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Support for first-time buyers top priority: Juwai survey

22 Jul 2021 / 21:24 H.

PETALING JAYA: A survey by real estate technology group Juwai IQI has revealed the Malaysian real estate industry’s Budget 2022 priorities, which focuses on supporting first-time buyers and others who may have been affected by the pandemic.

Juwai IQI group co-founder and CEO Kashif Ansari said Budget 2022 will sum up the government’s goals and expectations – being one of the most important measures they put into effect this year.

“Budget 2021 was about fighting Covid. We expect Budget 2022 to finish that fight and then return the country to sustainable economic growth once the pandemic is behind us.”

It surveyed real estate agents across the country on the top-priority property market-related measures they would like to see included in Budget 2022. The three measures that are most popular with the real estate industry are doing more to support first time buyers, providing stamp duty relief, and reinstating the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC). Each of these was the top priority for 18% to 19% of the industry surveyed, nearly one out of every five agents.

“What the three highest priority policy measures have in common is a focus on making it easier for first-time and lower-priced buyers to acquire their own home and the financial security and wealth building opportunities that go along with homeownership.

“We have all seen how unexpected external events such as the pandemic can upend the most carefully laid plans. If we can help young buyers obtain the security of owning their own home, we can ensure that the pandemic years were not lost years,“ said Kashif.

He added that the government has launched eight separate stimulus plans to support Malaysians and the economy in the face of the pandemic, and these efforts have helped many of them.

Four measures were nearly tied in the middle range of priority, with about one out of every 10 industry respondents choosing each of them. These are lowering the real property gains tax, increasing the minimum wage in major cities, reintroducing the Developer Interest Bearing scheme, and reintroducing Malaysia My Second Home.

The industry’s top priorities differed somewhat by state. In Penang, Sabah and Sarawak, 27% of respondents favour extending the HOC, nine percentage points higher than the national level. Nationally, only 18% of agents call the HOC the top priority.

Reintroducing Malaysia My Second Home scheme was the first priority for 9% of agents nationally but was not a priority for any agents in Penang, Sabah or Sarawak.

“The survey reveals the most critical measures for the real estate market. Of course, the government will also use Budget 2022 to address other areas of the economy and society. The other areas of focus will likely include helping the most vulnerable, green growth, helping businesses digitalise and helping people combat the effects of the pandemic.

“The initiatives taken by the government during the pandemic are appreciated and we foresee that the government will balance limited fiscal space with a wide range of competing needs. We conducted this survey to illuminate the views of the real estate professionals who daily work to help families buy or sell a home,” said Kashif.

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