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Stamp duty waiver for first-time purchases of houses

BUDGET 2019 | The Pakatan Harapan government will waive all stamp duty charges for first-time purchasers of houses priced from RM300,001 to RM1 million in the first six months of next year.

This would be part of a National Home Ownership Campaign whereby, in return, developers would offer a minimum price discount of 10 percent for these residential properties, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng during the 2019 Budget tabling in Parliament today.

He said the move was aimed at addressing the issue of unsold residential units.

As of March 31, 2018, there was an overhang of RM22 billion worth of residential properties, up 65 per cent from RM13.3 billion last year.

For first-time house buyers buying residential properties priced up to RM500,000, the government will exempt stamp duty up to RM300,000 on the sale and purchase agreements as well as loan agreements for a two-year period up to December 2020.

Showing its willingness to explore new, technology-enabled and innovative mechanisms to solve housing problems, the government said it would approve private sector-driven property crowdfunding platforms which would serve as an alternative source of financing for first-time house buyers, Lim said.

These exchange platforms will be regulated by the Securities Commission (SC) under the peer-to-peer financing framework.

Citing an example, he said a buyer would be able to acquire a selected property for 20 per cent of the property's price while the balance 80 per cent would be fulfilled via potential investors interested in funding the purchase in exchange for the potential appreciation in the property's value over a particular period.

This financial innovation would be the first in the world, Lim said.

“If successful, (it) will transform the affordability of homes for first-time home buyers in the country. The first exchange is expected to go live in the first quarter of 2019 after all necessary approvals are obtained from the SC,” he added. - Bernama

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