Offer unsold Bumi units to other buyers

The Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) has proposed that houses set aside for Bumiputeras be opened up to others if there are no Bumiputera buyers within six months or halfway through the construction period, whichever is earlier.

Rehda president Datuk Ng Seing Liong said the move will help ease the burden of interest payments and holding cost by industry players.

Currently, developers must set aside up to 30 per cent of available units in a housing scheme for Bumiputeras, and these are offered at five to 15 per cent discounts.

"In addition to high cost of land, property developers still have to pay for building materials and other construction costs. At times like this, it is difficult for property developers to continue and subsidise," Ng said yesterday.

He was speaking to reporters at the National Property and Housing Summit 2008, organised by the Asian Strategic and Leadership Institute.

Ng said that Rehda submitted a proposal to the government to look into the matter six months ago.

It also requested the authorities take over the development of low-cost housing so that industry players could concentrate on higher-cost projects.

Currently, lower-cost housing is being subsidised by profits from higher-cost projects. The regulator requires developers to allocate between 20 and 30 per cent of their development area to low-cost housing.

"Sometimes, these low-cost housing units go unsold and developers suffer losses," Ng said.

By Zurinna Raja Adam (Business Times)

No comments