Rehda expects RM4b sales from HOC 2019

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) hopes the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019, a major sales campaign, will deliver sales of up to RM4 billion.

HOC 2019 has been primed to help developers boost sales, help consumers own homes and reduce the property overhang faced by the sector.

Rehda president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said during the previous government’s HOCs, which were held in 1998-1999 and again in 2002, developers recorded sales of around RM2 billion to RM3 billion.

“We have over 17,000 properties for sale (at this event). So, we are hoping for RM3 billion to RM4 billion in sales for the period up to end- June from this expo alone,” he said during a media briefing in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Soam said some homebuyers may not decide immediately during the expo as the stamp duty waiver for homes purchased during the HOC would be valid up until June 2019.

Rehda VP Datuk NK Tong said there will be 51 property developers who will showcase their products at the expo, besides a government pavilion featuring projects by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT), 1Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, Permodalan Nasional Bhd and UDA Holdings Bhd, among others.

“To date, the feedback from 26 of the 51 developers — not including the government pavilion — indicates there will be 17,348 properties available at the expo worth RM11.8 billion,” Tong said.

The expo, which will run from March 1-3, 2019, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is a strategic partnership between Rehda and KPKT.

“There will be properties priced at below RM300,000, as well as up to RM500,000, RM700,000 and above. Also, 18 of the 180 booths at the expo will be occupied by government bodies. Most of the big developers will be there too,” Soam said.

Under the HOC, which began on Jan 1 and will end on June 30, 2019, buyers will be exempted from paying stamp duties for the first RM1 million in value for properties worth up to RM2.5 million.

Previously, the stamp duty was charged at 1% for the first RM100,000 of the purchase consideration, 2% for the subsequent RM100,001-RM500,000 and 3% for the next RM500,001- RM1 million.

The stamp duty on loan agreements has also been waived, whereby buyers were previously charged 0.5%.

“If the response is encouraging, we may request the government to extend the stamp duty waiver to the end of 2019. But for now, we’re not looking into it because we want people to make a quick decision by June,” Soam said.

On Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s call for developers to increase the discount to 20% from the minimum 10% as set by KPKT, he said this would be left to the developers.

“The minimum discount is 10%. The developers can give more if they want to — it depends on them. Also, KPKT has relaxed the guidelines and is allowing developers to offer other freebies aside from the monetary discount. So, some developers will be giving other promotions like interiors, televisions and free movable items,” he said.

Five banks will also join the expo, namely Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), RHB Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Standard Chartered Bank (M) Bhd.

“Usually only our strategic financial partner Maybank participates, but this time we have five banks. We’re hoping that the banks will come up with their own financing packages to access buyers in a more robust manner, and enable buyers to get the margin of financing that they want,” Soam said.

He dismissed recent comments from industry observers that the HOC would not be as effective as it was in the past.

“I think they didn’t update themselves. Their facts were not based on our latest briefing with the finance minister, so they say the properties for sale are old.

“It’s not true. We’re allowed to sell properties currently under construction, so there will be a mixture of completed properties and properties under construction,” he said.

Soam added that the properties are open to all purchasers and not just first-time homebuyers.

In addition to HOC 2019, Rehda will also be holding other HOC-Malaysia Property Expo events around Peninsular Malaysia throughout the January-June 2019 campaign period.