Saturday, September 18

‘Property market expected to firm in next two years’

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Lim (sixth left) poses with recipients of various MIEA awards and certificates at the dinner on Friday. Ting is at fourth left.

KUCHING: The property market in Sarawak is expected to strenghten due to the state’s better economic outlook in the next two years.

Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) Sarawak chairman Dato Alex Ting Kuang Kuo said the move to impose a five per cent sales tax on petroleum products starting next year will bring positive impact to the state’s economy which would bring in some RM4 billion to the state.

“As our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is trying to implement many projects on a fast-track basis over the next two years, our state economy will also be expected to do well and this should help strengthen the local property market,” said Ting when speaking at the MIEA Sarawak annual dinner held at the Sarawak Club here on Friday.

The Sarawak government he added had also recently launched the Sri Pertiwi housing programme in effort to offer more affordable houses while the federal government has also shown its seriousness to provide more affordable homes and come up with solution for first-time home buyers.

“All these augured well for the property market. There will be ample supply of houses costing below RM300,000. This in turn will give more business opportunities for us (MIEA members),” he said.

On another note, MIEA Sarawak he said has recruited 67 new Real Estate Negotiator (REN) members and trained 142 negotiators under the Negotiators Certification Course (NCC).

“We have also conducted the Continuous Development Programme (CDP) on behalf of BOVEAP (Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers) for 256 RENs to renew their tags to enable them to work as negotiators in 2019,” he added.

Meanwhile,MIEA president Eric Lim who spoke at the event also admitted that 2018 was not an easy year especially for the real estate industry.

“We anticipate 2019 to be a better year especially towards the second half of 2019,” he said adding MIEA has more than 5,000 members nationwide.

From MIEA’s various communications with the Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin, he said the ministry is trying very hard to elevate the issues of the National Housing by working closely with the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara on the property financing areas.

“We reckon that in the recent budget, a lot of emphasis was given to the B40 and M40 groups especially for first-time home buyers. There is tremendous opportunity in these focus groups and I urged members and practitioners to take advantage of the situation,” he added.

On another note, Lim also pointed out that there are some unscrupulous registered firms resorting to various unethical practices and strategies to attract new negotiators to join their firms.

Some he said are offering commission up to 95 per cent and various schemes to attract new negotiators.

As a result of these, the market he said has been chaotic as negotiators coming for interviews are using the new benchmark as a basis to demand for their commission.

“Firms that are in compliance with the BOVEAP are not able to recruit new negotiators. Worst still, they are losing their RENs to those unscrupulous and unethical firms,” he lamented.

“I urge those firms using such strategies to stop doing so before the board investigates and penalises them. Your firm can be deregistered and the directors or branch resident manager will have their authority to practise or registration suspended or deregistered,” he warned.