PETALING JAYA (Oct 29): CBRE | WTW group managing director Foo Gee Jen (pictured) maintained a neutral outlook for the real estate industry in light of the tabling of Budget 2022 today.

The allocation for low-cost housing and the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) abolishment for property sales from the sixth year will benefit the low-income earners and encourage more home upgraders respectively, Foo told EdgeProp.my.

"The home upgraders can sell their [current] properties without worrying of being taxed," he said.

However, he expressed disappointment that there was no announcement on waivers, especially on stamp duty for property purchases.

"The government should probably at least provide a stamp duty waiver for the first RM300,000 of the housing price, for example. This will help ease the burden of those in the B40 and M40 income groups," said Foo.

Commenting on the absence of an announcement of the extension of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), Foo said: "To me, the HOC has been going on for quite some time. Market prices have adjusted. Hence, even without [the extension], developers would continue to provide discounts.

Meanwhile, he made note that there should be some form of support for the Malaysian My Second Home (MM2H) programme, as there was no mention of the easing of requirements during the tabling.

Nevertheless, Foo said it is a commendable Budget overall, given the present circumstances.

"I am quite happy that the government is planning for the future with the largest expenditure for the Ministry of Education (MOE). Furthermore, with a large allocation for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) of RM6.6 billion, more vocational and technical workers can be trained to support building and manufacturing activities, for instance.

“It will lead to a decrease in reliance on foreign workers. This will put us on better footing and encourage investments," said Foo.

As presented by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, the MOE will be receiving RM52.6 billion in expenditure or 16% of estimated overall national spending for Budget 2022.

"Additionally, the proposed Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) and Public Expenditure Review will bode well with a progressive government, allowing check and balance in terms of government spending and boosting investors confidence as well," said Foo.

The FRA is scheduled to be introduced next year with the aim of improving governance, accountability and transparency in the country's fiscal management to ensure fiscal sustainability and support macroeconomic stability.

According to Zafrul, a Public Consultation Paper on the Act had been published and the draft to the Act was being prepared -- while taking constructive feedback into consideration.

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