GEORGE TOWN, Jan 29 ― The Penang Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) has urged the federal government to consider opening up the six-month stamp duty exemption to all house buyers instead of only first-time purchasers.

Penang Rehda chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong said the association has submitted the proposal for the government’s consideration.

“We welcome the government’s move to introduce stamp duty exemptions for first time home buyers for properties priced between RM300,001 and RM1 million for six months but we are appealing to the government to extend this to all house buyers so that we can clear more unsold stock,” he said in a press conference today.

He said they are also appealing to the government to increase the property price threshold so that the exemption can also be extended to those buying properties from RM300,001 up to RM2 million, instead of RM1 million.

He said this will be able to assist developers to clear more unsold units, adding that they expect to hear the Finance Ministry’s response this Thursday.

Toh added that the Finance Ministry as well as the Local Government and Housing Ministry are expected to make more announcements this Thursday on a nationwide Home Ownership Campaign to spur the sector.

As for the Penang state government’s announcement yesterday of a one-month exemption of the three per cent approval fees imposed on foreign purchasers, Toh said the period was too short.

“We would like to appeal to the state government to extend it up to June 30 as we need time to promote the properties and get buyers,” he said.

He said one month was insufficient especially when February is only a few days away and the purchase of properties takes a long process.

“The property market has been soft for the last two years but Penang is still the right place to invest in a property,” he said.

He said this year’s home ownership campaign has more incentives compared to the 1999 edition, making it the right time for home buyers to buy a home now.

Toh said next month’s Malaysia Property Expo (Mapex) here will be the perfect time for prospective home buyers to find a new home.

“All properties on exhibit will have a 10 per cent discount and buyers will also get these extra perks such as the stamp duty exemptions,” he said.

He said there are also exemptions on stamp duty, certificate of ownership transfer and loan agreements on properties valued up to RM300,000 for purchases inked from January 1 right up to December 31, 2020 for first time home buyers.

“These incentives are for residential properties only,” he said.

He said the stamp duty and loan agreement exemptions will mean that if a house buyer was to purchase a RM600,000 property with a 90 per cent loan, the buyer will save up to RM14,700 in stamp duty and loan agreement fees.

Toh said Mapex, will be held at Udini Square, is from February 7 to 10.

The expo will showcase properties by eight developers including the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and there will be a booth by the state housing department.