GEORGE TOWN, Oct 15 — The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Redha) Penang has proposed that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) be suspended for a year to boost property sales.
Its chairman, Datuk Jerry Chan, said real estate sales had dropped by 30 per cent because of tighter bank loan requirements and cautious spending following the inplementation of GST.
“Suspending GST will spur con-sumption as consumers will get a six per cent discount,” he said when asked for his Budget 2016 wish list.
“Right now, developers are focusing on affordable products.”
Chan said Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) should buy up vacant low-cost and low medium-cost properties put up for auction to rent them to the hardcore poor.
“Purchasing existing properties would be cheaper and much faster than building new properties. We will not continue to lose money building houses while existing property will not be sitting vacant,” he said.
Chan also proposed a salary increase for the lower strata of society “or else they will be stuck at poverty level if they have to survive on minimum wage”.
Datuk M. Murly, chief executive officer of property investment fund Aspen Group, said Bank Negara should consider issuing a new guideline for first-time house buyers to purchase affordable housing.
He suggested the requirement be less strict than other property investors so the first-time buyer could afford a home.
“The federal government should also consider reducing Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) as the market is soft at the moment, by bringing it down lower than 30 per cent,” he said.
“Since property buyers are already paying GST, perhaps the government could consider reducing corporate and income tax so that buyers don’t have to pay such a huge amount of money to afford a property.”