PETALING JAYA: Following the recent StarProperty special pullout published on Oct 6, several property developers have put forward their Budget 2023 wish list. Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd's (Mah Sing) wish list for Budget 2024 which will be tabled in Parliament on Oct 13 is as follows:
Mah Sing hopes that the government will implement additional measures aimed at first-time home buyers, specifically in home financing, to increase home ownership. Impactful measures would include:
- Revive the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) as the incentives given under the campaign has proven to be vital in helping home buyers secure their home while reducing the housing overhang situation, such as the 100% stamp duty exemption for properties priced from RM300,001 to RM1 million.
- A one-off First-Time Home Buyers’ Grant of RM30,000 for properties priced up to RM500,000 and/or to reactivate the MyHome Scheme programme to eligible purchasers.
- Lower, fixed-rate financing for first-time home buyers, for properties priced up to RM500,000.
- Step-up financing allows middle-income buyers more time to improve their income during the first few years of home ownership.
For all buyers, we propose restoring the maximum loan tenure to 40 years and referring to gross income rather than net income when reviewing loan applications.
Tax exemption for interest incurred during construction
"We hope that the government will consider introducing tax exemption for end-financing interest incurred during construction. This is an ideal way to promote home ownership as there will be direct tax savings for homebuyers," said Mah Sing founder and group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.
Reduce threshold for foreign ownership to RM600,000
The current minimum threshold for foreign property ownership varies according to each state. The government could review and standardise the minimum threshold to RM600,000 across every state. With the current currency rate, it will attract foreigners to invest in tangible investments.
Incorporate appealing policies into MM2H
Mah Sing would like to propose to the government that more appealing policies be incorporated into the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) and promote PVIP, for Malaysia to remain competitive in encouraging more eligible foreigners to stay and invest in Malaysia.
The developer hopes that the below proposal for MM2H can be considered:
- Lower the qualifying minimum income, liquid assets, and fixed deposits instead of the high threshold applied during the revision in 2021.
- Impose different classes of applications, tailored for various foreign applicants.
- All existing MM2H pass holders should not be affected by the new rules.
- The duration of the MM2H pass remains at 10 years.
Waiver duties on construction materials
Mah Sing hopes the government could consider lifting the taxes and levies imposed on imported construction materials. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia in June 2023, the unit price index of construction materials recorded an increase between 2.1% and 8.4% on a year-on-year comparison, for almost all construction materials except for steel and metal sections, steel and plywood. This added to the challenges faced by property developers, on top of inflationary pressures and economic uncertainties.
Incentives for development of green features
"We hope the government will continue to expand green building development and consider providing small grants to developers to encourage industry participants to incorporate more green features and renewable energy sources such as solar panels into their developments. These measures will contribute to the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral nation by 2050," said Leong.
Incentives for adoption of IBS, BIM
As announced in Budget 2021, the tax incentive given to manufacturers of Industrialised Building System (IBS) components was extended for another five years, until 31 December 2025. "We hope that the government will consider extending attractive incentives to property developers who utilise IBS and Building Information Modelling (BIM) in their construction projects, particularly affordable residential developments. This will encourage more property developers to adopt IBS and BIM, resulting in higher-quality developments, reduced labour dependence, increased site neatness, and increased productivity," said Leong.