Builders call for tax cuts to help home buyers

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A house-buyers’ association says developers should get tax benefits for lowering the price of houses.

PETALING JAYA: House buyers and housing developers have called for federal government incentives to reduce the cost of building houses and to enable more Malaysians to buy their first homes.

Chang Kim Loong, secretary-general of the national house buyers association, said tax benefits should be provided in the 2023 federal budget to encourage developers to lower house prices without affecting quality and structural safety.

He said he had also proposed that the government invest in modern construction technology and localise construction costs to make projects more efficient and cost-effective.

“Moving towards localising construction costs and digital methods will also help create job opportunities for the locals,” he said.

Housing developers hoped there would be budget measures to cut the cost of construction materials, and incentives to help first-time home buyers.

NK Tong, president of the real estate and housing developers association, said duties on certain construction materials could be reduced or waived, and charges on imported material lifted.

He also suggested that first-time home buyers be provided with tax deductions on housing loan interest during the construction period, or RM20,000 in personal income tax relief on property costing up to RM500,000.

He hopes that first-time house buyers will be provided with a one-off grant of RM30,000 for purchases up to RM500,000.

Tong said a recent property survey had shown that half of the respondents were not eligible for affordable housing schemes, and they could not afford to buy a property without aid.

“As the country continues to open up from the pandemic lockdowns, we need to ensure that all cylinders of the economy are firing to ensure a smooth recovery,” he said.
“These requests are focused on making it more affordable for the people to own their first home,” he added.

The 2023 federal budget is scheduled to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Friday.