Govt urged to extend home ownership incentives to secondary market

A visitor looks at a display depicting houses for sale at Maspex Penang in George Town September 23, 2016. — Picture by KE Ooi
A visitor looks at a display depicting houses for sale at Maspex Penang in George Town September 23, 2016. — Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 20 — The Penang branch of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) has asked that the government extend the incentives under its Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) to encompass the secondary market.

MIEA Penang chairman Christina Choong said house buyers were given stamp duty exemption under the HOC but this only applied for the primary market.

“We hope the same incentive, stamp duty exemption, be extended to the secondary market which are existing properties being sold by owners instead of by developers,” she said in a joint press conference with state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo to announce its secondary property exhibition next month.

The secondary market refers to previously owned properties while the primary market refers to new properties by developers.

She said the stamp duty exemption under the HOC was mainly for the primary market and the exemption only applied for properties priced below RM300,000 in the secondary market.

She said some first-time homebuyers prefer to buy from the secondary market due to location and the immediate availability of property.

“They will have to fork out a higher deposit amount so we hope that there are incentives to help the secondary market too,” she said.

Choong said it is hard to determine the number of secondary units left unsold in the market.

“According to data from the Valuation and Property Services Department, there are about 3,000 overhang units priced above RM400,000 in the secondary market in Penang,” she said.

She also hoped the state would consider extending its approval fee exemption for foreign property buyers to the secondary market.

Jagdeep, who is housing development committee chairman, said he will bring up MIEA’s request for the approval fee exemption to be extended to second-hand properties.

In efforts to spur its property market, Penang had moved to exempt an approval fee of three per cent for foreign buyers who purchase properties in the state.

The exemption, initially until June, was extended until the end of the year and only applied for the primary market.

Choong also called on the government to tighten enforcement against unlicensed and unregistered real estate agents.

“The number of illegal agents is alarming so something must be done to stop them,” she said.

She also warned the public that these unregistered brokers do not have a governing body so there was no avenue for recource if the deal went wrong.

She added that homebuyers and sellers may lose their properties and money due to fraudulent transactions by these unregistered brokers who may not be easy to track down.

The Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition (Maspex) Penang will be held from September 19 to 22 at Queensbay Mall.

Choong said thousands of second-hand properties including residential, commercial and retail will be for sale during the event. 

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