budget

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

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

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

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

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 proposals for Budget 2016

THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) was invited to attend the annual Budget Consultation last Monday at PutraJaya International Convention Centre (PICC). This year’s theme was “Strengthening Growth, Enhancing Inclusiveness, Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability”. Although HBA has submitted our proposals to the secretary-general of the Federal Treasury for next year’s budget to enable our Government to consider them from the house buyers’ perspective, we thought it necessary to bring this up at the public forum. Having accorded the usual salutation to our Prime Minister who is also the Finance Minister, we begin to describe Budget 2014 and 2015 vis-à-vis housing as an ‘excellent mathematical formula’ to curb the unbridled escalation of house prices, which has in the last five years skyrock...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