Govt mechanisms help control rise in house prices, Senate told

Govt mechanisms help control rise in house prices, Senate told

KUALA LUMPUR (July 9): The government has implemented various control mechanisms to ensure that the rise in prices of houses is reasonable and has little impact on the people, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung.  

He said one of the measures to curb speculator activity was doubling to 10% the property gains tax on houses sold off within two years.

He also said that Bank Negara Malaysia had set at 70% the rate of financing for the purchase of a third house, with the purchasers required to come up with the 30% on their own.

"The government launched the 1Malaysia Housing Programme (PR1MA) to ensure that the medium-income group whose monthly household income does not exceed RM7,500 can afford to own a house costing between RM150,000 and RM300,000," he told the Dewan Negara.

Chor was replying to Senator Mohd Khalid Ahmad who had wanted to know what measures the ministry had implemented to check rising house prices and whether it proposed to introduce legislation to curb it.

Chor said focus was given also to the low-income group, and added that 54,215 units were built under the People's Housing Programme up to 31 December last year while 38,950 more units would be built under the 10th Malaysia Plan period (2011-2015).   

"Besides, the state governments usually impose a condition for private housing developers to build low-cost houses for up to 30% of their total housing development," he said.

He said the government had no plans as yet to introduce legislation to control house prices, but it had set ceiling prices for low-cost houses at RM42,000 for the peninsula and RM50,400 for Sabah and Sarawak.

"For the moment, property prices are not going up drastically nationwide but only in main urban centres. Ministry statistics show that the average rise in house prices nationwide between 2000 and 2010 was 33%," he said. — Bernama

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