Sukhdave: Solution needed as prices still above affordable levels
KUALA LUMPUR: A top offical at Bank Negara says the supply “mismatch” situation in the housing market needs to be remedied, as prices of homes in urban areas such as Klang Valley continue to be beyond levels deemed as affordable.
Deputy governor Sukhdave Singh is calling for a closer cooperation between the public and private sectors to come up with a practical new solution.
“Maybe we can also look at other countries, for example, Singapore and Korea, which are much more urbanised than Malaysia is, but have very successful mechanisms whereby the public and the private sector join hands to provide affordable housing,” he said yesterday at a panel discussion on the Malaysian economy organised by the Malaysia Economic Association.
The housing market today, he said, was seeing a mismatch in supply as there are a lot more homes entering the market at the higher price range, although demand is the highest at the lower end of RM500,000.
“I think the housing community needs to adjust to those trends,” he said.
“The government is certainly trying to play a role in trying to create a supply.”
Apart from that, a lack of good public infrastructure, will force the lower income groups to live close to where they work, where they are left to higher rentals or cost of housing.
“We hope that with the MRT and other improvements in the transportation sector, people will be able to live further from where they work and yet be able to get low cost transportation to get to their workplace efficiently and on time.
“If they can live farther from where they work then they will have cheaper housing, outside the key city centres.
“These are some measures that can be taken to improve the cost of living,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the issue of succession at Bank Negara, Sukhdave said that he was aware that the Bank Negara Governance Committee had made a recommendation to the government, whereby he was not privy to the recommendation.
In a statement, he said that the candidate, either internal or external, should be capable and have the credibility to lead the institution.
“The Government will make the decision on the matter,” he said.
At the panel discussion, Sukhdave also shared his view on the current state of the economy.
He reckoned that Malaysia had to intensify its engagement as a global economy by trading more.
“From that perspective, I think efforts like being involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is beneficial for Malaysia.
“The TPPA is actually the first big move, apart from trade within the Asean community,” he said.