GEORGE TOWN, Oct 21 — The Penang government has proposed that the price threshold for foreigners to purchase urban high-end properties in the state to be set at RM800,000, compared to RM600,000 announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng during the 2020 Budget.
Penang’s Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the reduction in price threshold for foreign property buyers should only apply for a period of six months instead of one year as tabled during the budget.
“Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s purpose in reducing the threshold for foreigners (purchasing built condominiums) from RM1 million to RM600,000 was to tackle the property overhang issue in the country, but in Penang, the (property overhang) issue is manageable,” he told a media conference here today.
He said the unsold property in Penang had been decreasing from 3,916 units in 2017 to 3,502 units in 2018, whereas it was increasing in other states such as Johor (4,376 to 6,066 units between the year 2017-2018) and Selangor (3,713 to 4,623 units).
“The suggestion was discussed with the state Chief Minister (Chow Kon Yeow) and will be further discussed and confirmed later during the next state exco meeting,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jagdeep also commented on the Rent to Own (RTO) financing scheme that was also tabled by Lim during the 2020 Budget.
The RTO scheme according to him, should prioritise first-time homebuyers to buy low cost and low-medium cost units valued at RM42,000 and RM72,500 respectively, as well as the affordable housing at RM150,000.
“However, according to the Budget 2020 announcement, the RTO scheme applied to properties valued of up to RM500,000, (which) to me, those who can afford that much do not really need to be helped,” he added.