‘There are homes out there’

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 26 Oct 2017

Not out of reach: Affordable housing are available though they are mostly located about 30km from Kuala Lumpur.

PETALING JAYA: Affordable houses costing between RM200,000 and RM250,000 exist. They are just difficult to access. There are thousands of them but awareness among buyers is low.

Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohd Mansor said there must be better awareness.

“We know the houses are there. We need one authority to provide the big data so people are aware that these properties are available throughout the country.

“Although financing is an issue, there has to be awareness that these units are widely available,” he said.

Affordable housing is a major issue in Budget 2018 that will be presented by the Prime Minister tomorrow.

A survey by The Star on Monday and Tuesday shows that these houses are available in the Klang Valley – in Kajang, Bukit Jalil, Kepong, Setia Alam, Cheras, Klang and Cyberjaya.

According to map search results, houses within this price range in the Klang Valley are mostly located more than 30km away from Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

“Units exist by the thousands across the country,” said Fateh Iskandar.

These units come in sizes of between 662sq ft and 1,635sq ft for a double-storey house, depending on location. Most of them have three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

On a national basis, about 70% of them are apartments. Some projects have units exceeding 2,000.

According to the Statistics Department, the median monthly household income for Malaysia last year rose to RM5,228 from RM4,585 in 2014.

With a national median monthly household income at RM5,228, houses that would be considered affordable would cost around RM188,000, or three times a household’s median annual income.

With RM188,000 as a guide, The Star researched housing between RM200,000 and RM250,000.

Malaysia has about 10 affordable housing programmes initiated by the Government.

However, registering interest involves online registration and having to read a manual prior to that. It also assumes a computer is easily accessible which may not be the case in some households.

The Government then selects who can buy the units and where.

Said an industrial source: “The Government gives the developers a list of potential buyers, who then call the buyers.

“At this point, a few issues may arise. The potential buyer may be unhappy with the location or the unit. Or those selected may not be eligible for the financing they want. Or they already own property.”

The source said the margin for affordable housing is low, or non-existent. Developers take a long time to sell them and unsold units represent a loss to them.

According to another source, some buyers are rather picky.

A survey done by the source showed that first-time buyers prefer locations like Hartamas, Damansara or KL city centre while most of the affordable housing are in the outskirts.

These housing programmes include PR1MA, Rumah Selangorku, Federal Territories Housing Scheme (RUMAWIP), Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR), Perumah Penjewat Awam 1 Malaysia (PPA1M), Rumah Mesra Rakyat 1 Malaysia (RMR1M), Rumah Idaman Rakyat (RIR), MyHome 1 and MyHome 2, Rumah Mesra Rakyat Plus (RMRplus), Rumah Mampu Milik Johor and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd.

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