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THE Ministry of Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government is studying the possibility of increasing the real property gains tax (RPGT) to stabilise the prices of houses in the country.

The current RPGT is not effective in stabilising house prices and may need to be increased to curb unhealthy speculation, minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan told reporters after launching the 16th Malaysia Housing and Property Summit.

On whether the move will be announced in Budget 2014, Abdul Rahman said, "I wouldn't say that there will be an increase in RPGT in the coming budget. That will be entirely the prime minister's decision. As far as I'm concerned, we're studying the possibility and if it can cool down the market, it would be on the table."

He said RPGT was one of the government's policies that had a big and immediate impact.

Earlier in his speech, Abdul Rahman said the effectiveness of the RPGT in curbing housing speculation is questionable. To ensure a sustainable housing delivery system, the RPGT was reintroduced in 2011 to curb speculation and prevent the market from overheating, he explained.

The RPGT was increased to 15% in 2012, from 10% in 2011, for property sold within two years.

However, in 2011 and 2012, the National Property Information Centre's House Price Index recorded the highest increase in the last five years, especially in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Pahang, Sabah, Perak and Terengganu, Abdul Rahman said. — Bernama

Mah Sing expands landbank in Rawang

Mah Sing Group Bhd is betting heavily on Rawang in Selangor, which will be linked to Kuala Lumpur city by mass rapid transit.

The property developer acquired another piece of land in the once rural backwater, to develop its third township there — M Residence 3 — which will increase its gross development value (GDV) in the area to RM2.13 billion.

The proposed 96.7-acre development with an estimated GDV of RM520 million, consists of 2-storey link and 2-storey semi-detached houses, and amenities and facilities. It is projected to be developed in three to five years. A preview is expected in the second half of next year.

Mah Sing acquired the land through wholly-owned Mediterranean View Development Sdn Bhd for RM68.66 million cash or RM16.30 psf, from Ng Tan Moi and Tan Lee Kau. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said the land is located less than 5km from M Residence and M Residence 2.

"The proposed acquisition is timely and opportunistic for the group, allowing it to capitalise on the branding already established in Rawang, and tap the spillover demand from the two existing projects," said the developer.

Matrix embarks on maiden property venture in KL

Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd (MCHB) has acquired a piece of prime land measuring over one acre near the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) for RM43.6 million, for its maiden property project in the capital city.

The company intends to undertake a mixed-use development with a GDV of RM250 million. It will comprise high-rise serviced apartments with full facilities, as well as retail and food and beverage outlets.

MCHB already has projects in Bandar Sri Sendayan in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, and Taman Seri Impian in Kluang, Johor.

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia recently, MCHB said the land was purchased by the group's wholly-owned subsidiary Superb Approach Sdn Bhd, from Chong Hoe Realty Sdn Bhd.

The two parcels of adjoining land are located in Jalan Ipoh Kecil, which is accessible via Jalan Putra and is within walking distance of PWTC's LRT station and the Chow Kit Monorail station. The area is surrounded by condominiums, hotels, shopoffices, office buildings and shopping malls.

MCHB said it expects work on the development to commence next year, and its completion in the next three years.

This story first appeared in The Edge weekly edition of Sept 2-8, 2013.

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