Lowering threshold for foreigners only applicable to existing unsold condos

October 14th, 2019 1 comment

belanjawan2020The move to lower the threshold for foreigners to buy condominiums and apartments in urban areas from RM1mil to RM600,000 is only applicable to existing unsold units, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the measure announced in the 2020 Budget, effective from Jan 1 to Dec 31 next year, does not cover new projects that are yet to be launched.

“Existing units that have not been sold are the residential units that do not interest local buyers. Hence the relaxation in the form of lower foreign buying threshold for condominiums and apartments will not deny the rights of local buyers, ” he said in a statement Sunday (Oct 13).

Lim said the move is expected to benefit the property sector without being detrimental to Malaysians’ interest.

Lim explained that the proposal was made to reduce the supply overhang in condominiums and apartments amounting to RM8.3bil as of the second quarter of 2019.

“If the units are able to be sold, it will produce a direct spillover effect on the country’s economy, ” he said.

Lim added that the Finance Ministry will monitor continuously the implementation of the measure to ensure that it achieves its objective.

Source: Bernama


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High Court: Owners to pay flat rate for maintenance charges based on share units

October 14th, 2019 No comments

Residents at high-rise buildings without strata titles, where there are also offices and retail lots, will now pay service or maintenance charges according to a fixed formula following a landmark court decision.

The Court of Appeal held that the Joint Management Body (JMB) committees of high-rise buildings are not allowed to charge different rates on owners in any mixed development projects.

It overturned a High Court decision that JMB had power under the Strata Management Act to determine or fix different rates of service or maintenance charges for

different parcels in a mixed development.

“Mixed development projects usually comprised residential and office units, retail lots and carparks.

“There had been a grave disparity in the maintenance or service charges imposed by the JMB on property owners.

“With this decision, each property owner will pay a single maintenance or service charge rate in proportion with their share of the unit in the property.

“The JMB can only determine and fix one consistent rate of service or maintenance charges for all properties within the strata development, ” he told The Star.

This court judgment, he said, was a welcome decision for those owning properties in mixed development projects, where they are subjected to different rates of maintenance or service charges.

“Dwellers are often at the mercy of those with a larger share of the units. Unreasonable maintenance or service charge rates are imposed on the minority share unit holders, ” he said.

By virtue of their greater share of the units held by retail and carpark owners, Joy said these owners could control the election and decisions of the JMB at the expense of the minority.

He noted that all JMB should now observe charging a flat rate effective immediately provided for under the Strata Management Act and the ruling or risk breaching the law.

JMB that do not comply can be referred to the Commissioner of Buildings (CoB) under the local councils, he added.

Joy said the judgment stemmed from a case between an individual parcel owner and the Menara Rajawali JMB as well as Denflow Sdn Bhd, the carpark owner of Menara Rajawali in Subang Jaya.

“The owner was dissatisfied with the JMB and the company’s decision in allowing lower maintenance charges imposed on owners with a substantial share of the units.

“On Jan 26 last year, we initiated a case against the JMB and the company, ” said Joy, who was one of the counsels representing the owner.

The case was brought to the Court of Appeal in October last year after the High Court dismissed the case in September.

The Court of Appeal unanimously held that the Act does not confer any power to the JMB or joint management committee to fix different rates of service or maintenance charges for different parcels in a mixed development.

It also held that Section 21 of the Act only accords the JMB the power to determine, impose and collect the charges from parcel owners in proportion to the allocated share units of their respective parcels.

When asked if high-rise property owners will pay less maintenance or service fees following the ruling, Joy said it would depend on the cost of maintenance of the common property of the high rise building.

“Property owner will now contribute in proportion to their share of units.

“In other words, the formula should be – the total cost of maintenance of the common property of the high rise property divided by the total amount of share units, multiply the number of share units for each property, ” he said.

Citing the Menara Rajawali case, where condo and retail owners before this paid RM2.80 per share unit while the carpark owner paid only half, Joy said all the property owners would now pay the same rate of RM2.80.

When contacted, SPOAS chairman Law Hock Hua said a majority of high-rise properties in Malaysia were without strata titles.

“Even after the owners of a property have obtained strata titles, less than 25% of them have the titles. So the property is still bound by the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

“This landmark ruling will likely benefit individual residential owners in a mixed development who are paying higher maintenance charges than owners of offices and retail outlets, ” he said.

Source: TheStar.com.my


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Budget 2020: Penang Hill cable car plan gets RM100mil

October 13th, 2019 2 comments

Picture for illustration only (Source: NST)

Picture for illustration only

The Penang Hill cable car project, which received RM100mil allocation from the Federal Government in yesterday’s budget announcement, will be nothing short of world class.

Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) general manager Datuk L.L. Cheok said only the best and latest technologies in the world would be used to ensure safety and a truly pleasant experience for the passengers.

“Although the allocation has been proposed, the project is still subject to a pre-feasibility study and later a technical feasibility study.

“The tender process of the pre-feasibility study is now in progress, ” he said.

“With modern technology, there will be minimal tree-cutting involved to build the cable car towers. In cable car rides around the world, it is proven that passengers enjoy riding across woodlands, so we must preserve the natural environment as much as possible, ” he said.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Datuk K.L. Tan also praised the Federal Government for allocating the RM100mil, saying that it was an excellent boost for Penang tourism.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chairman Khoo Boo Lim also hailed the allocation as a major step to improving logistics and facilities here to help enhance the experience for tourists.

Penang Tourist Guides Association president P.C. Chin said she was curious to know where the cable car will begin.

“The traffic congestion at the foot of Penang Hill’s train needs to be fixed and we would like to know if the cable car will begin at Batu Ferringhi or City Park as discussed before, ” she added.

State tourism, arts, culture and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said Penang Hill is one of the most popular tourist attractions here and it is packed with people queuing up for the train during long weekends and holidays.

“Having a new cable car will definitely solve this age-old problem. Tourists will enjoy a different mode of transport up the hill, ” he said.

Source: TheStar.com.my


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Construction of Ayer Itam-LCE Expressway bypass to start on Oct 31

October 12th, 2019 No comments 中文版

After a six-year wait, the Penang government has inked the Bandar Baru Air Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass road deal.

Costing RM851mil, the 5.7km road is the second package of the three paired roads package under the RM6.3bil undersea tunnel project. Work is scheduled to begin on Oct 31.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow signed the sub-agreement to kickstart the project with Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) chairman Tan Sri Azmi Khalid at Komtar on Friday (Oct 11).

CZC won the concession in an open tender in 2013, where cost of the tunnel and the three road projects are to be paid through rights to 44.5ha of land in Gurney Wharf.

Chow said the road project would take three years to complete and 70% would improve traffic dispersal in areas that are grid-locked during peak hours.

The three roads project are from Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (5.7km); Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang (10.53km); and Jalan Pangkor-Gurney Drive junction to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (4.1km).

The 7.2km undersea tunnel will connect George Town’s Pangkor Road and Bagan Ajam in Butterworth. It is scheduled to begin in 2023.



Source: TheStar.com.my


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Budget 2020: Housing Highlights

October 11th, 2019 No comments


Rent-To-Own scheme

To assist those who are unable to pay 10% deposit and to secure the access of home purchase financing, the government will be working with financial institutions to introduce a Rent-To-Own (RTO) scheme.

Through this scheme, RM10 billion financing will be provided by financial institutions with the government’s support through a guarantee provision of 30% or RM3 billion.

This RTO scheme is open to the purchase of a first home worth up to RM500,000.

Under this programme, the applicant will rent a house for a period of up to five years and after a year, he/she will be given the option to purchase the relevant residential house at a fixed price when the rental agreement is signed.

The government will also provide the full exemption of stamp duty on transfer instruments between developers and financial institutions, as well as between financial institutions and the prospective buyers.

Lower foreign buying threshold in urban areas

To reduce the high number of unsold condominiums and apartments amounting to RM8.3 billion in the second quarter of 2019, the government will lower the foreign buying threshold for condominiums and apartments in urban areas from RM1 million to RM600,000 in 2020.

Youth housing scheme

To help the youth own their first home, Putrajaya will extend the youth housing scheme conducted by BSN from 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2021.

The scheme also offers a 10% loan guarantee through Cagamas to enable the borrower to obtain full financing and assistance of a monthly installment of RM200 per month for the first two years, limited to 10,000 units of houses.

RPGT tweaked

In response to the public’s views on the Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT) imposed on disposal of properties after five years, RPGT treatment will be enhanced by revising the base year for asset acquisition at 1 January 2013 for assets acquired before 1 January 2013 as compared to the previous base year of 1 January 2000.

Home Ownership Campaign

To date, approximately 21,000 homes worth RM13.44 billion were successfully sold under this campaign which exceeded the initial sales target of RM3 billion.

Bank Negara Affordable Housing Fund

As at September 2019, a total of 2,840 applications amounting to RM472.7 million were received.

The approval rate is 77.9%, with 982 total applications worth RM156.2 million being approved.

Making sure the lifts are safe

The government cares about the state of low and medium-cost stratified houses that are not properly maintained. In 2020, the government will allocate a total of RM100 million to ensure that the services of elevator, electrical wiring, sewerage pipes and roofing are safe and in good condition.

Source: EdgeProp.my


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