by LEE YUK PENG, TEH ENG HOCK and YUEN MEIKENG
Nov 26, 2010
RESIDENTIAL property prices in the country rose only by 3.3% this year, said Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin.
Citing a survey conducted by the Global Property Guide, Lajim said the price appreciation of residential properties in Malaysia was the fourth lowest in the Asian region.
“Among the Asian countries, Singapore recorded the highest increase of 38.1%, followed by Hong Kong at 24.53% and Taiwan at 12.74%,” he told Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor).
However, Dr Dzulkefly felt the figure was not right.
“The statistics must be wrong. It does not make sense,” he told the deputy minister.
Lajim insisted his information was right and said: “It is not wrong. The Opposition is wrong. We are the Government, and these are the official figures”.
At the lobby, Lajim told The Star that the 3.3% figure was the national average. He added that the data was a comparison of price hikes between the second quarter of last year and this year.
Dr Dzulkefly told reporters that there was a fear that the country might plunge into a financial crisis as the rise in house prices coupled with declining economic returns would present a distorted picture of the national economy.
“The National Property Information Centre reports that unsold properties in Malaysia have risen to 22.6% in the second quarter of this year from 19.5% in the fourth quarter last year.
“Ironically, with a housing glut, the prices of residential properties have surged by as much as 35% in the past year, far above the growth in national income.
“This will raise concerns that the market is becoming unsustainable,” Dr Dzulkefley said