Sarawak developers in a fix over low cost housing ruling

SIBU (Sarawak): Sarawak housing developers are in a fix over the mandatory ruling for them to build low cost houses if their proposed development areas exceed four hectares.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers' Association (SHEDA) Secretary-General, Sim Kiang Chiok, said they were also required to do the same on projects where native land is reclassified to mixed zone.

"We of course appreciate and support the government's effort to provide affordable housing to the lower income group.

"But the ceiling prices of RM40,000 for an intermediate unit and RM47,000 for a corner unit for low cost housing is simply economically unrealistic," he said at the launching of the annual SHEDA Home and Property Road Show here Friday Aug 27.

Sim said land, building materials, utilities, infrastructures and labour were getting costly.

The developers, he said, would have to subsidise heavily in selling at these prices.

"Inevitably, we will have to pass on the extra cost to medium and high end house buyers," he said.

Sim said a solution was for the public sector housing agencies to take up the task as they would be in a better position to acquire subsidies and other forms of government aid.

"Another possibility is for the government to provide land and build or subsidise the infrastructure of such housing estates," he suggested.

This will reduce the cost as land and infrastructure make up the major portion of the costs, he added.

He said SHEDA was pursuing the matter with the government and is hopeful of an amicable solution.

On a more positive note, he said the association was grateful to the state government for easing the process of land lease renewals and lowering the renewal fees.

Sim said the recent revised premium for the renewal of land leases for residential, commercial and agricultural purposes was by far the lowest in the country.

Under the revised rate, the premium is RM1,000 for terraced residential land use, RM3,000 per unit for semi-detached and RM6,000 per unit for detached.

For commercial land use, the rate is RM40,000 per unit for primary town land, RM20,000 for secondary and RM10,000 for rural town.

For agricultural land use, the revised rate is RM5,000 per acre for town land, RM2,500 per acre for suburban and RM200 per acre for country land, with renewal processing time reduced from 12 weeks to only two weeks.

"This is a boost for the housing industry and a great relief for private property owners," Sim said.- Bernama
Looking for properties to buy or rent? With >150,000 exclusive listings, including undervalued properties, from vetted Pro Agents, you can now easily find the right property on Malaysia's leading property portal EdgeProp! You can also get free past transacted data and use our proprietary Edge Reference Price tool, to make an informed purchase.