Property Information

A layperson’s guide to all things STRATA

Gunaprasath Bupalan – www.property360digest.com / www.malaysiaglobalbusinessforum.com / www.newshubasia.com Many of you living in apartments, condominiums, town houses and SOHO (small office home office) would probably be familiar with the term ‘strata’. We read and hear of terms such as ‘strata title’ and ‘strata properties’. The word ‘strata’ is actually the plural word for ‘stratum’, which according to most dictionaries such as the Cambridge Dictionary can mean ‘one of the parts or layers into which something is separated’. In Malaysia, ‘strata’ generally refers to individual units of your homes within multiple levels of floors of your high or low-rise properties, which are constructed upwards i.e. vertically. Strata properties can also be within horizontal layers within gated and...Read More

The Follies and Foibles in Community Living

Gunaprasath Bupalan – www.property360digest / www.malaysiaglobalbusinessforum.com / www.newshubasia.com Taking a break from its usual serious and educational writings, in this segment, HBA has decided to air its funny bone and show what tickles HBA. A friend once told me that reading HBA’s articles on all things housing is like being immersed in a ‘horror housing series’ of the brutally honest kind. Words like ‘unscrupulous developers’, ‘irresponsible authorities’, ‘abandoned projects’, ‘perpetual renters’, ‘homeless generations’ strikes such terror in her heart that even the most haunted of ghost stories cannot rival its effects. But, I guess HBA tells the truth that housing developers refuse to hear and face as reality but shun such truths as spreading gloom and doom. A question wa...Read More

RPGT won’t hurt genuine buyers

Banning DIBS is the right move FOR many years, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) has been urging the Government to take measures to stem the steep rise in property prices to avoid a “homeless generation” as current property prices are far beyond the reach of many low and middle-income families in urban and suburban areas. This is a ticking time bomb that will result in many social problems if left unchecked. Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) The announcement of the revised rate of tax on gains made in the disposal of properties, namely, the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), formerly known as the Anti Speculation Act, under Budget 2014 is far more superior to what had been proposed under Budget 2013 (See table above) This is because, typically, if the property is purchased directly fro...Read More

Rising assessment rates and your rights

Zero engagement, public relations exercise non-existent THE simple, routine exercise of a property revaluation in the city of Kuala Lumpur has somehow turned controversial due to the lack of apparent justification, given the magnitude of the increase and scarcity of explanation. Perhaps, the people in Government think there is no need for some form of elementary public relations and that having power is enough. There was practically no public engagement, consultation or attempt to seek feedback from stakeholders. If such a simple task as revaluing the properties in Kuala Lumpur cannot be carried out diligently and in a responsible manner, I am concerned with the impending introduction of the more complex goods and services tax (GST). Will the levy and collection of the GST be properly hand...Read More

Rent or buy houses: The HBA’s guide to finding the right time

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 ― Stumped on when is the right time to stop renting? Not sure if you should defer buying a house? The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has some tips. HBA honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong explained that since rental does not build personal equity, renters should consider both market conditions and their financial standing. “In our opinion, it is only worth renting if the monthly rentals are approximately 50 per cent or less than the monthly loan installments required to take a housing loan of the same value,” he said. Chang gave an example of a prospective buyers eyeing a 30-year RM300,000 housing loan at a 4.6 per cent interest rate, which results in a monthly installment of RM1,538. “If the buyer has not saved enough money to buy the property and has...Read More

Purchasers’ risk in progressive payment

THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) has complained to the Minister and those under his charge about purchasers becoming victims when they lose their homes as a result of foreclosure proceedings taken against them by banks to recover loans taken by developers secured by purchasers’ houses bought from the same developers, because the said developers did not settle the loans taken by them. The crux of the problem is that the Housing Ministry-prescribed sale and purchase agreement (SPA) allows the developer to build the purchaser’s house with the instalments of the purchase price paid by the purchaser from the day the SPA is signed. On top of this, and even more seriously, the developer is allowed to borrow from the developer’s banks on the security of the purchaser’s property. The pur...Read More

PR1MA now chasing profit, not helping first-time owners, says house buyers’ group

(April 20): PR1MA Corporation Malaysia (PR1MA) has strayed from its objective of building affordable homes in urban localities and instead has become profit-oriented, going into joint ventures with private developers, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) said. Its secretary-general, Chang Kim Loong, said the corporation under the Prime Minister’s Office has relaxed many of its housing requirements and allowed private developers to come in as joint venture partners. “We know these private developers are profit-oriented and they are not there to do charity. Therefore, why should PR1MA share their cake with them?” Chang said it has increased the ceiling price of a house from RM350,000 to RM450,000 last year and allowed second-time buyers to purchase PR1MA units. “The ...Read More

Buyers: Cheap homes too small, too few, too far away

PETALING JAYA: So-called affordable homes are too small, too far away and too few, the national house-buyers’ association said today, disputing a claim by developers of an oversupply of affordable homes. The National House Buyers Association (HBA) also criticised the unrealistic definition of “affordable homes” used by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda). HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong concurred with Bank Negara Malaysia that most Malaysians could not afford homes costing between RM300,000 and RM500,000, which falls within Rehda’s definition of affordable housing. Chang said the price should be between RM150,000 and RM300,000. Speaking to FMT, he pointed out that Bank Negara had in fact estimated the maximum price of an affordable home to be only RM282,000, d...Read More

Malaysian housing developers ignoring freebie guidelines

SOME seven months after more cooling measures were introduced, home prices continue to inch up as developers prefer to offer rebates than price their products lower. Many appear to be not abiding by guidelines on “freebies”. Some banks are also still basing their financing on the sales-and-purchase agreement (SPA) price rather than net selling price, a survey by the national House Buyers Association (HBA) has found. On a more positive note, except for one small developer, the projects surveyed by HBA volunteers did not offer the easy financing developer interest bearing scheme (Dibs), which the government had banned from this year. Brochures and other materials gathered by volunteers at various property fairs, however, indicate that many developers – even the bigger ones ...Read More

Malaysia’s property market in 2016: What to expect & predictions

INDUSTRY EXPERTS Warrick Singh Director of Business Development/Training of Asian Realty Sdn Bhd, Asian Land Auctioneers Sdn Bhd/Starfish Training Sdn Bhd  As we move into 2016, the ‘cloud of uncertainty’ hanging over the Malaysian economy would settle somewhat preceding several recent capital measures, such as the purchase of Malaysian bonds, intra-trade in Chinese Renmimbi instead of US Dollar and the offer of RMB50 billion of a protected Chinese capital market. Also, the development of the LRT/MRT lines which enhances connectivity to Greater Klang Valley including Seremban, Rawang and Klang will bode well for the residential and commercial property market. Malaysia generally has a young population where 80% of Malaysians are below the age of 50, which means the demand for houses is only...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

Moneylender licence ‘ill-advised’ proposal

HBA says scheme will drag house buyers deeper in debt THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) views with grave concern on the statement by the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar that eligible housing developers can now apply for moneylenders licences to provide loan facilities of up to 100% to property buyers. Instead of assisting house buyers get a “soft loan”, it seems that house buyers are dragged into deeper debts unwittingly. Such a “scheme” will only bring more harm than good and we will attempt to elaborate why. Interest rates The effective interest rate for a conventional housing loan, from banks and financial institution, ranges between 4.6% and 5% depending on various factors such as the amount borrowed, risk profile of the borrower, dura...Read More