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Friday, August 1, 2008

Contractors feeling the pinch

PETALING JAYA: Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) affiliate members are feeling the pinch of the escalating costs of essential building materials, including cement and steel bars as well as the recent shortage of sand.

This has led to delayed and abandoned projects in various states. Construction players said the situation had entered a critical stage particularly in Johor, Kedah, Melaka and Negri Sembilan.

MBAM president Ng Kee Leen said the association had urged the government to provide soft loans to small and medium-sized contractors and requested the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to waive the levy on the contract sum of 0.125%, towards aiding its members through these difficult times.

"The local industry is still having problems after the liberalisation process of steel bars," he said at an MBAM dialogue with affiliate members on Aug 1. Ng also hoped that the ban on the import of steel bars would be lifted.

Ng expected more contractors to close shop if the prices of steel bars and cement do not stabilise soon.

Malacca Building Contractor's Association chairman Liw Chong Liong said so far, three major federal government projects in that state had been halted.

Another MBAM affiliate member from Johor said the state was facing a shortage of sand due to the export of the material to Singapore.

National Ready-Mixed Concrete Association of Malaysia (NRMCA) president Chris Landry said sand was an issue, particularly in Selangor and the shortage was due to the government's reluctance to allow sand permits to be handed out.

"Now there is only one sand pit opened for trade which drastically reduces the amount of natural sand available in the market," he said.

Sand is a major component of ready-mixed concrete, and if natural sand does not become more available in the short period, Landry predicted the shortage of ready-mixed concrete would drastically affect the building industry.

Landry said effective Aug 1, sand price had increased by RM7-15 per cubic metre. He added that he had no choice but to increase the prices of concrete as well.

By The EDGE Malaysia (by Julie Chong)

1 comment:

Hard Money Lenders Direct in California said...

The Real Estate Market Starts Climing Again

During the past couple of years we've all seen a tremendous change in real estate in the country.
This change actually has spread all over, businesses loosing money while gas prices are extremely high.

The real estate market has become a big issue for all of us out there, we've seen many homeowners loosing their homes and struggling to find a home to rent because of their credit.

What happen to us?
Remember the bubble 4 years ago?

That's exactly the answer, from years of prosperity and times of spending, traveling and investing in stocks and real estate, we are now experiencing another bubble but this time the bubble is going in a different direction and we are wondering what to do.

So real estate was going down and it's still going down, some economists say that it will get stable in 2 years from now.

The sellers market became a buyers market, and today we all know it by now.
Investors and renters that saved their money for better days to buy to make money are in the market today, that's making the real estate market busy.

Real estate agents that learn how to change with the market also learned how to make money from the changes, these real estate professionals are making lots of money and while we are all struggling for business they're making the business.

Today you can get a home directly from the banks for almost half the price.
I've seen homeowners that are so desperate that they're willing to give their homes for free, just come and take their loan and continue their payments.

On the other hand, investors are looking to buy homes in bulk, they can get homes $.50 on the dollar.

Some banks like bank of america and countrywide are selling hundreds of homes in bulk to investors at a discount prices.

So real estate agents are busy getting hundreds of listings and reo's from banks, then they're selling these homes at a low price to future homeowners and investors.

It's definitely a buyer's market like we had in the early 90's, so if you're an investor or a homeowner.
This is your time!