PETALING JAYA: Some of the biggest players in the property industry are requesting the Government to extend PR1MA’s flexible end-financing schemes to all developments that meet the criteria to enable more people to benefit from the affordable housing scheme.
IJM Land Bhd managing director Edward Chong said the “step-up” end-financing scheme for PR1MA is currently limited to PR1MA housing, which could restrict the choices of house buyers. The expansion of eligibility for all developers to participate in this special instalment plan could help more young buyers to acquire houses.
“If the Government intends to help first-time buyers to get houses, it can’t be just PRIMA as the buyers might settle down in other locations. Developers are willing to meet the standards set for PR1MA housing for the projects that participate in this financing scheme,” Chong said during the roundtable titled “Wishlist for Malaysia’s Property Industry in Budget 2018”.
Organised by StarProperty.my on Wednesday, the event saw the participation of developers and stakeholders of the property industry to discuss the real estate market and to address the housing issues faced by the public.
The roundtable was also attended by LBS BINA GROUP BHD managing director Tan Sri Lim Hock San, MAH SING GROUP BHD chief executive officer Datuk Ho Hon Sang, JKG LAND BHD managing director Datuk Teh Kean Ming and Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents vice-president Kelvin Yip, It was moderated by StarProperty assistant general manager Ernest Towle.
The step-up financing scheme, a government initiative, assists house buyers by reducing the monthly instalments for the first five years before increasing them in the following years until the loan is settled.
Teh suggested that the Government create a sustainable model for affordable homes.
“Now, the private developers come up with ideas of building affordable housing under the requirements of the Government and they subsidise the price. That hardly seems sustainable.
“It may be good for a year or so, but we are talking about affordable housing that has been a prevalent issue for years,” he added.
He said the Government could emulate the example of the successful Housing and Development Board model of Singapore.
“For people who can’t afford to buy, they can first rent the home, and they can upgrade their home in the future.
“It is a more sustainable measure as you help the rakyat create wealth instead of pumping in money to allow people to buy homes,” said Teh.
The participants also recommended the reintroduction of the developer interest bearing scheme (DIBS) for first-time homebuyers, especially for properties below RM600,000.
The DIBS allows property developers to absorb the loan interest of the house buyers during the construction period of the property. “There are many first-time buyers in the primary market. The DIBS scheme increases the affordability factor for the buyers.
“The profiling on potential income of buyers would also help as the buyers’ earnings should increase following their career growth. The bank can impose a higher interest based on the growth in income,” said Yip.
Yip also suggested deferring the increase of stamp duty in January 2018 from 3% to 4% for houses costing RM1mil and above to ease the pressure on the housing market.
Ho said the exemption of stamp duty for houses below RM300,000 to houses up to RM700,000 would cover a wider range of affordable homes, besides increasing the allocation of EPF account two for mortgage payment from 30% to 40%.
Read the upcoming October issue of StarProperty.my pullout on Oct 4.