Property Press Awards holds pre-ceremony dialogue on affordable homes
PUTRAJAYA, 10 November 2017 — The Malaysian Property Press Awards (MPPA), an initiative by strategic property content provider Terra Value Sdn Bhd, is an annual awards ceremony that recognises the outstanding achievements of participants within the property industry via a unique format. Now in its eighth year, the MPPA is proud to be the only property awards ceremony that is adjudicated exclusively by senior members of the press. This year, the MPPA has strategically partnered with Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN), the Malaysian Global Business Forum (MGBF) as well as Perception Management Sdn Bhd (PMSB), and is fully supported by Zerin Properties and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation Malaysia (CILT), to be known as “The Malaysian Property Press Zerin Properties Awards 2016/2017 in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transportation Malaysia”.
(From left) Nordin Abdullah, Founding Chairman of Malaysian Global Business Forum; Dr Danielle Gambero, CEO of REI Group of Companies; Shanthi Thiruchelvam, Executive Director and Principal Consultant of Perception Management; Gunaprasath Bupalan, Chairman of the Malaysian Property Press Awards and Executive Director of Terra Value Sdn Bhd; Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose, CEO of Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN); Prof Dato’ Dr Alias Abdullah, Head of Cluster of Engineering, Technology & Built Environment, MPN; Chang Kim Loong AMN, Honorary Secretary-General of National House Buyers Association; Dato’ Kamal Ariffin Zaharin, CEO of DPZ Asia Sdn. Bhd. and Hj Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid, Executive Director of CILT Venture during The Malaysian Property Press Awards (MPPA) Roundtable Discussion.
As a precursor to the award ceremony at the end of this year, the MPPA held a Roundtable Discussion on Creative Home Ownership Post Budget 2018 this morning at the MPN office. The discussion was aligned with the focus of the Awards this year on the issue of inclusive home ownership. The panel discussion addressed the issue of home ownership among Malaysians, including the question of affordability for the younger generation, what property developers can do to help young Malaysians get a foot into the property market and the importance of housing for improving productivity. “The Malaysian Property Press Awards was set up eight years ago as a platform to showcase developments, developers and services that are key to the industry and would be beneficial to the rakyat at large. This year especially, with the current property market turmoil, we believe that the Awards, with the support from big names such as MPN, MGBF, Perception Managament, CILT and Zerin Properties, would be crucial to the public’s eyes,” said Gunaprasath Bupalan, Chairman of MPPA and Executive Director of Terra Value Sdn Bhd and Emjay Communications.
The Roundtable discussion was moderated by Nordin Abdullah, Founding Chairman of MGBF. The panellists included thought leaders and stakeholders in the property and communications spheres: Gunaprasath; Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose, CEO of MPN; Chang Kim Loong AMN, Honorary Secretary-General of National House Buyers Association; Dr Danielle Gambero, CEO of REI Group of Companies; Hj Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid; Executive Director of CILT Venture; Shanthi Thiruchelvam, Executive Director and Principal Consultant of Perception Management; and Prof Dato’ Dr Alias Abdullah, Head of Cluster of Engineering, Technology & Built Environment, MPN. “Today’s session is meant to be a frank discussion that digs into what happened with the Budget and clearly understand what the future for the property industry post budget 2018 is,” said Nordin. Prof Datuk Dr Raduan started the event saying that affordable housing is an ongoing discussion not just for Budget 2018, but also for a long time. “I am still not comfortable with the correct definition of affordable homes. The price factor, eligibility or entitlement is not in sync and doesn’t allow people to afford homes,” he said.
“Property prices are very high at the moment and have been escalating for the past four to five years. There have been good initiatives by the government as well as the banks, but these aren’t good enough. We should explore further. Utility companies should absorb their capital cost. We echoed this some five years ago. Those days, electricity was government owned and it was called Lembaga Letrik Malaysia (LLN). But today LLN has been corporatised to become Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) with their last announcement stating a profit of RM2 billion. My question is, why is it that the setting up of a sub-station or reservoirs has now become the burden of a developer? By doing this, developers have no choice but to factor these costs into the property sale price, hence becoming one of the reasons why property prices have increased. Another area that needs immediate attention is the fact that property prices should be capped where developer profits are controlled,” said Chang.
“I agree with Chang that property prices should be capped for those that are RM200,000 and below. We should adopt the model of HDB flats in Singapore, where HDB controls the price of low-cost housing in the country. We cannot block the free market for properties beyond this threshold,” said Gambero. “I strongly feel that the government should have a well-coordinated housing policy to ensure that affordable housing reaches the right target market. A single authority should be established to ensure a more efficient provision is in place. The government should engage with the property industry to streamline the eligibility criteria and conduct a perception audit to gauge the perception with relevant stakeholders. This will help narrow some of the perception gaps and ensure the right strategies and key messages are in place,” said Shanthi.
“Property developments have taken a paradigm shift. From big spaces being the major factor in property purchase, it has shifted towards lifestyle elements such as amenities and facilities. The new generation of buyers do not mind living in a smaller unit as long as they have ample modern facilities around them for entertainment and recreation. This has led many property developers to follow suit with their projects,” said Gunaprasath. “What can property developers do to improve entry into the market? From my research and observation, I feel that aside from Affordable Housing that many developers are already looking at, they could also offer “Rent to own” schemes, where you rent for a period of time and part of the rental goes towards the down payment for the home you are renting and after a certain number of years, the tenant is given the option to purchase the property with no additional down payment. They could also offer “Developer loans” to purchasers. This would mean that the interest charged is slightly higher than the banks, but easier to obtain. Developers could also look at selling “shell houses” — homes that come with no frills. These are units that are just a block of cement, where fittings, wiring, plumbing and decor are all borne by the buyer. This will definitely bring the property price down significantly, hence making the down payment much lower too,” he added.
Chang also opined that there should be a way for people to take a loan from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF), where buyers would borrow from their own accounts, to purchase a home. If the home is sold in the future, the profits can be pumped back into their EPF account. This would be easier to obtain, for those who have trouble with bank loans. “Of course there are issues that need to be ironed out and areas to be looked at, but this is surely an idea for the near future,” Chang added. With over two hours of discussion, the Roundtable ended on a positive note, with many ideas to improve home ownership and ideas for new policies with hopes that they will be implemented soon to help the rakyat with their home ownership.
The Malaysian Property Press Zerin Properties Awards 2016 / 2017 in collaboration with The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation Malaysia will be held at the end of the year. The majority of the judging panel for the Awards are editors who are involved in the daily preparation of property articles, which provides them with the depth and breadth to observe and comment on projects, personalities or companies that they feel have excelled or contributed significantly to the betterment of the industry over the year. Their collective effort, opinions and perspectives will culminate in 15 accolades being presented to deserving winners at The Malaysian Property Press Awards 2016 / 2017 gala awards ceremony to be held in Kuala Lumpur in December this year. Amongst the winners this year are Hatten Group Sdn Bhd, Mah Sing Group Berhad, The Haven Sdn Bhd, Far Capital Sdn Bhd, M101 Sdn Bhd, PKNS Real Estate Sdn Bhd (PREC), Andaman Group and Gila Hartanah, Datuk Ng Sieng Liong JP of MAPEX. For media enquiries, please contact: Gunaprasath Bupalan Terra Value Sdn Bhd Executive Director +64
About the Malaysian Property Press Awards
The Malaysian Property Press Awards (MPPA) is an initiative by strategic property content provider Terra Value Sdn Bhd. It is an annual awards ceremony that recognises the outstanding achievements of participants within the property industry via a unique format. Now in its eight year, the MPPA has carved a niche for itself as the only property awards ceremony that is adjudicated exclusively by senior members of the press. It utilises a comprehensive selection process that takes into account the positive market impact, performance, quality of products, calibre of services and the scope of corporate social responsibility activity that candidates have exhibited. The 2016/2017 edition of the event and sees the addition of strategic partners: the Malaysian Global Business Forum (MGBF), Majlis Professor Negara (MPN), Perception Management Sdn Bhd (PMSB) and Emjay Communications. It is fully supported by Zerin Properties and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation Malaysia (CILT), and is to be known as “The Malaysian Property Press Zerin Properties Awards 2016/2017 in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transportation Malaysia”. MPPA chairman Gunaprasath Bupalan, who is also the executive director of Terra Value and Emjay Communications, has accumulated years of expertise in researching, writing and following these industry experts, and has given many talks on market forecasts, potential growth of areas and projects that have potential market growth.