In my opening address at the launch of Wisma REHDA (Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia) yesterday, I urged all states to revamp outdated policies and come up with an inclusive and transparent approach for an equal distribution system, so low-cost housing is available where it is needed. The main challenge of providing low-cost housing is the mismatch between supply and demand. However, as a responsive and open Government, we also ask the private sector, in particular REHDA to continue working and giving us feedback in order to resolve the industry’s issues and challenges.
Housing is a key component in my broad development agenda for the nation and I reiterate that the Government would undertake policies to ensure the positive growth of the property market. There are almost 140 upstream and downstream activities which are dependent upon the housing industry and the property sector is often one of the worst-hit sectors during economic downturns. Therefore, the housing industry plays a pivotal role in contributing towards the country’s development and economy and many other industries depend on its continuous growth. If the housing industry continues to develop in a healthy and positive manner, then other sectors, including the suppliers and manufacturers will be able to reap more profits. I believe even the banks will be happy given the growth of the housing industry.
With that being said, I would stress that the Government does not want a bubble economy. We want steady growth instead of a bubble economy. Bubble economies are very short sighted and we know what happens to bubbles. We need steady growth for our economy while at the same time ensuring that the housing industry remains viable and profitable for all involved in the sector. Even as we are on track towards a high-income advanced economy, the Government is not focusing solely on economic development, but also on human development. It is very important for us to ensure that our policies benefit the rakyat across the board. In this regard, the need for quality and affordable houses is part and parcel of the people’s economy, as mentioned in my Budget 2015 speech.
I look forward to seeing private sector developers continue working with PR1MA, the National Housing Department, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad and other Government agencies to further accelerate towards our target of one million affordable homes by 2018. The government’s aim is to build these houses without compromising the quality of the homes. To encourage the younger generation to own their first homes, the Government will implement the Youth Housing Scheme. The scheme is expected to assist married youths between 25 and 40 with a household income of not more than RM10,000, offering a funding limit of not more than RM500,000 with a maximum loan period of 35 years.