Shareda seeks more foreign acquisition of properties
Published on: Saturday, July 20, 2019

Kota Kinabalu: Shareda is seeking the blessing and consideration of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to expand the guidelines of the State Economic Planning Unit (EPU) on the acquisition of properties in Sabah by foreign interest at the threshold value of not less than RM1 million for the purchase of 2-3 units of properties instead of one property only. 

Shareda President Chew Sang Hai said at this juncture, Shafie is also contemplating to establish a Sabah-MM2H programme under the tourism sector to act as a catalyst to lure more foreigners to buy or invest in Sabah properties. 

“This will surely give a spin-off effect to boost the economy and growth of the real property sector and its related downstream businesses in the State,” he said after a courtesy call from a delegation of Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) led by him on Shafie at his office recently. 

During the meeting, Shafie also called upon developers and members of Shareda to work closely together to complement the State Government’s initiatives and implementation of housing policies. 

“This is important for the growth of the housing and property sector in Sabah through better planning, whether in the city or township, to be equipped with basic infrastructures or amenities especially in the aspects of supply of water and electricity, road networks, tourism developments, health and wellness facilities, etc. Shafie stressed that buildings must be of good quality, practical and user-friendly, especially for those in smaller towns,” said Chew.

He added that currently, the State Government is looking into several aspects on good policies and how to improve the mechanism for planning townships and rural areas to serve the community with better amenities. 

“Soon, some of the more prominent Local Authorities i.e. DBKK, MPT, MPS, etc., will be empowered to approve development plans under their jurisdiction instead of the Central Planning Board (CB) after the revamping of certain procedures and policies to de-centralise and restructure the role functions of the CB. 

“This should reduce unnecessary delay and regulatory burdens on the government agencies in order to move towards a more conducive business environment. This is in line with the aspiration to meet the World Bank Ranking Standard towards a developed nation status. 

“This will surely speed up the approval process for Development Plans (DP) and Building Plans (BP). If there is any delay faced by developers in obtaining such approval, he assured that he will give his personal attention.”

However, Chew said Shafie’s top priority is still to stand firm for the rakyat and to protect their interest as house buyers. 

“He urged developers to settle all land dues, expedite the process of subdivision and issuance of title to all their purchasers. He said a house buyer will feel proud to receive and grasp the title deed of the property purchased.”

On the eligibility of a residential buyer in obtaining a housing loan, he is very concerned and much aware of the market sentiment in the supply and demand of housing. His administration is looking into ways and means to look into alternative source of financing for Sabahans (B40) to secure housing loan.

Shareda informed that the nationwide Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019 stamp duty exemption commenced since January 1 till June 30 for sales of residential properties value at RM300,001 to RM2.5 million has stimulated a slight improvement in the sales of residential properties in Sabah that transacted 605 units at a total value of RM329 million to date. 

Hence, Shareda is optimistic that the property market in the second half (H2) of 2019 will see a slight improvement in the delivery from the stimulus package with the extension of stamp exemption from June 30 to Dec 31.

Shareda opined that this stimulus move would boast the confident sentiment of the depressed property market and thanked the Sabah and Federal Government for their foresight to give the incentive to house buyers for stamp duty exemption in the instrument of transfer and loan agreement.


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