home buyers.

In his special televised address, he said the government would provide stamp duty exemption on the instruments of transfer and loan agreement for the purchase of residential homes priced between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million.

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