finance

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

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

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

Pre-requisite condition for licensing of a housing developer

It is noteworthy that the Housing and Local Government is providing further protection to house buyers against the antics of irresponsible developers. The recent amendments to the Housing Development Act comes to mind. One of the most pertinent clause that was amended is Section 6(1)(b) of the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966. The matter refers to the amendment to the requisite deposit, which is refundable, from the current RM200,000 to 3% of the construction cost. Small developers who build small number of houses in the smaller towns and where total construction cost is RM2mil or less, the RM200,000 that they are currently forking out actually represents over 10%. Therefore, for them the new 3% is actually a vast reduction! To a big project developer whose construct...Read More

HBA: Allow EPF to offer home loans to members

PETALING JAYA (June 19): The National House Buyers Association (HBA) is urging the government to allow the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to extend financing for home purchases – particularly of affordable units – to eligible members, reported Free Malaysia Today. Its secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said this proposal would help members who are unable obtain financing without forcing banks to relax their lending guidelines. “Our preliminary thoughts are for EPF to disburse 15 to 20-year loans to a member who has been contributing for at least five years and earning less than RM5,000,” he said. To prevent abuse, the homes will be subjected to a 10-year lock-in period, he added. “At the same time, to ensure the member still has some money for contingencies, the EPF can buy insurance with ...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