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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fewer project launches in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: There will be fewer property projects launched this year in Penang due to the rising cost of fuel and building materials.

“This is reflected in the new launches lined up for exhibition at the upcoming Malaysian Property Exhibition (MAPEX) 2008 scheduled to be held on the island from July 11 to July 13.

There are only three new launches this year for MAPEX 2008, with a gross sales value (GSV) of RM44.5mil, compared to seven last year, which had a GSV of RM300mil,” Real Estate Housing & Developers' Association (Rehda) Penang chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said at a press conference.

The three launches would see 207 housing units launched on the island and mainland.

Chan said the majority of the units launched would be priced below RM250,000 a unit but the new houses were 30% more costlier than those available in the market.

There were currently 6,571 units of houses being constructed on the island and mainland with an estimated GSV of RM1.7bil, added Chan.

Chan said in view of soaring energy and building prices, there would be no new developments of low cost and low medium cost houses, which were currently priced at RM42,000 and RM75,000 respectively.

“We are appealing to the state government to revise these prices. Otherwise developers would resort to building only expensive homes comprising less than 150 units per scheme, which does not require them to build affordable housing,'' he said.

“We are also appealing to the state government to allow developers to have higher density and larger built-up areas for projects in the city.”

Chan said Malaysia was the only country where developers had to undertake the building of low and low-medium cost units.

“Worldwide, this responsibility is shouldered by governments as is the case with healthcare and education,” he added.

By The Star (by David Tan)

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