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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Affordable homes a state priority

The Penang Government will provide incentives to encourage developers to build more low and medium-cost (LMC) houses as well as mid-range units on the island.

State Town and Country Planning and Housing Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said the government would ensure there was sufficient supply of mid-price range housing to meet people’s needs.

He said there was a gap in mid-range housing in the island’s north- east district, adding that the state Planning Committee had on June 28 last year revised the plot ratio guidelines which provided for the construction of more housing units per acre.

To date, Penang Muncipal Council has approved seven applications under the revised guidelines.

“We need to strike a balance of LMCs, mid-range and high-end property in the state,” he told a recent press conference in conjunction with the three-day Penang International Property 2011 Expo starting this Friday.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is scheduled to open the fair at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) the same day. The first 100 visitors will receive door gifts daily.

Event director Ong Ban Seang said the expo would be a good networking platform for the real estate industry along with the talks arranged for the public over the three days.

“The demand for high-end property in Penang exists because of the strong economy which attracted RM12.2billion in capital investments last year,” he said.

Ong added that the buoyant market was sustained by the developers’ innovative property products and the good response of foreign retirees under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H).

Raine and Horne senior partner Michael Geh (pic) said the expo would feature two roundtable conferences.

One will be on MM2H and it will have Tourism Malaysia deputy secretary-general Dr Junaidah Lee and MM2H president Jeremy Yeong among the panellists.

The other will be on ‘Salvaging Abandoned Housing Projects’, to be moderated by Dr Goh Ban Lee from Penang’s think tank Social Economic Research Institute.

A delegation from Indonesia will also visit the expo for business networking with local developers.

By The Star

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