housing

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

Rectifying a leak in strata living

IF you live in a high-rise building and have an inter-floor water leakage issue, you can rest assured that you are not alone. Inter-floor leakages are, without a doubt, one of the biggest problems faced by many dwellers of high-rise buildings. Building technology has progressed over the years and we can build high-rise buildings that can withstand earthquakes with seismic engineering, be fire-resistant with comprehensive fire prevention measures and green buildings with energy and water-efficient measures. Sadly, however, we do not have any provisions in building codes to look into an issue that bothers many building owners and occupants – a water leakage. Following my article that was published in the StarBizWeek Buyers Beware column on Aug 22, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) ...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

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

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

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

Malaysia’s errant developers still not afraid

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — No amount of new laws against offences committed by property developers will be effective without strict enforcement, said the House Buyers Association (HBA) today. This comes as the Housing and Local Government Ministry moved to propose amendments to the Housing Development Act 1966 to impose stiffer penalties against developers of abandoned housing projects. HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said tougher enforcement of laws was needed to deal with errant developers without which the new laws would remain “ornamental pieces”. “Wayward developers well know that their chances of getting away with their wayward deeds are extremely good,” he said in a statement. He called on the authorities to act against developers “without fear or favour”. He also said that while ...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

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

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