affordable housing

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

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

HBA Maintains Easing Lending Guidelines is not the Solution to the Inaccessibility of Affordable Housing Loans

  PETALING JAYA: Relaxing banks’ lending criteria is not the solution to address the issue of access to affordable housing loans, said the National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary-general Chang Kim Loong. “The current problem is that house prices are too expensive in relation to the buyers’ income. This has resulted in some prospective house buyers having their loan applications rejected. However, the solution is not to relax lending guidelines but to find ways to lower property prices. The relaxation of lending guidelines will surely worsen the situation and speed up the road to a ‘homeless generation’ that HBA has been warning about for years,” he told SunBiz, addressing the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association’s (Rehda) call for banks to be less strict in their l...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

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

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

HBA wants the BTS model for affordable houses

SHOULDN’T buyers of affordable houses be given more protection? Do they have lawyers to advise them? And act for them in court against dishonest developers? Are they expected to spend a lot of money pursuing their interests and entitlement? Even the reasonably well-off suffer because of the lopsided sale & purchase agreement (SPA) provided by the Housing Ministry and exploited by developers. HBA’s long campaign against the sell-then-build (STB) system should be vindicated in the case of buyers of affordable houses. The buyers of affordable houses are people of modest means, and deserve to be protected. BTS 10:90 vs STB The current STB system has caused abandonment and, worst, foreclosure of the purchaser’s property by the developer’s banks. The STB is the developer’s dream as it allows...Read More

Fear of homeless generation

THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) has been warning the Government for many years that prices of property have risen beyond the reach of the majority of Malaysians and that unless it takes serious measures to tackle this issue, a “homeless generation” will emerge. Putrajaya’s housing programmes, including giving subsidies to Malaysians to own a home, are not holistic solutions to this country’s housing woes. The Government must move away from the mentality of “giving fish” to teaching people “how to fish” – in other words, empowering the public. The Government has been providing subsidies and social housing to the poor for generations. But has that improved their lot? These subsidies/incentives come from taxpayers’ pocket. Invariably, a taxpayer who cannot afford to buy a house wi...Read More

First-time house buyers to gain

HBA is happy that more affordable homes are to be built under Budget 2015 and DIBS ban stays. THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) wishes to thank the Prime Minister for the measures announced in Budget 2015 to build more affordable homes for the rakyat. HBA is grateful that the Prime Minister rejected calls from the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia and other groups with vested interest to reintroduce Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS) for first-time house buyers. DIBS The HBA is glad the Government has continued to heed our call to ban DIBS or any permutation that entails interest capitalisation. Developers, being entrepreneurs, have to be responsible and bear the risks that come with their investment. They should not be allowed to enjoy profits at the...Read More

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