KUALA LUMPUR (June 16): Property developers are encouraged to concentrate more on developing affordable housing projects priced at RM500,000 per unit and below, said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

However, she said, developers would need to clear up their property overhang first, especially the high-end ones, as more than 80% of unoccupied units are in the premium sector.

“We are encouraging developers to clear up their [overhang] stocks and, if there’s any development of new homes, let’s concentrate on affordable homes that are RM500,000 [per unit] and below because there is a need for them.

“Of course, we won’t stop them (developers) from going for a premium (high-end project developments), but this is our advice to them,” she said at a press conference after the launch of Grand Maris Suite, a 33-storey small office, home office (SOHO) tower, and cheque presentation of a land premium for the Rawang Transit Belia project here today.

Zuraida said the ministry also planned to discuss with all state governments to review property sale prices and terms for foreign buyers in order to get the overhung units sold, which would in turn help revamp the economy at both the state and federal levels.

Asked about the property take-up rate last year, she said the ministry experienced no issue as it had targeted buyers, such as government servants. 

“But for the private sector, we might have some problems because of the locations they are in. Some of them have to downsize and some have to change.

“Therefore, we are a bit flexible now because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We allow some of the projects to transform from commercial lots to SOHO. We also allow them to make adjustments to their designs and units to accommodate the industry,” she added.