Association seeks more gov’t support for struggling sector

The head of the Macau Real Estate Development Association called on the government to further support the struggling property sector by loosening market restrictions.

Peter Lok, the head of the Macau Real Estate Development Association, acknowledged the “correct” decision to suspend five subsidized housing projects due to weak demand, noting that the projects offered limited assistance and that the outlook remained poor.

The vacancy rate of commercial properties has worsened and market confidence is low, according to Lok.

Lok urged complete elimination of restrictions implemented to combat speculation. He argued this would not necessarily lead to higher prices, citing Hong Kong’s recent move without a corresponding price surge. He has previously said such curbs are outdated as public housing supply exceeds demand, and banks should be permitted to freely set loan-to-value ratios, which are currently capped at 70%.

Association leaders joined Lok’s call to reinstate the residency investment program to boost the market. The government halted the five projects totalling 5,400 units due to new lower income limits, which reduced applicant numbers. Transport Secretary Raimundo Arrais do Rosário said that with no timetable set for improved demand, regular public housing applications will not be accepted for now. Staff Reporter

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