Highlight

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

New doesn’t mean perfect

Complaint One “I received the keys to our home and to our dismay, the property had many defects, ranging from minor problems to major misalignment of the walls and beams. The developer is rectifying the minor defects but is not willing to ‘align’ the walls or beams that have been placed improperly. How can I have the process for rectification expedited as we have paid in full and are still unable to occupy the house?” Complaint Two “The floor tiles in my apartment’s living room are not properly fixed. When one walks over them, they give a certain hollow sound. There are at least 30 floor tiles with this problem. Also, the edges of the walls where the tiles meet were not properly done. I submitted a complaint form, but the developer has not done anything to rectify them. Now, it’s been almo...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 it legal

  Addressing the issue of unsanctioned extensions to the kitchen, porch and upper rear floor SCENARIO A: I bought my terrace house some 20 years ago and I didn’t know that I have to obtain building plans for my extended kitchen. Scenario B: Waste of time to legalise the balcony that was created on-top of the car porch. After all, I am selling my house to migrate. Scenario C: All my neighbours have the same illegal extension to their kitchen without the five feet setback. We just copied them. What should I do then? Scenario D: We have obtained the approved building plans from the local council but didn’t procure the Certificate of Compliance and Completion (CCC) from our architects. We are not sure whether the contractors built according to the plans. But, our architects have not issue...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

Look at the fine print in guaranteed rental returns

CALL them what you like leasebacks, buy-to-let, cash back, own-for-free developers have come up with creative plans to woo investors with guaranteed rental returns (GRRs) on yet-to-be-built properties. Developers would agree to pay buyers rentals ranging from 8% to 12% per annum or a proportion of the purchase price for a certain length of time. This kind of purchase, which has become increasingly common judging from the press advertisements, sounds enticing to investors who do not want the trouble of managing their own investments. You buy the property, and you get the rental returns thrown in. While GRRs could be very attractive, investors need to know that the scheme is not as simple as it seems, much like ads that appeal to our desire to lose weight quickly, get rich fast or strike the...Read More

Let the house buyers beware!

To not educate yourself and learn from the mistakes of others only sets you up to be at best, disappointed and at worst, being ‘house poor’ FOR many people, the purchase of a home is the most important financial decision of their lives. Therefore, it makes sense to approach the decision carefully. The purchase of a home is unlike any other consumer product as it covers a lot of ground – including legal, financial, technical and emotional considerations. To not educate yourself and learn from the mistakes of others only sets you up to be at best, disappointed and at worst, being “house poor”. Caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware! The idea is that buyers take responsibility for the condition of the items they purchase, and should examine them before purchase. How true is this for the property...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

Is the Housing Tribunal effective?

  Scenario A: You want to file your claim at the Housing Tribunal? Aiyah, better not lah, waste of time only. My friend filed his claim two years ago. Until now, still cannot get his money. You better go to court. Scenario B: But very expensive if go to court. The lawyer says my case must go to the magistrates’ court, and you know how much he wants to charge? RM5,000! On top of that, he says RM5,000 does not include filing fees and travelling. Worse still, he says he cannot guarantee I will get my money. Where I got money to pay the lawyer, the developer delayed my house for so long. I told the lawyer he can deduct from the money the developer has to pay me, but he says cannot. If the developer doesn’t pay I still have to pay his legal fees and expenses, he says. Where got justice? &n...Read More

Implement ‘Build-Then-Sell’ System To Protect House Buyers, Says HBA

To eliminate cases of abandoned housing projects, the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government should include the build-then-sell 10:90 (BTS 10:90) system in its plans for Malaysia’s housing sector, urged the National House Buyers Association (HBA). Under this system, home buyers pay an initial downpayment of 10 percent only when booking a housing unit, with the remaining amount to be paid once the vacant possession of the unit is delivered to them, reported Free Malaysia Today. “Aside from being an eyesore, abandoned projects cause hardship to house buyers who need to continue with their monthly bank instalments for housing loans,” said HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong. “The BTS 10:90 is a far safer mode of home delivery system and the new federal government should implement it without fu...Read More