What is causing so much dissatisfaction with the housing market? Well, the provision of housing these days in large part, no longer fulfils a social function to provide people with homes within their budget. Instead, it has become a tool of wealth creation – for ‘investors’, financial institutions, speculators, and of course the developers.
In the meantime, people are evicted or displaced from their homes for meagre compensation and they are unable to afford housing nearer to city centres.
Investors and speculators buy the finished luxury houses and condominiums in the hope of long-term wealth accumulation. Speculators count on rising land prices. The banks earn loads of interest. The developers earn their profits and run.
This wealth accumulation from property has contributed to high income and wealth inequality. It didn’t matter if these luxury homes were left vacant or unoccupied by their wealthy buyers; in the past, rising prices more than made up for any lack of rental income – even as many ordinary Malaysians could only dream of buying their own homes.