KUCHING: More public housing projects will be launched within the coming three years to help bring down the current market price.
Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg said these affordable houses would be built in urban areas where the prices of housing had soared to an extent whereby even those slightly above the middle-income line would struggle to make ends meet.
He also pointed out private housing developers had marked up a 100 per cent margin when it came to selling prices. And such profit margin, he said, is unreasonable.
“Prices of double-storey terraced and semi-detached houses are excessive. I have talked to the developers who say building material prices have gone up, but the increase in proportion is not reasonable.
“In order to reduce the housing prices, we need to flood the market with more affordable houses. We want to sell houses within reasonable prices, like RM200,000 and below for a double-storey terraced house and RM300,000 to RM350,000 for a semi-detached house,” he said at a Lunar New Year gathering at Wisma Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in Semariang here yesterday.
According to him, a double-storey terraced house is now priced at between RM300,000 and RM350,000 while a semi-detached house costs about RM500,000 to RM600,000.
Abang Johari said his ministry would work closely with Jabatan Perumahan Negari, Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) towards cutting back prices to benefit more house buyers.
Citing a letter he recently received from a lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), he said the lecturer registered a combined monthly income of RM6,000 with his wife, but had asked whether he could purchase an affordable house.
“As we all know affordable houses are for those earning RM3,000 and below. But the lecturer justifies why he can only afford a low-cost house. He says if he was to get a double-storey terraced house and take up a loan of RM300,000, he would have to pay RM2,300 to RM2,500 for monthly instalment.
“Both he and his wife have a car loan each, totalling over RM1,000 for instalments a month. He also says he needs to pump petrol up to RM600 every month, not to mention telephone and utility bills. At the end of the day, he has only a balance of RM500 left. So he says he needs an affordable house.”
Abang Johari thus assured the ministry together with HDC and other federal housing agencies would make sure to provide more affordable homes as one of the means to tackle social problems.
“We have to do something in order to enable the people to get houses at reasonable prices. With the joint efforts of all, I believe we can re-stabilise the prices.”
Met by journalists later, he said the government had “a certain formula” as well as new housing regulations to address the rising house prices.
He added the ministry also supported the call for a child-care centre to be included in future housing projects.