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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fewer houses built in Sarawak

KUCHING: Property developers in Sarawak have drastically cut down on the construction of new houses due to poor demand.

State Housing Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg said some 5,300 new houses had been built this year, about half of the 10,800 units constructed for the whole of 2005.

Last year, just over 8,400 houses were built statewide.

“There has been a marked decrease in the number of houses built this year and the entry of housing developers into the market,” he told the State Assembly during Question Time.

Johari said the ministry only issued 56 new licences to housing developers this year, down from 153 in 2005.

He said the increase in house prices (between 5% and 10% per annum in the past three years) due to higher production cost had dampened demand.

He said that more than 18,100 houses built by private developers since 2005 were single- and double-storey terrace units priced between RM140,000 and RM300,000.

Also built were some 3,299 double-storey semi-detached units priced between RM280,000 and RM480,000.

“An average of 25% stock remains unsold each year, and this is added to next year’s stock,” Johari said.

On the proposed state housing tribunal, Johari said Sarawak was now studying the Sabah model.

Once a suitable model was found, he said the state government would amend the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Ordinance 1993 and the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1998.

By The Star (by Jack Wong)

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