I REFER to the article “Housing glut: Who’s at fault?” (NST, Nov 20). According to Bank Negara Malaysia, there are some 130,690 units of unsold properties in the first half of this year and it is the highest in a decade.
Eighty-three per cent of the unsold units were priced above RM250,000, and 61 per cent were high-rise properties. It is common knowledge that many people can only afford to buy properties priced RM250,000 and below.
It is difficult to understand why developers continue to build properties that people cannot afford. Why don’t the developers emulate the strategy adopted by budget airlines and build no frills, well-designed, comfortable housing that are priced around RM250,000?
Many high-rise properties have large swimming pools, large gardens and other luxury amenities that push up the selling price.
I have a unit in a high-rise property which has a big swimming pool, large garden, tennis court and other amenities that are grossly under-utilised.
Recently, the management decided to convert the tennis court into a futsal court and the large convention hall into badminton courts and space for table tennis tables.
Those under-utilised facilities had taken a lot of space and were costly to construct, which could have pushed up the selling price.
They were also costly to maintain and pushed up the monthly maintenance fees.
What the people want are well-designed properties with good elevator facilities and other amenities like a gym and badminton courts.
Developers should look at building units of various sizes in their projects to meet the demands of people with different income levels and needs.
A two-bedroom unit with a reasonable built-up area would be affordable to many, especially young people or newlyweds.
They buy property that they can afford now and upgrade later when their incomes go up.
There should be incentives for developers to build affordable homes such as waiving land conversion charges.
Many affordable high-rise housing in Hong Kong and Singapore, for example, are well-designed and comfortable without expensive amenities.
Subang Jaya, Selangor