PETALING JAYA (Nov 6): S P Setia Bhd has hoped for the government to taking the lead role in building affordable housing for the B40 income group as this will enable a more cohesive, consistent and efficient macro implementation and results while the developers can concentrate fully on the free market housing.

"However, developers can contribute to a fund for this purpose," S P Setia Bhd president and CEO Datuk Khor Chap Jen (pictured) said in the post-budget feedback statement today.

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Applauding the efforts of the government as laid out in Budget 2021 today by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz, the developer stated that the initiative to provide comfortable and quality housing to the B40 category will be of much help. It was announced during the tabling of the Budget that the government will be allocating RM1.2 billion to this initiative  which include building more homes under the People's Housing Project (PPR), Rumah Mesra Rakyat by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) and Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPAM); maintenance of low and medium-low cost strata-housing; and upgrading old houses and those damaged by natural disasters.

Besides that, the developer also lauded the government's decision to provide Rent-to-Own (RtO) schemes for those eligible under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme (PR1MA).

"It would help ease the homeowners' challenge to come up with the upfront down payments. We do, however, hope that the government would consider extending this scheme (RtO) beyond PR1MA as more eligible homebuyers will be able to benefit from this effort," said Khor. Under Budget 2021, the government will be partnering with selected financial institutions to prepare 5,000 PR1MA housing units worth more than RM1 billion for first-time homebuyers only.

He added that the exemption of stamp duty on the Memorandum of Transfer (MoT) and legal fees will help to spur sales from first-time homebuyers. "Waiving this duty is a good move to help boost interest as it lessens the affordability gap for first-time homebuyers," noted Khor.  This exemption is valid for the purchase of the first home priced below RM500,000 with agreements signed from Jan 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2025.

Meanwhile, the decision to spend on large infrastructure projects will provide a big boost to the overall economy as well, Khor said. "It will impact the entire supply chain and rejuvenate the economy. By extension, it encourages real estate development over a larger area," said Khor.

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