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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — The Finance Ministry announced today a 100 per cent exemption in stamp duty payment for first-time house buyers.
Its Minister Lim Guan Eng said the move was primarily to increase home ownership among Malaysians as well as to boost the sluggish residential real estate market that has resulted in an overhang of unsold developer units.
“As announced in Budget 2019, the Pakatan Harapan Government has agreed to give 100 per cent stamp duty exemption as incentive for the purchase of first homes,” he said in a statement.
However, the exemption is not without its caveats.
The minister said full exemption will be given to those whose first homes cost between RM300,001 and RM1 million and are bought direct from developers, between January 1 and June 30 next year.
He added that stamp duty will be charged again from July 1, 2019 at a rate of 1 per cent for the first RM100,000; a subsequent 2 per cent until RM500,000; and 3 per cent after that till RM1 million.
The government also gave exemptions on stamp duty, certificate of ownership transfer and loan agreements on pre-owned homes valued up to RM300,000 for purchases inked from January 1 next year right up to December 31, 2020.
The same conditions applied for buyers of pre-owned houses costing between RM300,001 and RM500,000.
Lim also said the government is maintaining the stamp duty on higher-end properties costing between RM1 million and RM2.5 million for six months starting January 1, 2019.
“The Pakatan Harapan government has been thoughtful and fair in allocating sufficient time so that the ownership transfer processes for those properties can be completed within the stipulated period before the new rates are enforced on July 1, 2019,” he said.
Lim had in Budget 2019 announced that stamp duties rate for properties worth more than RM1 million until RM2.5 million will go up by 1 per cent from the existing three per cent.