KUALA LUMPUR: The upcoming 2014 Budget, which will be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Friday, is expected to include measures to curb rising property prices.
Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB) managing director-cum-chief executive officer Datuk Kamalul Arifin Othman said this should include revising the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) and stamp duty despite conflicting opinions.
"I believe the revision of the RPGT and other property-related taxes like stamp duty would be helpful in helping the younger generation to own houses," Kamalul said here last week after announcing the second income distribution for Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera for this year.
"Revising the RPGT rate will perhaps dampen the speculation on properties.
"People will not sell within one or two years, but wait until five years and all that.
"This way, property prices will hopefully be maintained," he added.
Kamalul did not specify the ideal Real Property Gains Tax rate, but believed the government will come up with a very "fair figure" to curb property prices.
According to statistics, house prices were 10 per cent more expensive in 2011 than in the preceding year.
Last year, the figures jumped to 12 per cent despite the increase in Real Property Gains Tax from five per cent to 10 per cent for disposal of properties within two years of purchase.
In the first quarter of this year alone, houses were six per cent more expensive than they were a year ago.
The 2013 Budget tabled on September 28 last year further raised the RPGT rate to 15 per cent and 10 per cent for disposals within two and five years respectively.
Meanwhile, Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera's second and final income distribution this year was at 3.35 sen a unit, for a total income distribution of 6.50 sen a unit for the year ended September 30.
Kamalul also announced a special bonus distribution of 1.00 sen a unit, to be paid by PHB to loyal unit holders of AHB, thus giving a total payout of 7.50 sen a unit this year.
The special bonus distribution will be paid together with the final income distribution.
Kamalul announced that Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera's fund size has been increased to two billion units from 1.5 billion units previously.
He said the company hopes to achieve full subscription within five months, based on its previous subscription record.
"The increased Amanah Harta-nah Bumiputera fund size is supported by new injections of beneficial ownership of several newly acquired assets by PHB, namely Menara BT at Bangsar South, Menara SapuraKencana, Solaris Dutamas and a shopping and office complex known as Jaya 33 in Petaling Jaya," he said.
Kamalul added that the company has spent some RM800 million on asset acquisitions this year.
On total available landbank, Kamalul said the company expects to finalise several land acquisitions by year-end, which are expected to increase the company's total landbank to some 402ha from about 80.4ha currently.