Affordable homes only for genuine buyers, says Johor MB

Affordable homes only for genuine buyers, says Johor MB

GELANG PATAH - Johor has assured that its affordable housing scheme will benefit eligible and genuine house buyers and not speculators.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the scheme was meant for first-time house owners and not for those who already ownned residential properties in Johor.

"The 28,000 affordable houses to be built, including 20,000 in Iskandar Malaysia within the next five years, will go to the right people," he said.

Registration for the houses would start next month, he said, adding that the homes were meant to be owner-occupied and not to be rented out. The allocation process for the affordable houses to the rightful buyers would be done in a transparent manner, he said at the ground breaking ceremony of the Friends of Iskandar Malaysia food court at Taman Nusa Perintis 1 yesterday.

On another matter, developers in the state are against a proposal to increase the ceiling price for foreigners to purchase property from RM500,000 to RM1mil (S$393,000).

KGV International Property Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd director Samuel Tan Wee Cheng said there would be a domino effect if the state government decided to do so.

"Iskandar is already gaining good momentum since its inception seven years ago but this new pricing may have a negative impact on the economic zone," he said.

On the proposed increase of the real property gains tax (RPGT) to 30 per cent, Wee Cheng said most foreigners buying properties in Iskandar, especially Singaporeans, were genuine investors, adding that a higher RGPT would only affect speculators who wanted to flip the properties for a quick buck.

Country View Bhd senior marketing manager Andrew Tan said Johor was not ready to increase the minimum ceiling for foreigners as the price of residential properties in the state were still low, unlike in the Klang Valley and Penang.

"There should not be a blanket ruling. Let the respective state government decide whether they want to increase it or not," he said.

KSL Holdings Bhd executive director Ku Hwa Seng said the higher tax rate would slow down the market as buyers would give careful thought before making their purchase.

However, he said genuine house buyers who wanted a place of their own or to lease out would not be affected.

SP Setia Bhd divisional general manager Hoe Mee Ling said the company welcomed the higher tax as it would curb speculative buying.

She said the revision of the tax would stabilise house prices, giving more chances to young Malaysian adults to own houses.

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