More Support For First-Time House Buyers Needed
BY CAITLYN NG LI YUIN
PETALING JAYA: The Government should consider providing more support to first-time homebuyers in terms of downpayment and playing a greater role in public housing development.
Some of the main challenges developers feel are common to first-time homebuyers are the initial deposit and loan servicing.
IJM Land Bhd managing director Edward Chong noted that the Government’s MyDeposit scheme had been beneficial to that group in both aspects.
“The Government should still look into allocating more funding than the current RM200mil,” he said at a roundtable discussion organised by StarProperty.my at Menara Star.
The event provided an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their thoughts on the current property market.
Chong added that during the construction period, most homebuyers would have to pay rental and service the interest of the mortgage at the same time.
“The Government should allow for developers to come up with innovative financing packages to alleviate the problem during the initial period,” he said.
Ekovest Bhd project director Christopher Yeo said the Government could work with stakeholders in offering a comprehensive housing policy.
“This can be done by the Government purchasing low-to-medium-cost housing projects from developers and leasing them out to the public as affordable housing should be the tax collector’s responsibility, and not that of the developers who have been paying corporate taxes.
“The Government should also set aside more land at a lower cost for public housing so that the selling price can be lowered,” he said.
iWajib Property Sdn Bhd director Datuk Chew Yin Keen said an rise in the Debt Servicing Ratio (DSR) from 60% to 70% was more ideal.
“The banks need to do CSR (corporate social responsibility) by reducing the interest rate on housing loans to about 2% or 3%.
“This can be a special rate just for first-time homebuyers. The DSR will inevitably increase and encourage more people to apply for a mortgage to buy their dream home,” he opined.
Other specialists on the panel were Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents president Erick Kho, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Penang chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong and Mah Sing Group Bhd CEO/executive director Ho Hon Sang.
The discussion was moderated by StarProperty.my acting assistant general manager Ernest Towle.
For more information on future events, go to www.starproperty.my.
READ MORE in the upcoming October issue of StarProperty pullout on October 5th.