Executive Commentary: Malaysia National Budget 2024

Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager, PropertyGuru Malaysia (PropertyGuru.com.my and iProperty.com.my), shares his perspective

Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager, PropertyGuru Malaysia (PropertyGuru.com.my and iProperty.com.my)

We commend the Malaysian Government’s decision to introduce various housing initiatives in the recent Budget 2024 announcement, to ensure homeownership remains affordable and attainable to all. With the government putting forward RM2.47 billion for public housing projects in 2024, we are hearted to see that the focus on targeted initiatives for the underprivileged to alleviate homeownership costs aligns with what PropertyGuru had highlighted in our Budget 2024 wish list.

Notably, we applaud the announcement of RM546 million allocated for the continued development of 36 People Housing Programmes (Program Perumahan Rakyat, PPR), including a new project in Kluang, Johor. The increase in supply of affordable homes will be key in stabilising the existing property market.

We also support the government’s initiative to allocate RM460 million to provide assistance to approximately 65,000 underprivileged rural citizens for development of new homes or the repair dilapidated units, along with RM100 million set aside for the maintenance of low and medium-cost public and private stratified housing across the country. These targeted initiatives will greatly improve the quality of life for underprivileged Malaysians, ensuring comfort and safety in their own homes.

Recently, our PropertyGuru Malaysia Property Market Report (MPMR) Q3 2023 highlighted that there is a mismatch between consumer demand and property prices, with continued resistance from potential homebuyers towards higher asking prices. Thus, we welcome the government’s decision to impose a 4% stamp duty on any housing transactions by non-Malaysians or private foreign organizations, excluding permanent residents as a measure to control property prices in the local market. Paired with the initiative to increase allocations for the existing Housing Credit Scheme to RM10 billion which benefits 40,000 Malaysians, this could encourage potential homebuyers to take the first step to fulfil their homeownership dreams.

It is also reassuring that the government is taking into account all stakeholders in the property market, by establishing a grant totalling RM1 billion to encourage  developers to revive abandoned housing projects which were identified by the The Ministry of Local Government Development (KPKT). This initiative will benefit consumers who previously invested in such developments.

On that note, we hope that the government will work closely with participating developers to ensure new housing projects meet potential buyers’ diverse preferences and needs, as we have seen through the  PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study H2 2023 that 38% of the respondents voiced the need for more attractive home choices within the affordable housing segment.

Overall, the 2024 Budget has shown the government’s commitment to supporting the rakyat and empowering the economy to thrive. Thus, we reaffirm our commitment to collaborating with the government to cultivate a vibrant and inclusive property market through data-driven insights.