KUALA LUMPUR (June 30): Putrajaya as agreed to extend the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) for another six months from July 1, 2019 until Dec 31, 2019, the Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng announced in a statement today.

This means that the stamp duty exemption for HOC first-time homebuyers has also been extended to the same period.

"The Finance Ministry has accepted the KPKT Minister, YB Puan Hajah Zuraida Kamaruddin’s, request in support of REHDA’s (Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association) appeal to extend the HOC period for another six months," Lim said in the statement.

"To encourage the increase in the level of home ownership among Malaysians and achieve the objective of reducing the number of unsold houses, the government has agreed to extend the HOC for another six months," he added.

Lim explained "that HOC has received a positive reception from the public as the stamp duty exemption incentives and discounts of at least 10% were able to reduce the cost of home ownership especially for Malaysians who have never owned a house".

The HOC combines government incentives in the form of stamp duty exemptions and incentives from housing developers of at least 10% discounts on purchase prices.

With the HOC, a home priced between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million (purchased from a developer registered with REHDA, [Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association] Shareda and [Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association] Sheda) enjoys a discount of 10% and a stamp duty exemption of 100% that is limited to the first RM1 million of the property's price whle the remaining value is subject to a 3% rate. There is also a 100% stamp duty exemption on the loan agreement.

In addition to the HOC, the government also has other incentives for first-home purchases, both for purchases direct from a housing developer or on the secondary market. First-time homebuyers get stamp duty exemption on the memorandum of transfer and loan agreement for property purchases priced no more than RM300,000. For purchases of between RM300,001 and RM500,000, a similar stamp duty waiver is applicable (limited to only the first RM300,000 of the house price). They are applicable for sale and purchase agreements completed between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31, 2020.

"According to a report from the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the number of unsold residential properties in Malaysia had risen to 32,313 units valued at RM19.86 billion as at the fourth quarter or 2018.

"This reflects the long-standing issues of home ownership, as well as the mismatch between the supply and demand of houses in the market. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, this represents a 30.6% increase in the volume of residential units unsold and 27.0% increase in the value of residential units," Lim added.

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