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Malaysia was just starting to come down from the dizzying heights of unsold property numbers in 2018 when the world went flu-crazy. Despite that spanner in the works, we have collectively come out fairly intact.

In contrast to global expectations of economic contraction, our economy actually grew. That expansion of a measly 0.7% would have raised alarm bells under most other “normal” circumstances, but in this unique time, that’s a positive sign.

Which goes to show that even a lockdown is not going to keep us from our food. Photo by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

With Malaysia now in tentative recovery, the continuation of 2019’s Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) aims to address the property overhang.

When the HOC first came about in 2019, the effects were a 5% reduction in the numbers and values of unsold residential properties that remained unsold 9 months after completion, a 10% reduction in unsold residential properties under construction, and a 15% reduction in unsold homes that had yet to be constructed.

The residential property overhang is disappearing at an even faster rate in 2020.

That progress has not slowed even with a certain pathogen thrown into the mix. Statistics from the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) show the overhang being whittled away at an increasing pace in 2020.

In the first quarter of 2020, the numbers and values of unsold residential properties that fall within the strict definition of “overhang” have been reduced by 9.8%, homes under construction by 12.4%, and homes to be constructed by 16.9%.

There remain 29,698 overhang residential properties valued at approximately RM18,910,000 as of the end of Q1 2020.

Just 10 more bites like that and we’re done. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

In an effort to keep this ball rolling over the pandemic speedbump, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reintroduced the HOC as a component of the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), announced on 5th June of this year.

The HOC brings back the beloved 10% discount from developers on registered properties and extends stamp duty exemption on loan agreements and instruments of transfer for homes priced from RM300,000 to as high as RM2.5 million.

To further encourage more Malaysians on the fence to become homeowners, the stamp duty exemption now also applies to sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) signed between 1st June 2020 to 31st May 2021.

The real property gains tax (RPGT) was something property investors griped about a lot in the last couple of years, but to help alleviate cash-flow issues among property owners who over-leveraged themselves before the pandemic, RPGT exemptions have been introduced for the sale of up to three properties to the end of 2021.

On the flip side, the 70% financing limit for your third or subsequent housing loan (for properties valued at RM600,000 or higher) will be temporarily lifted during the HOC, but the banks will be applying their own risk assessments in determining exactly how much credit they are willing to extend.

On the whole, things are looking positive for us Malaysians, and the HOC is a measure to make our recovery all the more certain.

(Written by Kevin Eichenberger, 30th June 2020)


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Airbnb high bookings are a good sign for tourism recovery. Slowly but surely Malaysia will recover from the after effects of Covid-19.