Yes, we need a single agency for affordable homes

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I agree with what National Institute of Valuation (Inspen) Director Mohd Khairudin Abd Halim who gave his opinion in a TheEdgeMarkets article a few days ago. He said he welcomes Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) proposal on the setting up of a single body to coordinate more than 20 agencies involved in the supply and distribution of affordable housing at the state and national levels. He said, “We need a good model to monitor, record and enable related parties to make an evaluation. With a single body or agency, it will facilitate coordination and will be for common good.” He was speaking in a press conference for the Ninth International Real Estate Research Symposium 2018 (IRERS 2018) which will be held from 23-25th April 2018. More details about IRERS 2018 here.  In fact the Industrial Sessions are pretty interesting. Here are the details. 

In Malaysia, there are still many Malaysians without a home to their name. This includes even those with stable incomes such as the civil servants. It is often said that, it is because the home prices are just too high. Yet, at the same time, there are so many of these affordable homes which are UNSOLD and continue to increase the unsold properties numbers in Malaysia. The reason is simple. Without proper planning, it’s just build, build, build and then hopefully someone would buy them. If this is the modus operandi, I think we are looking at ever higher number of unsold units in the future because there are today OVER 20 agencies involved in the supply and distribution of affordable housing in both state and national levels. Do we seriously think all these leaders in all these agencies would have a Group Whatsapp so that they could work together? 🙂  Actually not such a bad idea right?

Moving on, we look at BNM’s proposed a five-pronged strategy including centralising affordable housing initiative; and establishing an integrated and centralised housing and applicant registration database to facilitate planning and allocation of affordable housing. Frankly, before the developers build them, should they not look at the list of qualified applicants first? Are there one applicant per unit built or is the same person in a few different databases and all the developers are building units meant for the same person? There has to be a master list, perhaps by using IC number and the person should be allowed to choose the unit that he prefers, if he could afford it. In fact, if we look at bank’s approval rate for homebuyers, it is definitely better if this list also goes through a loan pre-approval check too. No point in having the buyer for a unit for the buyer but in the end, the buyer could not get his loan approved. (Here’s a comparison of home loans from 15 different banks) 

Mohd Khairudin shared that in the IRERS 2018, there would be about 300 local and international participants, including experts, practitioners, policymakers academics were expected to participate in the symposium. Besides that, topics to be covered during the professional and academic sessions include valuation and pricing, asset, property and facility management, real estate investment, performance measurement and risk management.  “IRERS is a platform for researchers in the real estate industry to discuss and exchange ideas on the changing faces of today’s real estate market dynamic. The symposium will provide an excellent opportunity for global networking, discussion and exchange of information across a broad spectrum of issues related to real estate and allied subjects” Interested professionals may register here. 

written on 14 April 2018

Next suggested article: IRERS 2018 – Industrial Sessions with important issues and prominent experts

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