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The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Penang branch is looking forward to the commencement of the National Home Ownership Campaign announced in the 2019 Budget to address the issue of property overhang in the state. (NSTP/MIKAIL ONG)

GEORGE TOWN: The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Penang branch is looking forward to the commencement of the National Home Ownership Campaign announced in the 2019 Budget to address the issue of property overhang in the state.

Its chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong today said the date for the campaign commencement is expected to be announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Thursday.

“The Home Ownership Campaign is a positive move to reduce the number of overhang (unsold) properties in Penang,” he told a press conference here.

The Home Ownership Campaign was reintroduced to encourage home ownership, especially for first-time buyers, with developers offering a 10 per cent discount on existing unsold properties.

At the same time, he also appealed to Lim for additional incentives for the upcoming Malaysia Property Expo (Mapex) 2019 to be held at Udini Square near here on Feb 7 to 10.

Toh proposed that stamp duty exemptions for properties priced between RM300,001 and RM1 million from Jan 1 to June 30 be applied to all property buyers rather than just first-time home buyers.

“We (Rehda) also suggested to Lim that the stamp duty exemption should apply to properties priced between RM300,001 and RM2 million instead of RM1 million,” he added.

He also said that the one-month period for a three per cent levy waiver for foreign property purchasers starting next month, as announced by the State Government yesterday, is too short.

Yesterday, State Housing, Town, Country Planning and Local Government Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said that the waiver was offered as another approach to tackle the overhang issue in the state.

“We do welcome the offer but with February being only a few days away, it is very unlikely for the foreign purchasers to enjoy this incentive given this short amount of time,” he said, while proposing that the waiver period should be extended until the end of June. -- BERNAMA

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