Minimum ceiling height increase in single-storey affordable houses further burdens developers

Abang Johari (centre), Dr Sim (fourth left) and Wong (fourth right) taking a group photo with the 2022 Sheda Property Expo main sponsors' representatives at BCCK here today (Sept 20, 2022).

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Sept 30: The latest construction guidelines requiring an increase of the minimum ceiling height in single storey houses under affordable housing projects is burdening developers with higher construction costs.

This was brought up by Sarawak Housing and Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) president Augustine Wong in his speech during the 2022 Sheda Property Expo opening ceremony at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

“We understand the rationale behind this policy. However, increasing the ceiling height invariably means increasing the overall cost of construction, which is already high.

“Property developers are essentially assemblers. We assemble different components and deal with over 100 different trades in order to achieve our final product, your home.

“We are affected by any change in any component along the supply chain, from raw materials to shipping and transportation costs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wong urged the Sarawak government to consider implementing financial incentives such as income tax relief in addition to stamp duty exemption for purchasers.

He also proposed a temporary waive or reduce of duties, lifting of taxes and levies, as well as reviewing and reducing certain charges imposed by utility companies and authorities.

“We believe these measures will mitigate the current cost of construction and high cost doing business in the housing and real estate industry,” he added.

On a related topic, Wong reiterated Sheda’s commitment to fulfilling its role in Sarawak’s progress and development namely in the areas of construction and property.

The 2022 Sheda Property Expo will take place from Sept 30 until Oct 2, with over 80 participating booths from various companies in the property industry.

Among the many participants are Hock Seng Lee (HSL) Berhad, Ibraco Berhad, Cahya Mata Sarawak Property Development Sdn Bhd, Naim Land Sdn Bhd, Lee Onn Development Sdn Bhd, and Chen Ling Development Sdn Bhd.

The opening ceremony was officiated by the Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, accompanied by his deputy Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian who is also the Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government. — DayakDaily