Buyers Beware

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

Full-disclosure by developers

THE National House Buyers Association seems to have finally succeeded in persuading the Government to make developers provide purchasers with a full set of detailed approved documents of the property. In fact, this has all along been a legal requirement. As far as landed properties are concerned, the approved layout plan and the approved building plan are to be included in the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) as the first schedule and second schedule respectively. With respect to the strata titles, there are the site plan, layout plan, floor plan of the parcel, storey plan of the building, accessory plan and common facilities plan, all approved, which comprised the first and second schedules. The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry has now agreed with HBA that the detai...Read More

Not all apartments are the same

CALL them what you like – small office home office (Soho), small office flexi office, small office versatile office, condotel, hotel suite or butler serviced apartment. The names are coined by housing developers with creative plans to woo investors with enticing marketing tools on yet-to- be-built stratified properties. Where people used to buy an apartment unit/parcel for a roof over their heads, of late, so many other styles have crept up to boggle the minds of investors and buyers. However, for the uninitiated – not all apartments are created equal. Although the sales and marketing brochures may look alike, the small prints will tell you the difference, if you care to take a magnifying glass to inspect. Then again, for the first-timers, they are unlikely to spot the difference. This art...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

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

Leakage – A strata living nightmare

IF you live in a high rise building and have an inter-floor leakage issue, you can be rest assured that you are not alone. Inter-floor leakage is without a doubt one of the biggest problems faced by many dwellers of high rise buildings. Whilst the leakage may appear only in a particular parcel, the source of the leakage may lie in the parcel above or even elsewhere. The cooperation of more than one party is therefore required; without which one cannot even begin to identify the problem, let alone solve it. Two issues must be identified when there is an inter-floor leakage. Firstly, the source of the leakage and secondly, the person or body responsible for repair or rectification. Who is supposed to identify the source of the leakage to start with? The person or body responsible of course, ...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

HGS akin to guaranteeing developers’ profit

THE first question the Government needs to face is why does abandonment of housing projects take place? The root cause is the lack of and lax in enfocement of existing laws. The National House Buyers Association (HBA) is deeply concerned that the Government proposes to set up a Housing Guarantee Corporation (HGS) purportedly to protect buyers and housing developers in the event of abandonment of housing projects by developers. What is more worrying is that the loss caused by abandonment is to be incurred by the Government. The Government will hold 70% equity in the HGS while the balance is held by private funds i.e. Rehda and government-linked agencies such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Tabung Haji. Lax and lack of enforcement The public who rely on legislations are often let d...Read More

HBA takes legal action against KPKT

“Buyers of Palace Court suffered a delay in the delivery of their homes and the granted E.O.T. will now extinguish their compensation rights”, says HBA. The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has declared that it will be pursuing legal action against the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (KPKT) with regard to a project called Palace Court in KL, developed by BHL Construction Sdn Bhd. The decision, said the association, is so it can challenge the existence of Extension of Time (EOT) issued by KPKT to the developer, which has denied unit buyers the rights for entitlement of compensation in the form of liquidated ascertained damages (LAD) for the delay in delivering vacant possession of purchased units. According to HBA’s honorary secretary-general Cha...Read More

Easing lending guidelines not the solution: HBA

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 lending ...Read More

Do necessary checks before buying

THE NATIONAL House Buyers Association (HBA) refers to the statements from the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) that the recent proposal from the Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Tan Sri Noh Omar for eligible property developers to be given a moneylender license is only for the property developers to lend money to buyers as a “bridge” for downpayment on their home purchases and not as a full loan as speculated claiming that most bank loans today will only give margin of financing of 80% compared with 90% previously. HBA reaffirms our earlier view that despite the clarification from Rehda that developers lend money to buyers as a “bridge” for down payment for houses priced at RM500,000 and below, this proposal is still detrimental to ...Read More

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