Budget 2020: Reducing property overhang, improving accessibility

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will lower the threshold on high-rise property prices in urban areas for foreign ownership from RM1mil to RM600,000 in 2020.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in his budget speech that the move will work towards reducing the supply overhang of condominiums and apartments, which amounted to RM8.3bil as at the second quarter of 2019.

Addressing also the public opinion over the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), the government will revise the base year for asset acquisition to Jan 1,2013, from the previous base year of Jan 1,2000.

Previously, the RPGT valuation on property purchased before the year Jan 1,2000, was calculated from Jan 1,2000 onwards. Under the new ruling, properties bought before Jan 1,2013, would be valuated from Jan 1,2013.

Among other initiatives, the government will also extend a Youth Housing Scheme administered by Bank Simpanan Nasional from Jan 1,2020 to Dec 31,2021.

Included in the scheme, the government will also offer a 10% loan guarantee through Cagamas to enable borrowers access to full financing while providing a RM200 monthly instalment assistance for the first two years, limited to 10,000 home units.

The Finance Minister also mentioned ongoing initiatives such as the Fund for Affordable Home, which was launched in January 2019 to help the lower-income group purchase their first homes at a concessionary interest rate of up to 3.5%.

On September 1,2019, the value of properties covered under the fund was increased to RM300,000 from RM150,000 previously.

Those eligible include households with a maximum income of RM4,360, representing the threshold income for the B40 group.

“As of September 2019,2, 840 applications amounting to RM472.7 million have been received. The approval rate is 77.9%, with 982 applications amounting to RM156.2 million being approved,” said the Finance Minister.

Meanwhile, the government has extended the the Home Ownership Campaign by six months to Dec 31,2019, whereby developers providing a discount of at least 10% for qualified properties will be matched with stamp duty exemptions.

Lim added that the government will collaborate with financial institutions in introducing Rent To Own Financing schemes, where up to RM10bil will be provided by financial institutions with support form the government via a 30% or RM3bil guarantee.