Affordable homes a big draw

The Penang government has received over 8,000 applications for its affordable housing units priced from RM200,000 to RM400,000.

“The response is very encouraging and I urge Penangites to register for them as the chances of being allocated a unit is very high,” said state Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.

He said this in his talk on affordable housing at the Star Property Fair 2015 held at the Sunway Carnival Mall and Convention Centre in Seberang Jaya yesterday.

Jagdeep added that applicants could also get to chose their preferred project.

“We think this option is only fair as potential buyers know what they are getting,” he said.

He added that the state had also being engaged in serious talks with banks to provide special preferential loans to low-cost (LC) and low medium-cost (LMC) property applicants.

“We hope the banks will get back to us soon,” he said.

He said the state government had 22,545 units of LC, LMC and affordable housing units while the private sector had about 10,000 units.

In a separate talk on Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST), AljeffriDean managing partner Neoh Chin Wah said that before the implementation of the GST, property buyers needed to know whether the gains were taxable under the income tax or the RPGT.

“But with GST, the situation has become more complex. It may look like you actually have to pay only the 6% GST instead of the 10% sales and government tax, but the cost to implement GST is very heavy.

“For example, developers have to engage more staff to handle the process of implementing GST.

“This administrative cost needs to be passed on, if they want to make a profit,” Neoh said.

MNP Auctioneers (Central) Sdn Bhd managing director Stephen Soon said the number of property auctions in Penang was expected to increase this year.

He said the number of properties which were auctioned in Penang a year ago was between 300 and 500 a month.

“Due to the rising cost of living and a high household debt ratio, we can expect to see the figure moving up this year,” he said.

The number of forthcoming properties to be auctioned in Penang is 156, according to Soon.

“In Kedah, the number is 161 while in the Klang Valley, it is 573,” Soon said.

Soon was delivering his talk on ‘Buy Auction Properties, It is Truly Affordable’ at the Star Property Fair 2015 held at the Sunway Carnival Mall and Convention Centre in Seberang Jaya.

He said buyers of auctioned properties could apply for bank loans and the legal fees involved were the same as those buying a property in the subsale or primary market.

In a separate talk on choosing an auspicious property, Indian Feng Shui expert T. Selva said more developers were building residential and commercial properties according to the principles of Indian vasthu sastra or Chinese feng shui.

“There is demand for such properties, which are designed according ancient values, as the buyers want to live in peace, happiness and good health,” he said.

Selva said the Indian vasthu sastra has become increasingly popular as it is not based on racial beliefs.

“Furthermore, it is also easy to follow as there is no need to renovate a home to adopt the principles.

“All you need to do is to rearrange the interior of a house,” Selva said.

He added that the period starting from March is an auspicious time to buy property for investment.

Meanwhile, Zeon Properties chief executive officer Leon Lee said in his talk on ‘Infrastructure: The Key to Property Development’ that infrastructure plays an important role in influencing the value of properties.

“Infrastructure is commonly perceived to comprise only roads and transportation system. But, infrastructure also encompasses electricity, water supply, and telecommunication system,” he said.

He added that in Penang, the property prices near the second Penang bridge had also shot up.

“A terrace house that cost RM795,000 in 2008 now costs RM1.45mil in 2014,” he said.

With the RM6.3bil mega projects being planned in Penang, Lee said property owners and potential buyers in the vicinity of the projects could anticipate a price increase.

These projects are the 6.5km undersea tunnel from Gurney Drive to Bagan Ajam, 4.2km Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass, 4.6km Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Ching Eu-Bandar Baru Air Itam bypass and a 12km road connecting Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang. - By The Star

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