Vacancy tax to be imposed on developers as early as 2021

The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is formulating a tax that could be imposed on developers who fail to sell their properties as early as early next year, in an effort to reduce overhang of residential units in the country. Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the introduction of the tax could also induce developers to be more sensible and responsible in the projection of their projects, particularly high-rise developments. She added that the introduction of the vacancy tax does not require Parliament’s approval as no amendment to the existing Act is needed. Once the tax is approved by the Cabinet, KPKT will look at implementing the tax as early as next year. She believed the move is necessary as many housing units have taken more than one year to be filled due to various reasons, whether the developers are unable to sell or buyers fail to move in. (The Edge)

Property developers seeing strong bookings

Property developers are seeing strong bookings, particularly in June, since the reintroduction of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC). However, UOB Kay Hian said the conversion from bookings into actual sales remains a concern, as evidenced by the lower mortgage loan approval rate by the central bank. According to Bank Negara, mortgage applications in June increased significantly to RM25.4bil, which mirrored the amount in May 2019, a month after the first HOC was officially launched last year. Furthermore, apart from the HOC, the strong loan applications were also attributable to the back-loading effect due to the movement control order. (The Star Online)

PDC: No private consortium involvement in Pulau Jerejak project

The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) has denied the involvement of a private consortium in the Pulau Jerejak redevelopment project. PDC general manager Datuk Mohd Bazid Abd Kahar said the corporation has sold all of its stake in Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd to Q Islands, a subsidiary of Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd back in 2016. He also stressed that PDC was no longer involved in the development plan of the project. Last week, Gerakan claimed some 32.38ha of the forest reserve on the island had been converted into private land. It was reported that Pulau Jerejak’s redevelopment master plan covered the construction of a bridge connecting the island to the mainland, 1,200 residential units, a special marina to berth yacht and boats, four star and five star hotels. Also included are a theme park, an 11.5km long bicycle lane and other infrastructure to further enhance tourism activities in the state. (NST Online)

Boustead puts up KL property for sale

Boustead Holdings Bhd has put up one of its properties, currently tenanted by Affin Bank, for sale as the bank mulls its move to new headquarters in Tun Razak Exchange. The move, part of a series of moves at the Kuala Lumpur central business district, would create some activity in today’s Covid-19 environment. Boustead is an umbrella holding company for the Armed Forces Fund Board, which controls several companies including Affin Holdings Bhd. Affin Bank Bhd is its wholly-owned subsidiary. The sale of Affin headquarters comes slightly more than a month after Boustead inked a deal to sell 2.93 acres in Jalan Cochrane near the MyTown shopping centre. Affin started building its own headquarters in international financial centre Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year at around the same time as the HSBC building. (The Star Online)

Panggung Bandaraya reopens after 3-year renovation

DBKL’s most prized possession –- the 118-year-old Panggung Bandaraya building –- is reopening its doors and presenting its very first show in three years. After months of hacking and drilling, repair and upgrading works are finally complete, and the building has been disinfected several times. Completed in 1902, the building was the former headquarters of Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council and the office of the second mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Yaakob Latiff. The building was left vacant since three years ago after the widely successful musical Mud — The Story of Kuala Lumpur ended its run on April 30,2017. The building was handed back to DBKL and later returned to the National Heritage Department. DBKL had been working non-stop to get the Panggung Bandaraya building operational before National Day celebrations this month. (The Star Online)

(Source: TIme Out KL)