PENANG’s housing overhang problem is still manageable, says state Housing, Town, Country Planning and Local Government Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.
While admitting that the housing industry presently faces a lot of challenges due to the weak economy, he said the state government would continue to assist first-time buyers.
“There is a marked improvement in the housing overhang issue,” Jagdeep told a press conference in Komtar today.
“In 2017, there are some 2,000 units overhang compared to 1,000 units in 2018. It is very important for the Penang government to assist the housing sector, especially for first-time affordable housing buyers as mentioned by the government in its manifesto before GE14.”
Penang ranked third in having overhang housing units, particularly in the affordable housing sector after Johor and Selangor.
He said Johor has the most overhang units, with 1,000 units 2017 and 2,000 in 2018,” he added.
Jagdeep added that the authorities need to ensure accessibility for the lower-income group of buyers, by ‘tweeting’ the market and handle any issues that arise, including high loan rejection rate.
Elaborating further, he said the state government has proposed that the income bracket eligibility for house buyers be raised by RM2,000 for each category: Housing cost (150K) raised from RM6,000 to RM8,000, (200K – RM8,000 to RM10,000) and (300K – RM10,000 to RM12,000).
On a related matter, Jagdeep commented that the Federal Government (Finance Ministry) has announced the exemption of stamp duty for the purchase of property costing up to RM1 million, effective the first six months of 2019.
He said to spur the housing market during the Chinese New Year season, two exhibitions would be organised.
The first one is the MAPEX 2019, to be held at Udini Square from Feb 2 to Feb 10. There will be nine participants, including Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and Penang Housing Department (PHD)
The second exhibition is the Guang Ming Property Fair 2019 (also held from Feb 2 to 10) at Gurney Paragon Mall.
“I am very elated to see that developers have included PDC and PHD in their exhibitions. I strongly urge all Penangites to come and visit these exhibitions to find out the various housing schemes available for choice.”
Story by Danny Ooi
Pix by Alissala Thian