More people in Sarawak can own homes

Real estate negotiator Brandon Chew.

How? Property agent proposes JVs to build more affordable houses

KUCHING: Real estate negotiator Brandon Chew has suggested for the state government to work with reputable property developers to produce more affordable housing.

He said through such collaborations, more homebuyers would be able to benefit from initiatives such as the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) and the My First Home Scheme.

“The HOC and more incentives can be prolonged by the government to stimulate Sarawak’s property market,” he proposed.

He said the high cost of residential properties in Sarawak was certainly a significant issue as the median income here is much lower than that in areas such as Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Putrajaya.

“The government is trying its best to produce more affordable housing like PR1MA, PPA1M (1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme), and other schemes.

“However, for private developments, land prices are too high. Therefore, developers will have to reduce the size of units to keep the selling price attractive to home buyers,” he said.

On the higher cost of residential properties in Sarawak compared to KL, Chew explained that many factors contributed to this, including differences in density control.

He said the density control of approved projects varied by council and district.

“In Kuching, high-rises are limited to 30 units per acre while landed units are limited to 10 units per acre. In KL/Putrajaya/Selangor, it could be 200 high-rise units per acre and 14 landed units per acre.”

He said with this high density in areas like KL, the average selling price per unit would be cheaper than in Kuching.

“In addition, KL and Putrajaya have a lot of big land banks owned by big corporations. Their township planning is much better than ours here.”

He pointed out that KL, being a big metropolitan city, draws in lots of people who prefer to reside there for easy commuting.

As such, Chew said the demand for property was very high there.