Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has announced several measures for the property sector in Budget 2019, aimed at encouraging home ownership especially for first time buyers.

Affordable Housing
The government has allocated a total of RM1.5 billion to be spent for the affordable housing segment. This includes the People’s Housing Programme (PPR), Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPAM), 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) and Syarikat Perumahan Nasional Bhd (SPNB). Malaysians earning less than RM2,300 will have access to a fund set up by Bank Negara Malaysia for homes of up to RM150,000 at an interest rate of 3.5% through selected banks. Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) will reduce house prices as much as 10% for houses which are not subject to price control for new projects.

Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT)
Real property gains tax (RPGT) is raised to 5% for all Malaysians, and raised by 5% for companies and foreigners. This means that RPGT for citizens and permanent residents is raised to 5% (even after five years), while RPGT for companies, non-citizens and non-permanent residents in the sixth year and above will be raised to 10% from the current 5%. RPGT is exempted for properties, low, medium cost homes and affordable homes below RM200,000. It also does not apply to the sale of an individual’s first registered property.

Stamp Duty
First-time home buyers get an exemption on stamp duty for properties priced between RM300,000 and RM1 million, for a limited period of six months starting Jan 1, 2019. Stamp duty for the sale of properties priced more than RM1 million will be raised to 4% from 3%, there is a two-year exemption for houses priced up to RM500,000, on the first RM300,000.

Property Crowdfunding
The government will allow property crowdfunding driven by the private sector as an alternative for the purchase of a first home and supervised by the Securities Commission (SC). The platform is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2019, upon receiving the required approvals from the SC.

World’s First Airport REIT
Government will create the first real estate investment trust (REIT) in the world for airports. Those investing in the REIT would receive income arising from user fees collected from the airport management concession holder, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd. The government owns all the physical assets of airports in the country, while Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is the concessionaire that operates and manages the airports till 2035.