Sheda worried over inability to meet housing demand

KUCHING: Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) is concerned about not being able to meet the expected market demand particularly in affordable homes as the economy recovers.
Such worry arises following relatively longer time needed for new property development to commence and be completed, which leads to lagging in supply in responding to demand movements, said Sheda president Zaidi Ahmad.

“It does not help that the cost of doing business has increased due to price increases of basic raw materials, shortages of supply of raw materials and increased utilities charges.

“Sheda is worried that our market is slow in responding to the anticipated build-up in demand especially in affordable homes as the economy begins its turnaround,” he said at Sheda annual dinner 2009 at Sarawak Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Friday.
Zaidi thus proposed the government come up with several measures to cushion the potential blow in the industry.

The government could look into expediting approval process of new development, relaxation of density of development, dispensing with low-cost housing requirement for private developers in order to minimise impact of other increasing components, he suggested.

This would help not only in containing costs but also to ensure demand was not being suppressed, which might increase speculation in selected properties at desired locations, he said.

He, however, lauded the authorities concerned for being receptive and responsive to the needs of Sheda through various dialogues and consultations wherein specific issues had been deliberated and solved.
He hoped outstanding issues such as strata titles, early determination of land premium and speedy issuance of land titles could be solved in due course.

“To house buyers, Sheda wants to assure that your interests are protected through the formation of Housing Tribunal, and our code of practice has helped alleviate the level of professionalism in the industry,” he added.

He also commended the government for proposing tax and tariff incentives as well as the recently launched Green Technology Financing Scheme worth RM1.5 billion to provide soft loans to companies supplying and utilising green technology.

Sheda would play a major role in realising the initiative by designing eco-friendly housing estates and buildings, he pledged.
This year, Zaidi said the association introduced Sheda Property Excellence Awards (SPEA) 2009 to recognise outstanding developers for their achievement towards the industry.

“These awards will be the benchmark for quality, aesthetic, innovative designs and planning of housing development in the state,” he said.
Registered in 1993, Sheda has 225 members with the objectivies of, among others, establishing a communication link between developers and the government to deal with matters affecting the industry.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang represented Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to give away various awards at the dinner.
Tan Guek Kee was crowned Sheda Property Man of the Year Award 2009 while Naim Holdings Berhad and Hock Peng Realty Sdn Bhd walked away with Top Developer in Residential Development for Public Listed Group and Top Developer in Residential Development for Private Limited Company respectively.
Special Award (Design and Concept) went to MJC City Development Sdn Bhd and Jalinan Bernas Sdn Bhd.

Silverdrum Corporation Sdn Bhd emerged as winner for High-End Residential Homes with Spago Property Sdn Bhd and Hock Seng Lee Construction Sdn Bhd being each awarded merit certificates.

For Retail Development, the award-winning developers were Destiny Properties Sdn Bhd and Interhill Enterprise Sdn Bhd.