PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - People looking to own a house any time soon will have to pay at least 10 per cent more for their dream home, according to developers.
They said the increase was due to the double whammy that has hit the construction industry - higher costs of building materials resulting from the 20 sen rise in the price of RON95 petrol and diesel and absenteeism among foreign workers because of the nationwide crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Michael Yam Kong Choy said the failure of foreigners to turn up for work was causing delays, thus adding to costs which contractors were certain to push to consumers.
He added: "The raids on construction sites have frightened even legitimate migrant workers who are staying away.
"This also happened in past raids, Legitimate migrant workers simply did not turn up for work or delayed their return from their country until the storm blew over.
"Because of the shrinking supply of workers, developers have to pay more for labour to meet contractual deadlines, failing which they will be penalised."
Developers are bound by the Sales and Purchase Agreement and will have to pay compensation to buyers for late delivery, Yam said, adding that contracts in the private sector were awarded with no provisions for price adjustments.
While acknowledging the need to flush out illegal immigrants, he said any reduction in the number of workers would hurt developers.