Construction costs up 10pc hobbling builders, Rehda survey shows

BY A. RUBAN
Apartments under construction in the Sentul area of Kuala Lumpur, April 19, 2017. — Photo by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, April 19 — Property developers in Malaysia are being challenged to stay in business amid rising construction costs, the Real Estate And Housing Developers (Rehda) said today.

The local association of developers said over half (56 per cent) of its 165 members surveyed in 12 states between July and December last year had cited pricey costs of materials, labour, compliance to standards and the Goods and Services Tax as causing their overall business operations to increase by 10 per cent.

“These respondents thus have adopted several cost cutting measures such as freezing new recruitment, giving less benefit or perks for personnel, rescheduling and reducing scale of project launches,” Rehda president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar said in a media briefing here.

He added that the survey also showed a 17 per cent increase among developers who were unable to sell units priced in the RM250,000 to RM1 million range.

A whopping 85 per cent of the affected developers blamed the situation on end-financing woes and rejection of loans by buyers, Fateh said.