Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has called on Putrajaya to consider special incentives for the state’s housing market.
In his address at the Starproperty.my award ceremony in Johor Bahru today, the ruler said that this was necessary because of the state’s proximity to Singapore.
“You cannot have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ housing policy for the whole country. How can you compare us with Pahang or Kedah, because they don’t have a big neighbour like Singapore,” said the ruler, according to a post on his Facebook page.
The ruler described the present housing policy as a “flip-flop” that was scaring away prospective investors.
Sultan Ibrahim said he wanted all Johoreans to own homes.
“I want people of all races to own homes, not just the Malays. But current house prices are way too high for most people. They simply cannot afford to buy them,” he said.
The Johor ruler’s speech follows cabinet’s decision to bar local governments from approving new residential properties priced above at RM1 million, shopping centres and offices.
However, the ban will not cover some development projects, such as the Putrajaya-backed Bandar Malaysia and Tun Razak Exchange.
This comes after warnings by Bank Negara over the high-end and commercial property glut throughout the country.
According to the central bank’s quarterly bulletin, the first quarter of 2017 saw 130,690 residential units unsold – the highest in a decade – of which 83 percent were priced above RM250,000.
“Johor has the largest share of unsold residential units (27 percent of total unsold properties in Malaysia), followed by Selangor (21 percent), Kuala Lumpur (14 percent) and Penang (eight percent),” the report states.
The report also said that Johor was poised to have the largest property market imbalances, with the highest number of unsold residential properties and the largest excess supply of retail space.