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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

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

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

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

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

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