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By Malcolm Lau
KUCHING, March 29: The Movement Control Order (MCO) will create poor demand for houses over the next 12 months unless the various stimulus packages announced work to help to kickstart the economy and unemployment is kept under control.
“On the stimulus packages as announced by the federal government and state goverment, I want to express great appreciation for the comprehensive and inclusive packages where nobody was left behind,” Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching chairman Sim Kiang Chiok highlighted in a press statement.
“But as I am an employer, the assistance of RM600 for three months for my employee if my company can show loss of business of 50 per cent from January this year is not at all helpful nor realistic. We can see that in the next six months, demand by the world market is (heading) down as they are all also suffering from the pandemic,” Sim added.
According to Sim, non-performance loans will rise after the six-month moratorium on loans by banks, as unemployment is expected to rise without salary assistance from the government.
“There will be an increase in cost for the developer to build houses such as additional holding costs, overheads, idling time, etc. This additional cost cannot be passed on to the purchasers as the price is lock-in by the agreement,” Sim pointed out, adding that purchasers will enjoy six months’ automatic moratorium of not having to pay the housing loan according to the stimulus package as announced by the Prime Minister.
“On construction, I hope that government projects will still continue to shore up economic activities. All major projects like Pan Borneo, coastal roads, and bridges, water supply grid, IT connections, etc, continuing will help to keep our state in providing jobs and income,” Sim pointed out. — DayakDaily