PETALING JAYA: A major property developer has expressed support for the move to allow housing developers to apply for moneylender licences to provide loans to property buyers.
I-Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong (pic) viewed the initiative as a positive move, reflective of the Government’s recognition of the challenges being faced by developers and consumers alike.
“More importantly, the Government is willing to do the necessary to alleviate current difficulties faced in these soft market conditions.
“Whether it proves successful or not will ultimately depend on the appetites of developers who may not see the worth in taking on additional credit risks despite potential benefits and risk profiles of borrowers,” said Lim.
He expressed hope that the move could help boost the property market further as the Government had shown that it was ready to act.
“Will we see more measures announced in the near future?
“We certainly hope so. A vibrant property market is vital to all.”
Lim said any alternative and innovative measures which have the interest of buyers in mind would be positive for the sector.
Non-bank lender Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman said it was still not clear whether developers had the capacity to offer financing.
“The question is how deep must a developer's pockets be? I’m sure developers who are able to lend will also have the skills to evaluate the applications,” he said.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations deputy president Mohd Yusof Abd Rahman said the move by developers to offer loans would not solve the shortage of affordable housing.
“There have been various initiatives such as PR1MA and others, but most of these projects are still under construction,” he said.
Mohd Yusof said one reason why many cannot afford to get loans was because the rising cost of living meant their salaries were no longer enough to support a housing loan.
Selangor exco in charge of housing Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad said developers should focus only on building houses, while banks focus on giving loans.
He said the Federal Government should set up a fund or body to offer loans to buyers who fail to secure financing from banks.
“The Selangor government had set up the Danasel scheme to help those who could not get loans from banks but the resources of the state government is limited and we could only allocate RM20mil for the scheme this year,” said Iskandar.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said the interest rate for loans taken under the scheme, which varies from a maximum 12% with collateral and up to 18% without collateral, was not rational and would be a burden for housebuyers.
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