`Overhang of residential houses in Sarawak minimal’

Sheda Secretary-General Dr Richard Tan.

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, May 10: Sarawak recorded among the lowest in residential houses overhang for the third quarter of 2018, when compared to states like Penang, Johor and Selangor.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) secretary-general Dr Richard Tan said this was barely 5 per cent or about 1,400 of the total overhang nationwide, which was about 30,000.

“Sarawak alone only about 1,400 units, which is barely 5 per cent of the whole country. I think (it is prevalent) in West Malaysia because of the development mismatched. That’s where you see more drastic problems there, namely in Penang, Johor and Selangor, whereas in Sabah and Sarawak not significant.

“A very small component of it (overhung houses in Sarawak) is low cost residential. I think about 4-5 per cent of which the overhung houses are low cost. Most are in Kuching to Samarahan area,” he told reporters today after attending the Sarawak-Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) lab at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian

Meanwhile, Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian praised Sarawak developers for being cautious and careful, which resulted in the minimal overhang of residential houses in Sarawak.

He said in 2017, a total of 8,762 residential houses were sold in Sarawak.

“The year before, 2016, about 10,000 houses were sold. So, it looks like the peak of the houses sold in Sarawak was in 2010, at about 13,000 units but now dropped to about 8,762. It has been going downhill.

“This probably reflects on the current economic situation and the hardship that people are facing.

“But I think we (Sarawak) are very lucky our developers are very cautious as there are not many overhangs,” Dr Sim said.

Meanwhile, on the Sarawak-MM2H, Dr Sim revealed that the number of expats qualifying for the programme for Sarawak had been low compared to states like Sabah and Penang.

As of 2018, he revealed that 106 expats participated in Sarawak-MM2H. In 2017, it was 135, and in 2016, it was 101.

“This was one of the issues brought up by Sheda when they paid a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg last year.

“Hence, the state government proposed that this lab, participated by many other governmental agencies, like Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Housing, Housing Development Corporation, the police and others, be held to find out how we can improve the number of expats participating in the Sarawak-MM2H,” said Dr Sim.

The top five countries that participated in the Sarawak-MM2H between 2006 and 2018 were the United Kingdom with 212 participants, China (169), Taiwan (148), Singapore (81) and Indonesia (76). — DayakDaily