‘LACK OF KNOWLEDGE HURTING NEW BUYERS’
Carefully-designed strategy for housing market required
FIRST-TIME house buyers are hampered by a lack of affordable houses in their preferred locations or even information on how to buy a house.
This is in addition to the many barriers they are already facing, including not able to make the monthly payments and to secure loans.
National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said while the higher income group may know the basics of acquiring a property, low-income households did not have access to such information and perhaps no knowledge about home ownership as well.
Owners in the low and mediumincome groups stand to lose their homes if they are unable to keep up with payments.
“While extending house ownership to low and medium-income households is a priority, issues like banking, financial management and education cannot be ignored,” he said.
Bank Negara Malaysia, in its 2016 Annual Report yesterday, said the Malaysian housing market had not been able to provide adequate supply of affordable housing for the masses.
The report said the undersupply of affordable houses was likely to worsen, given current trends in income distribution and demographics.
It said going forward, a carefully-designed strategy of policy interventions was required for the housing market to ensure that it could accommodate households of all income groups.
Chang agreed that there should be a single umbrella, preferably at the federal level, where information could be collected to coordinate the total numbers of such units being built, their location and the pricing.
Bank Negara also said on the demand side, developing the rental market to bridge the affordability gap could relieve some of the pressure on the government.
Speaking on another matter, Chang said the HBA was amazed by the commitment and vision of Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, who had priced bungalows and semi-detached units for under RM100,000.
“If the sultan can do it, why can’t others emulate him?” he said.
Chang Kim Loong