PETALING JAYA: The threshold for foreigners to purchase urban high-rise properties has been reduced from RM1mil to RM600,000 next year.
Speaking during his Budget 2020 speech in Parliament on Friday (Oct 11), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said this was to reduce supply overhang of condominiums and apartments amounting to RM8.3bil in the second quarter of 2019.
He said that to assist youths in purchasing their first home, the government will extend the Youth Housing Scheme administered by Bank Simpanan Nasional from Jan 1,2020, until Dec 31,2021.
"The scheme also offers a 10% loan guarantee through Cagamas to enable borrowers of full financing and RM200 monthly instalment assistance for the first two years limited to 10,000 home units," he said.
Lim said that lower-income groups were also assisted with purchasing their first home with the launch of "Fund for Affordable Home" by Bank Negara in January this year.
"That was for properties priced up to RM150,000 at a concessionary interest rate up to 3.5%.
"The qualifying criteria was expanded on Sept 1,2019, to include property priced up to RM300,000 for households with maximum income of RM4,360, being the threshold income for B40," he said.
He added that as of September, 2,840 applications amounting to RM472.7mil had been received with the approval rate of 77.9%, amounting to 982 applications approved worth RM156.2mil.
Lim also said that the government has launched the Home Ownership Campaign where developers providing at least 10% discount for qualified properties, will be matched with stamp duty exemptions.
"As many as 21,000 property units valued at RM13.44bil under the Home Ownership Campaign have been successfully sold, exceeding the RM3bil initial sales target.
"The campaign deadline has been extended by six months from June 30 to Dec 31 Dec, 2019," he said.
Lim said that a Rent To Own (RTO) financing scheme has been set up for those unable to afford the initial 10% deposit and access financing in buying their first home.
"Through this scheme, financing of up to RM10bil will be provided by financial institutions with the support from the government via a 30% or RM3bil guarantee.
"This RTO scheme is for purchase of first home up to RM500,000 property price. Under this scheme, the applicant will rent the property for up to five years and after the first year, the tenant will have the option to purchase the house based on the price fixed at the time the tenancy agreement is signed.
"The government will provide stamp duty exemptions on the instruments of transfer between the developer and financial institution, and between financial institutions and the buyer in this scheme," he said.