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(File pix) The government will introduce three price categories of affordable housing which will be developed under the National Housing Policy by mid-November, at the latest. Bernama Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will introduce three price categories of affordable housing which will be developed under the National Housing Policy by mid-November, at the latest.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the three new categories are houses worth RM150,000 and below; those worth RM150,000 to RM300,000; and those priced at RM300,000 to RM500,000.

She said all housing projects under the five housing entities comprising Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (PR1MA); 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPA1M); UDA Holdings Bhd; Syarikat Perumahan Negara (SPNB); and the Hardcore Poor Housing Programme (PPRT) will be streamlined under one programme.

“This means that the housing entities will use the same design, same pricing and the same management,” she told reporters after launching the Malaysia Property Expo (Mapex 2018) here yesterday.

Zuraida said various efforts are being made to narrow the pricing gap between affordable houses and luxury houses through ongoing discussions with Bank Negara Malaysia.

“We are also looking at various options for social housing requirements in town areas, particularly the rent-to-own (RTO) scheme, where those renting will be given time to plan and buy their house after five years (of renting),” she said, adding that the build-and-sell scheme will not be part of the Ministry’s agenda for the time being.

Zuraida also expressed optimism on the property industry's outlook, given the various policies and efforts being made to enable people to own a house.

Meanwhile, Real Estate Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (Rehda) immediate past president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said he hopes the government will not introduce new taxes, or developmental and compliance costs to the housing industry as it is already reeling from very tight margins.

“It is a volume game, not a margin game to us. Our (developer’s) margins are thinner, at about 12-16 per cent now compared with 35-40 per cent some 30 years ago.

“To say that we are making a lot more money now is incorrect. We are making about the same because the volume is bigger. For example, if we once needed (to sell) 1,000 units to earn our margin, now, we need 3,000 units to earn the same margin,” he added.

The three-day Mapex 2018, organised by Rehda, ends on Sunday, Oct 14.

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