KUCHING: Many property developers foresee a slowdown in sales of commercial properties with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) coming into play today.
According to Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Association (Sheda), many developers expressed concerns that “many things are still uncertain” and that “business sentiments are not doing well.”
This, the association said, was examplified by the demand of houses from the last three months which grew stronger in terms of unit bookings as these bookings are subjected to the purchasers ability to secure banks’ housing loan, it said yesterday.
Eventhough residential houses are exempted, Sheda observed that building materials, labour and machineries hire will be subjected to GST which input tax cannot be claimed back.
“Thus, there is an estimate of two to three per cent increase in construction costs of new residential houses,” it added in its statement to The Borneo Post.
“Whether selling price of houses will increase or not, are still subjected to market forces of supply and demand even though the cost has increased slightly.”
Purchasers can hunt for new houses that are nearly or completed as the developers might still sell the houses at pre-GST prices or completed second~hand houses, as these type of house prices might not goes up immediately after April 1.
“It pays to shop around and compare prices,” it advised.
Meanwhile, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz urged property developers to remain vigilant in their cost measures to ensure that properties are still attractive after the implementation of GST.
He said as responsible developers, they should take the lead in overcoming problems of overdevelopment so that home prices are within reach of citizens.
“I hope the social responsibility of developers to continue helping the Government in achieving progress by offering quality and affordable products to the masses will continue,” he said at the Malaysia Property Insight Prestigious Developer Awards 2015 here yesterday.