Minister: Govt to study proposal on imposing vacancy tax for unsold luxury condos in Klang Valley

Edmund earlier said there were 2,260 unsold condominium units within the Klang Valley, of which 498 comprised luxury units worth RM1 million and above. — Photo by Choo Choy May
Edmund earlier said there were 2,260 unsold condominium units within the Klang Valley, of which 498 comprised luxury units worth RM1 million and above. — Photo by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The government will study the proposal to impose a vacancy tax on developers to address the number of unsold luxury condominium units in the Klang Valley, Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara Kumar said today.

Edmund said this in Parliament when answering Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat) on whether the government will be imposing similar tax practices as seen in several other major cities around the world such as Vancouver in Canada and Melbourne in Australia.

A vacancy tax is a tax where any property that is left vacant and unsold for a certain amount of time is charged a penalty based on a percentage of gross selling price.

“From the ministry’s point of view on the proposal to impose such tax, since the number of unsold units is less than 4 per cent to date, there is no need for now but such a proposal would be studied further,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat here.

According to data provided by the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), Edmund earlier said there were 2,260 unsold condominium units within the Klang Valley, of which 498 comprised luxury units worth RM1 million and above as of the second quarter of 2018.

Edmund added that among the factors that contributed to the accumulation of unsold luxury condo units were buyers’ inability to obtain financing loans and the mismatch in supply and demand.

He said the issue must be addressed holistically by all of those involved including the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia, adding that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will take into account the demands and necessities in issuing planning approvals for each development project in the city.

“The Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2040 (KLSP40) will definitely be a part of the reference and basis of consideration for those involved in decision-making in relation to development issues,” he said.

On another question by Hasanuddin on whether the government would consider amending the floor price of properties that foreigners could buy, Edmund said that was under the purview of the Finance Ministry.

In October 2019, then finance minister Lim Guan Eng had announced the reduction in the face value of property for foreign ownership from RM1 million previously to RM600,000.

In another supplementary question to Che Alias Hamid (PAS-Kemaman) on whether the ministry would be imposing a moratorium on luxury real estate development projects due to oversupply, Edmund replied that DBKL will study the KLSP40 thoroughly to ensure they do not accumulate into a glut.

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