Ministry mulls RPGT increase to stabilise house prices

By THE STAR

PETALING JAYA: The Ministry of Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government is studying the possibility of increasing the real property gains tax (RPGT) to stabilise the prices of houses in the country. Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the current low RPGT has not been effective in stabilising house prices and it may need to be increased to curb unhealthy speculation in the housing market.

Abdul Rahman said this to reporters after launching the 16th Malaysia Housing and Property Summit here today.

On whether the move would be announced at the coming Budget, he said: “I wouldn’t say that there will be an increase in RPGT in the coming budget. That will be entirely the prime minister’s decision. As far as I’m concerned, we’re studying the possibility and if it can cool down the market, it would be on the table.”

He said RPGT was one of the government’s policies that had a big and immediate impact.

Earlier in his speech, Abdul Rahman said the effectiveness of the RPGT to curb housing speculation has been questionable.

In order to ensure the sustainable housing delivery system, the RPGT was reintroduced in 2011 to curb speculation and prevent the housing market from overheating, he said.

He said it was increased to 15% in 2012 from 10 per cent in 2011 for property sold within two years.

However, the House Price Index by National Property Information Centre showed that in 2011 and 2012 the house price index recorded the highest increase for the last five years especially in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Pahang, Sabah, Perak and Terengganu, he said.

– Malaysia Property News

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