Sep 06, 2013

    Malaysia home prices to rise on labour crunch

    PEOPLE looking to own a house in Malaysia any time soon will have to pay at least 10 per cent more for their dream home, according to developers.

    They said the increase was due to the double whammy that has hit the construction industry - higher costs of building materials resulting from the 20-sen (8 Singapore cents) rise in the price of RON95 petrol and diesel, and absenteeism among foreign workers because of a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigrants.

    Master Builders Association of Malaysia president Matthew Tee said members were complaining that their legal workers whose documents were being processed were staying away for fear of being arrested.

    "Our understanding is that all foreign workers will be detained unless they can prove that they have proper documentation," he said.

    Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia president Michael Yam Kong Choy said the failure of foreigners to turn up for work was causing delays, thus adding to costs which contractors were certain to pass on to consumers.

    He added: "The raids on construction sites have frightened even legitimate migrant workers who are staying away.

    "Because of the shrinking supply of workers, developers have to pay more for labour to meet contractual deadlines, failing which they will be penalised."

    Developers are bound by the sales-and-purchase agreement and will have to pay compensation to buyers for late delivery, Mr Yam said

    On the fuel-price hike, Mr Yam said it affected the supply chain of the construction industry, involving more than 100 types of business.