Friday January 11, 2013
Johor mulling over raising price limit for foreigner-owned homes
By NELSON BENJAMIN
NUSAJAYA: The state government is studying the possibility of tightening the criteria for foreign housebuyers to check the spiralling cost of houses in Johor.
Local Government, Housing, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Zahri Jamil said that the State Economic Planning Unit (Upen) was studying whether to raise to RM1mil the minimum cost of houses foreigners could buy. The limit is now at RM500,000.
“We will make a decision this year,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Singaporeans form the bulk of housebuyers followed by Americans, British and China nationals.
“We are concerned about the spiralling house prices in the state, especially in Iskandar Malaysia.
“One waterfront project with 500 units was fully taken up with just 30% of the project completed,” he added.
Ahmad Zahri said that despite the increase, houses were still cheaper in the state compared to the Klang Valley.
He said the state government had also introduced several measures, including setting up a Johor Housing Board, to look into the maintenance of public housing.
“We do not want them to become slums due to poor maintenance,” he said, adding that the state would be building 5,500 public housing units in Pelangi Indah, Perling, Pengerang, Bandar Baru Uda and Ulu Tiram.
“This is part of our squatter relocation programme,” he said.
Ahmad Zahri said that under this scheme, people living in such units would only need to pay RM124 per month.
“We are also checking to ensure people staying there fulfil the conditions, as some are renting out the units or rooms.
“We are building larger homes under our affordable housing scheme,’’ he said, adding that the prices would range from RM50,000 for a 750 sq ft unit to RM150,000 for a 1,100 sq ft one.