The rising prices of homes in Penang are a concern to the state government which is studying various proposals that will help enlarge the state’s land bank where affordable housing can be built.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state had to do this as its efforts to redress the situation by requiring affordable housing to be built by developers as well as statutory bodies had not been fully successful.
Lim said the state government had also imposed quotas on those projects with higher plot ratios and density to ensure that there were sufficient units built costing less than RM500,000.
“However that does not address the scarcity of land which can only be redressed by reclamation.
“Therefore, we are getting feedback from various parties on the matter,” he said in his speech when opening the three-day Penang International Property Expo 2010 at the Penang International Sports Arena here yesterday.
Lim said the state government was mindful of rising prices and affordable housing but pointed out that developers had the obligation to help as part of their corporate social responsibility.
On the expo, he congratulated the organisers as the gross development value of the projects offered this year exceeded RM3.5bil. A total of 56 exhibitors are taking part in the event.
StarMetro had reported yesterday that the average selling price of a residential unit on Penang island today far exceeded the average yearly income of a household.
Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute senior fellow Dr Lim Mah Hui had said in a recent forum on housing affordability that the average annual household income in Penang was RM42,000 while the average house price was RM578,000, or 14.2 times more.
He said the national average annual household income was RM38,987 while the average house price nationwide was RM180,000, or 4.6 times more.
Lim had also said that the selling price of a condominium unit on the island had increased to RM350 per sq ft from RM250 two years ago.
“Terrace houses are now selling from RM700,000 onwards, compared to RM520,000 in the second quarter of 2009,” he said. - The Star