Published: Thursday January 10, 2013 MYT 6:19:00 PM
Updated: Thursday January 10, 2013 MYT 6:29:35 PM
Johor looking to raise foreign house ownership ceiling to RM1mil
By NELSON BENJAMIN
NUSAJAYA: Johor is looking at raising the present RM500,000 ceiling to RM1mil for foreign house buyers to check the spiralling price of houses.
Local Government, Housing, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Zahri Jamil said the state Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) was studying ways to tighten the rules on foreign ownership and a decision would be made this year.
"If there is going to be an increase, then foreigners will only be able to purchase homes above RM1mil,” he told reporters here.
Presently, Singaporeans formed the bulk of house buyers in the state followed by the Americans, Britons and Chinese nationals.
“We are concerned about the spiralling house prices in the state especially in Iskandar Malaysia.
"For example, one waterfront project with 500 units was fully taken up with just 30% of the project completed,” he added.
Ahmad Zahri said despite the increase in house prices in Johor, prices were still cheaper compared to those in the Klang Valley.
He said the state government had also introduced a new housing policy to guard the interest of the middle and lower income groups.
The new initiatives include setting up of a Johor housing board similar to Singapore's Housing Development Broad, to look into the maintenance of public housing.
“We do not want our public housing projects to become slum areas due to poor maintenance,” he said, adding that the state would be building 5,500 homes under the public housing projects this year in Pelangi Indah, Perling, Penggerang, Bandar Baru Uda and Ulu Tiram.
“This is part of our squatter relocation programme and is funded by the federal government with an allocation of RM88mil,” he said.
Under the scheme, people staying at public housing schemes only pay RM124 a month for rent.
“We are also building larger homes under our affordable housing schemes to enable people to own bigger homes in the state ranging from RM50,000 for a 750 sq/ft home to RM150,000 for a 1,100 sq/ft house,” he said.