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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Call to curb loans for third home buyers

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Master Builders’ and Building Materials Dealers’ Association (PMBBMDA) urges the Government to impose a cap on the margin of advance for housing loans for third home buyers.

The move was necessary to curb speculation, reduce gearing of purchasers, and maintain the sustainability of housing prices and the property market, PMBBMDA president Vincent Ong told StarBiz.

“The first and second home buyers should continue to get borrowing up to 90% of the property value to ensure that the demand for properties is sustained, creating spill-over effects for the contractors and building materials suppliers,” he said.

He also added that the federal and state governments should also implement more government projects in Penang, as there were so far only 28 projects, with a total value of RM172mil, awarded by the government sector for Penang for the period January to June 2010.

“Even though the number of government projects has increased from 10 in the first quarter to 18 in the second quarter, the value of government contracts is still very low and only makes up about 13% of the total value of projects awarded to the Penang state of RM1.35bil,” Ong said.

Meanwhile, PMBBMDA immediate past president Finn Choong said the Government should quickly draw up a national policy on green building.

Choong said so far the guidelines for green or environmentally friendly buildings and policy were being implemented on a piecemeal basis at the state level.

“A standard national policy on sustainable buildings would not only further spur the adoption of green lighting components such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and environmentally friendly materials but also commit the country towards a sustainable culture as we make the transition towards a developed nation,” Choong added.

On another matter, the PMBBMDA urged the federal government to consider deferring or revoking altogether the imposition of ad-valorem stamp duty for all service agreements in 2011.

By The Star

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