KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11:
While Budget 2015 addressed issues of home ownership at affordable prices, especially for first-time buyers, iProperty Group chief executive officer Georg Chmiel was disappointed that no measures were introduced to control escalating house prices within Malaysia.
"Based on a survey that we conducted prior to the Budget 2015, 62% of respondents revealed that they wanted the government to ensure better control on house prices," he said in a statement today.
"This is not surprising as respondents rated the current affordability level of property prices in the country at 7.29 (1 being very affordable and 10 being not affordable at all).
"However, the Budget 2015 did not introduce any new measures to address this concern but certainly addressed the issues on affordable housing, reduction in income taxes and also better public transportation."
Lauding the government for introducing more schemes to meet the rising demand for affordable housing, Chmiel said these measures will be helpful for first-time buyers looking to get into the property market.
"The rent-to-own scheme which was introduced specifically for individuals who are unable to obtain bank financing under the PR1MA scheme is one that many Malaysians will find beneficial.
"Data from the Department of Statistics Housing Income Survey 2013 showed that 80% of Malaysians earn less than RM6,900 per month and cannot afford houses priced higher than RM300,000.
"According to Selangor State Development Corp or PKNS, there was a 70% rejection rate for first-time house buyers."
Chmiel added that, in light of Malaysia's relatively young population and labour force, increasing urbanisation and the general inclination to own a house, the Youth Housing Scheme - a smart partnership between the government, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Employee Provident Fund and Cagamas - is also one that is highly welcomed.
"There is a strong demand for affordable residential properties in major urban centres. This is evidenced by the fact that more than half of our survey's respondents looking for property priced below RM500,000.
"With this scheme, though limited to the first 20,000, more youths, married, between the ages for 25 and 40 years old with a household income not exceeding RM10,000 will be able to own a home.
"So, if you are within this age group and fit the requirements, I urge you to submit your applications as soon as it is made available," Chmiel urged.
"Even though the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme was not reintroduced and no new measures were introduced to curb the escalating house prices, the government did introduce other measures to make it easier for first-time home buyers to get into the property market."
He also commended the government for introducing various measures to address the issue of better public transportation in the country with the building of four highways, the upgrading of the East Coast railway line, the construction of the 56km second MRT line and also the LRT 3 project.
"About 40% of our survey respondents wanted the government to address the need for better public transportation and we are pleased that this need has been addressed.
"Other measures to improve the public transport system include the intercity bus services to those residing outside Kuala Lumpur at a discounted monthly fare of 30%, electric train service from Ipoh -Butterworth and the upgrading of bus services in several states."
The reduction on income taxes was also another measure that 27% of survey respondents wanted and was delivered in the Budget 2015.
Source: The Rakyat Post