BY Ivy Chang
In an “unfriendly climate” where various challenges impede home ownership, how do property expos stay relevant? Are they viewed as a handy aid in the formidable pursuit or merely an expendable accessory?
Based on the response it received, the recent three-day Malaysian Property Expo (Mapex) 2016 at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre has appeared to underscore its appositeness in meeting the current demands of “shelter seekers” in the midst of the economic blizzard.
Speaking to Real Spaces, Mapex organising chairman Datuk Ng Seing Liong said the tremendous support from developers (95 per cent of the booths were taken up) drew close to 50,000 people.
“People have been complaining that new houses are too costly but there are plenty of affordable units too. They just have to know where to find them. And we can assist them in this,” Ng highlighted.
He said in the last few years, the public showed tremendous interest in affordable housing, defined as costing RM500,000 and below, and Mapex has helped to steer the public towards this segment of the market.
Ng added that even after 18 years, Mapex is still relevant as it still knows how to give the public what they want.
He said back in 1998 when Mapex was established, the country was reeling from the Asian financial crisis and one way to stimulate the market was the exemption of stamp duty on properties. Now, the market faces a different challenge and Mapex has to address what the public want, which is affordable housing.
“This is why Mapex is pleased to announce our collaboration with Rumah Mampu Milik Wilayah Persekutuan (Rumawip) under the Ministry of Federal Territories and Rumah Selangorku under the Selangor Housing and Property Board which offer a variety of affordable homes under their respective banners. The 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPA1M) also offers affordable housing for public civil servants.”
Rumawip and PPA1M are two fresh government-backed initiatives in partnerships with private developers. The Federal Territories ministry will be responsible for the creation of 80,000 affordable houses, of which 50,000 were to be built in KL, 20,000 in Putrajaya and 10,000 in Labuan.
“As of February 2016, a total of 39,416 affordable units have been (either) approved for development, are currently under construction or completed,” Deputy Minister of Federal Territories Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan said during the event.
“Similarly for PPA1M, the Prime Minister’s Department has been tasked with delivering 100,000 units of affordable housing for civil servants by 2018, and of these, 10,000 units are targeted to be in KL,” he added.
The move was a good idea as many people gravitated to the booths of Rumawip and Rumah Selangorku. They comprise properties below RM300,000 with built-ups of 850sq ft.
Ng said that such property fairs, the next national one slated for October this year, is still a necessity since the public can browse what the participating developers are offering and liaise with some of the participating banks all at one venue.