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New government, new hope for Malaysian property market?

Pakatan Harapan’s policies and programmes as outlined in The People’s Manifesto provide great anticipation for homebuyers, developers and investors alike. If done right, these strategies will go a long way in curbing the housing affordability conundrum.  The 14th Malaysian General Elections (GE14) on 9th May 2018 will go down in history as one of the most memorable days for millions of locals nationwide. The majority voted in favour of the opposition alliance to serve as the country’s new government – the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition trumped Barisan National (BN), which has been in power for 6 decades. We are all excited to see how PH will bring forth positive change; the new government has promised a reformation of Malaysia’s administration and politics as well as sustainable growth and...Read More

Is RENT-TO-OWN the answer to home ownership?

Let’s face the elephant in the room, shall we? For most Gen Ys out there, obtaining a home loan in the current economic condition seems like ‘Mission Impossible’. When you cannot purchase a house, rent instead, some people would advise. However, unbeknown to many Malaysians, there is a third option available – the rent-toown (RTO) scheme. The RTO concept operates based on a lease-purchase contract, between a buyer and developer. The buyer will first rent a property from the developer with an option to purchase at the end of the contract period, which could range from 20-30 years. There is also an option fee involved which must be paid by said buyer; a typical figure is roughly 5% of the property price. In RTO deals, a certain percentage of the monthly rent paid will be credited to the prop...Read More

Of speculators and bogus house buyers

Immediate government measures are needed to tackle issue “Harga Rumah Melampau” – that’s the desperate cry of the rakyat against skyrocketing house prices as headlined by one of the widely-read Bahasa Malaysia newspapers. In English, it translates to “House prices are ridiculous”. The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has consistently called for government intervention to prevent a “homeless generation of young adult Malaysians” from emerging, especially in urban and sub-urban areas, who, if not for wild speculation, would be able to buy their own houses. In time, Malaysia will face a “social crisis” with serious political implications if the majority of the lower and middle-income groups do not have affordable houses. The matter is of grave urgency because the homeless hail from the...Read More

Management cannot stop foreigners from staying, says buyers association

  PETALING JAYA (Dec 3): The decision by the Alam Prima management in Shah Alam, Selangor, to state that foreigners are not welcome to stay at its units is irregular and morally wrong, according to the National House Buyers Association (HBA). HBA honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong told The Malaysian Insider that the issue of prohibiting “foreigners” was unacceptable. “There are plenty of foreign-owned condominiums and resorts in Langkawi. They could retaliate by banning locals. There should not be any profiling,” he said. Chang said that there was no law from prohibiting foreigners from renting or staying at condominiums or other properties. “If any by-laws were passed at the condominium’s annual general meeting (AGM) then they must be consistent with the Strata Management Reg...Read More

Malaysia Budget 2016 – Part 2

National House Buyers Association (HBA) president, Chang Kim Loong, raises more concerns and issues pertaining property, some which were not taken up in 2016 year’s budget. Pleased by the fact that the government has looked into curbing measures which it implemented in the 2014 budget like increase in RPGT (Exit Costs), LTV and prohibition of DIBS, Chang says: “These have achieved its objectives in partially deterring speculators and ‘bogus’ house buyers. It has also brought some sense of orderliness to the housing arena. “However, HBA have appealed to the government to adopt further measures to be implemented in Budget 2016.” These are outlined below.   A) Increase in entry cost for owners of multiple properties Chang revealed that the association has requested that the government in...Read More

Making housing affordable to the rakyat

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) acknowledges the challenges faced by the prime minister in tabling Budget 2017 in view of the slowdown in the global and regional economies and steep drop of the ringgit. HBA’s wish list to stem excessive speculation in the property sector that had caused the unbridled escalation of property prices will remain. We must also continue to challenge some ill-concocted ideas that may prey on the government’s laxity. It was for this purpose that HBA accepted the Ministry of Finance’s invitation early this month to table a paper entitled Affordable Housing: How the Rakyat could own it? in a focus group dialogue with all stakeholders, both government and private. The government now seems to be serious about doing something. If so, it has to make several ...Read More

Make Kampung Baru a PR1MA Malay suburb

THE 1Malaysia People Housing Programme (PR1MA) is a government initiative with the promise of an affordable home for every couple that deserves it and meets its criteria. The Government’s main contribution to ensuring affordability is its land, which is a significant subsidy. It is necessary for the organisation to have clear criteria for these affordable homes. PR1MA will have to be comprehensive in all aspects of house purchase: criteria for qualifying, build and sell; types of houses, the exclusion of commercial properties, the grievance redressal regime between purchaser and PR1MA, controls over sub-sale and, of course, appropriate sanctions for dishonesty in dealings with PR1MA. They must build the right product at the right place with the right pricing and the right numbers. Already,...Read More

Limit PR1MA’s special end-financing scheme to first-time buyers, says HBA

PETALING JAYA: The Special PR1MA End Financing Scheme (SPEF) and subsequent sale of 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) homes should be limited to only first-time house buyers, said the National House Buyers Association (HBA). HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong applauded the SPEF, which will assist the lower income group to obtain financing to buy their PR1MA homes as many potential buyers have been denied financing by banks. “However, as this is a special financing scheme for the lower income group, HBA hopes that this financing scheme is only reserved for first-time house buyers as PR1MA has already allowed second-time house buyers to buy PR1MA properties,” he said in a statement yesterday. Chang said the subsequent sale of PR1MA units should be regulated and urged Perbadanan...Read More

Lack of Affordable Housing for First-Time House Buyers

Houses listed up to RM165,060 are considered to be affordable to a median family household in Malaysia, according to the Deputy Minister of Finance 1, Datuk Othman Aziz. He explained that the figure was calculated using the Demographia International methodology named the “median multiple” technology recommended by the World Bank and the United Nations for the evaluation of urban housing markets. The methodology defines that if a household can finance the house with less than three times its annual household income, the house is considered affordable. According to Bank Negara Malaysia in its Annual Report 2016, 50% of Malaysian households earned a monthly income of RM4,585 and below in 2014, thus suggesting that houses valued up to RM165,060 are affordable to them. “However, only 21% of new...Read More

House buyers still being hoodwinked?

FOR many years, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) has been sounding alarm bells that prices of houses are getting more and more unaffordable for the average rakyat, especially the lower and middle income segment. Based on current starting salaries of about RM3,000 per month and with prices of new launches of apartments in the Klang Valley being priced in excess of RM500,000, it is almost impossible for our younger generation and single parents to own their own homes. Unless strong measures are taken by the Government to address the issue of steep rise in house prices, Malaysia risk facing a “homeless generation” that can cause various social issues with far reaching complication. HBA had previously expressed its gratitude and thanks when the Prime Minister introduced stronger mea...Read More

House buyers body tells developers: You are to blame, too

PETALING JAYA: Housing developers shouldn’t blame the authorities for houses being expensive as they, too, contribute to the inflated housing prices, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) said. Speaking to FMT, HBA honorary secretary general Chang Kim Loong agreed with the statement of the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) that government intervention was needed to bring down the prices of properties. Earlier, in a Malay Mail Online report, Rehda president Fateh Iskandar said that prices of homes were unlikely to drop without the intervention of the authorities as developers had to bear the costs of building utilities such as drainage, sewerage and roads. He also cited regulatory costs such as the new levy imposed on steel and land conversion costs by state gover...Read More

Helping the poor own houses

BUYING a home is typically the largest and most complicated financial commitment most people will ever make”. This is the phrase used whenever there is talk of homeownership and it applies to low-income households, too. First-time buyers face many barriers, one of them being the burden of monthly payments, having enough savings to sustain the responsibilities of owning a house, and income stability to qualify for housing loans. Even if they do qualify, potential buyers may be hampered by a lack of affordable homes in a preferred location or even information on how to buy a home. While the basics of acquiring a home is accessible to the educated and higher-income group, the low-income households do not have access to such information and perhaps have no idea about how to become homeowners. ...Read More