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  • Meeting demand: (From right) Lim, IJM Land general manager (northern region) Toh Chin Leong and Chan checking out the scale model of a project at Mapex 2014.

    THE Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) has appealed to the Chief Minister to defer even further the implementation of some of the state’s new housing rules.

    Rehda (Penang) chief Datuk Jerry Chan asked Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to consider delaying, beyond the new March 1 deadline, the 2% levy on sellers disposing of their property within three years.

    “We are at the stage where people are worried about the rising cost of living. There is an expected fuel and electricity hike in the next few months.

    “There has been a 30% decrease in property demand while on the other side, there is the rising cost of construction.

    “Rehda appeals to the Chief Minister to hold back or defer the policy. This is the time to help us and not to burden us,” he said in his speech during the opening ceremony of the Malaysia Property Exhibition (Mapex) 2014 at G Hotel yesterday.

    Chan also urged the state to engage Rehda to get its feedback before introducing new policy changes.

    He said earlier that the ringgit had depreciated, causing the cost of labour and materials to increase.

    “We cannot buy land at today’s rates and then sell at today’s prices due to the cost of developing it,” he said.

    He added that Budget 2014 had failed to address the needs of first-time house buyers.

    “A lot of them could not get loans. We can continue to build affordable housing but how are they going to own a home if they cannot get loans?” he asked, adding that house buyers, investors, industrialists and developers were confident in the long-term economic well-being in Penang.

    In his speech, Lim said certain measures had to be taken for sustainable growth for the property market in Penang.

     

    “This is more like a pause. Foreign property and industry specialists feel strongly that these measures will help to ensure that there will be no property bubble.

    “This is a necessary step. We will not implement measures where you do not earn money. We want to make sure you earn but not so much.

    “The key thing is to make the property market sustainable. Our core duty is also to provide housing for all, especially first-time buyers.”

    Lim added that the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS) should be revived for first-time buyers of affordable housing.

    Rehda Penang and Henry Butcher Malaysia Penang are the organisers of Mapex 2014, the largest nationwide property exhibition, held in conjunction with Chinese New Year.

    Its media partners are Property Guru and Kwong Wah Yit Poh.

    Some 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the exhibition.

    Amongst the major participating developers are IJM Land Bhd, Sunway Grand Sdn Bhd, Chong & Co, Boon Siew Group, Airmas Group, UDA Land, DK-MY Properties Sdn Bhd, Tropicana Corporation Berhad, Plenitude Berhad, New Bob Realty Sdn Bhd, Bertam Properties Sdn Bhd, and East West One Marketing Sdn Bhd.

    Mapex is held until tomorrow from 10am to 9pm.

    The exhibition is aimed at targeting overseas Penangites and other Malaysians returning to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

    Tourists from Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Britain are also expected to attend the exhibition.

    Among the talks scheduled for the event are ‘Penang Property Market Outlook’ by Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) senior vice-president Shawn Ong, ‘Penang Island: Corridors of Growth’ by research director Ho Chin Soon, ‘Consumers and Property Spending Patterns’ by Property Guru country manager Gerard Kho and ‘New Property Management Issues and Challenges: What Needs to be Known?’ by Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managers president Ishak Ismail.

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