Cement price hike: Government needs to step in, says property developer

SHAH ALAM (June 18): Government intervention is needed to ensure housing affordability in light of the cement price hike, said LBS Bina Group Bhd managing director and MGB Bhd group managing director Tan Sri Lim Hock San.

He said the cement price increase will raise the cost of construction and further squeeze the margin for affordable housing development, making developers think twice when rolling out such projects.

“I really hope the government could look at this issue seriously as the cement price increase will spark a chain reaction in the industry, thus discouraging developers to build,” Lim explained.

He said affordable housing is still in demand citing LBS Bina’s newly launched affordable homes on Malay reserve land in Cybersouth which has received good market response.

“We have launched 896 units with a selling price of RM330,000 and as many as 280 units were taken up within two months,” said Lim.

While the government encourages the private sector to participate in building more affordable homes, rising construction cost could discourage developers to venture into this housing segment.

Meanwhile, MGB Bhd through a joint venture with PNSB Construction Sdn Bhd -- PCSB-MGB Consortium has inked a collaboration agreement with Must Ehsan Development Sdn Bhd to develop 1,800 units of Rumah Idaman on a 16-acre plot in Cahaya Alam, Shah Alam.

The Idaman Cahaya project is the second Rumah Idaman project by the Selangor government, which aims to provide affordable housing priced at RM250,000 to the B40 and M40 groups.

Lim said MGB will be using the Industrialised Building System (IBS) precast concrete technology to develop this project.

The 1,800-unit affordable housing project will aim to hand over of its first phase by 2023.

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