“Gen-Y most affected by lack of affordable housing.” This is the title of an article in propertyguru.com.my recently. It quoted its country manager who said, ‘The lack of affordable housing in the market has mostly affected the mid-income mass market segment or those in Generation Y.’ Another assumption that the sole reason why Gen-Yers are not buying is because of the lack of affordable housing in Malaysia. I disagree with lack affordable housing in Malaysia. I think it’s more like there’s not enough new choices in areas that these Gen-Yers want. Those areas that is already demanded by many and thus prices has appreciated aplenty. Seriously, should Gen-Yers be ONLY looking at primary properties? Before that, should we be assuming that ALL new launches are so unaffordable these days? I really wonder if the developers are still launching everything unaffordable, how would they get buyers? So, the answer is not likely and new launches are now becoming ‘affordable’ again by using size as a major factor; smaller.
Aren’t there other government related affordable housing projects? I was at PR1MA’s office in Ara Damansara just the other day, there’s just me within its office. Zero interest? Just within Klang Valley alone, there are choices from PR1MA, to RUMAWIP to RumahSelangorku and even semi-government builders like PKNS. More importantly, can consideration be extended to secondary properties as well? Or are all the Gen-Yers allergic to anything secondary? Too old? Too out-dated? Or even scared of being laughed at by friends? Oh yeah, some units are haunted too. Let’s look at propertyguru.com.my’s very own listings to see if there are none available; affordable properties. Let’s assume affordable properties to be those below RM300,000 shall we? Well, these are just a few out of the many choices available. They are not huge in size. They may not be in the best locations. They may not even be that new anymore, some are more like 15 years old. However, the question which we needs an answer to is, availability of such units.
It’s about time a more concerted effort is aimed at educating the potential buyers of the why, where, what, when and how. Stop assuming that there’s none available which will make the focus be on building ever more units which actually does NOT solve the root-cause in the first place. If an area is not as attractive, understand why. Then, make it more attractive. Ten minutes from the nearest LRT / MRT station? Solve it via feeder buses. If an area is far away, solve it with dedicated Bus Rail Transit (BRT). It does not need to be years later for MRT Line 2 or MRT Line 3 for example. Malls are everywhere these days, so it should no longer be a major reason anymore. Yes, I am really worried when everyone higher up kept saying that ‘I will build more’ but without understanding why. By the way, many Gen-Yers whom I know are also not buying because they fear sentiment may get even more negative. This also cannot be solved by simply building ever more units. Happy solving and stop blaming Gen-Yers who are not buying as not having enough affordable choices!
written on 4 Jan 2017
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