The government was looking into ways to resolve the ballooning home prices in Bintulu which has been continuously rising unabated since the 1980s.

According to Sarawak Land & Survey Department Bintulu Divison Superintendent Ajmaen Superi one of the options was for them to fix the weakness in the land premium processes.

In a meeting with Sarawak United People Party (SUPP) Bintulu branch led by its chairman Henry Ling, Ajmaen said once the various loopholes in current land laws being fixed there were chances the home prices might slightly reduce.

“The current system enables a company to exaggerate the quantum of land premium charges which they incorporated in their pricing,” he said.

“Hopefully once we have a new system to determine the land premium charges, new home prices in Bintulu will go down.”

Ajmaen explained, under current practices they can only determine the quantum of land premium to be charged on a house – once the project completed.

That runs contrary to the housing industry norms of “sell first and build later” basis where they already incorporated inflated land premium charges in their pricing – which translate into higher prices.

“As businesses, of course, they want more profit. The current practices couldn’t stop them from inflating the premium charges they passed to house buyers.

He said they are working hard at resolving the problem and already came out with several proposals including – to implement a gradual payment system.

“By paying the land premium in progressive payments instead of a lump sum, we hope will lessen the financial burden on developers as well as house buyer,” he said.

“House prices in Bintulu are the highest in the state – we hope under the new system we can help lower the prices of homes here,” he added.