In a press conference for Mapex Penang 2014, Real Estate Housing Developers Association (REHDA) Penang asked the government to give first time home buyers more assistance and flexibility. It’s chairman, Datuk Jerry Chan said that Malaysia can look at Australia’s example whereby the buyers pay only interest for the first few years before starting their mortgage payments later. Basically help the buyers own a place first. With their increasing salary, they would definitely be able to afford that property in the near future. However, if help is not given to them earlier, then they may never be able to afford the property in the future. Government should also look at relaxing the cooling measures too, especially as the property market has already been slowing down.
Frankly, if you are the first time home buyers, do you think this will help you own a home? Paying just the interest first and only start paying for the home a few years down the road? I think for this to work well, for Malaysians in general, another clause is needed, that the buyer cannot sell the property within the first 5 years or if they sell, then they would not get just the RPGT but also an additional tax which will be put into a fund to help other first time home buyers.
I also still believe a better way would be for buyers to just know where their limit is and buy based on their own affordability level. WIthin Penang island today, as long as you are willing to settle for apartments, there are lots of choices below RM400,000 or for certain areas, even as low as RM300,000. I am talking about apartments with sizes ranging from 700sf till below 950sf. The question however is, are these what the buyers want? I think the buyers want a full facility condo, in an area they like and they want it for a price which is no longer available. Fortunately for Penang, buying in mainland side meant your choices has expanded yet again even with just RM400,000. Oops, I think mainland is also not amongst their first choice.
In terms of the cooling measures, I agree on only ONE (1). That is the relaxing of DIBS for first time buyers and I repeat, ONLY first time buyers. Other than that, I prefer RPGT to be maintained. Yes, it is affecting me tremendously for two of my properties but I am ok with it. I don’t think many have really thought about it but do you seriously want majority of the buyers of properties in the market to be just any tom, dick or harry? Are you really sure? I would prefer the market is full of people who actually qualify for a home loan and not the home loan being lowered to such a low level like what happened in the US mortgage crisis in 2008. Everyone and anyone was buying a property and thinking of flipping and in the end, everyone suffered. In many places, the prices has yet to recover and last year, there were so many of those buy one free one US property shows in Singapore…..
Mapex Penang will be starting soon. If you want to know more about this MAPEX, you can read here too. 3 days, RM130 million worth of properties to be sold, MAPEX Penang
written on 23rd Sept 2014
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