25 October 2019: Malaysian homes ‘seriously unaffordable’; SOPs for online money lending

Malaysian homes ‘seriously unaffordable’, says BNM official
Houses in Malaysia are considered as “seriously unaffordable” by international standards. Bank Negara Malaysia Financial Surveillance Department director Qaiser Iskandar Anwarudin said a house was deemed affordable if it was priced not more than three times of annual household income. “The affordability (in Malaysia) has deteriorated with the median multiple affordability (the ratio of house price to households’ annual income) rising to 4.8 times in 2016 from 3.9 times in 2012,” he said. Most Malaysians could not afford to buy newly-launched houses with an average price stood at RM417,262 while the maximum affordable house price nationwide was at RM282,000. As of June this year, the housing loan approval rate stood at 74.6%,with almost half of the loans approved this year was for first home buyers. 80% of the housing loan rejection was because the house was priced more than three times of the applicant annual income ratio. Other reasons were applicants already highly indebted, poor financial track record and documentation gaps, he added. (NST Online)

(Source: The Star Online)

TRX’s Exchange 106 expects first tenants in December
The developer of newly opened Exchange 106 at Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) is confident of growing its committed floorspace to up to 1.3 million sq ft by end 2020. Patrick Honan, general manager of property management of Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd, said it has confirmed about 500,000 sq ft of floorspace at present with the first tenants expected to move in by December this year and the remainder in the first half of 2020. “This includes a top five Fortune 500 global consulting firm, a Hong Kong-based multinational personal care brand, some of the world’s most recognised e-commerce platforms and one of the most globally renowned serviced office and co-working brands,” he added. Exchange 106 was recently awarded a Certificate of Completion and Compliance for the lower half of the building, which is now open for occupation by tenants. Standing at 492 metres, it is the tallest building in the country and the sixth tallest office building in the world. (The Star Online)

Govt’s ‘final and best offer’ for Kampung Baru landowners
Kampung Baru landowners will be offered RM850 per sq ft for their land, and an additional RM150 per sq ft in the form of shares. Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said this was the government’s “final and best offer” to acquire Kampung Baru land, adding that landowners who opt to buy real estate in the new development project would also get a 15% discount. “The shares will be in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) of the development project to be set up in the future. The shares mean landowners will continue to have ownership rights over the land that is developed, and will get returns from the development. The landowners will be involved in the design and the approach taken in the area’s development, ” he said. The government had previously offered to buy the land at a rate of RM850 per sq foot as compensation to landowners, but many of the landowners considered the price to be too low. (The Star Online)

N. Sembilan govt to consider lowering price ceiling of residences for foreigners
The Negri Sembilan state government is studying the possibility of lowering the existing price ceiling of RM2 million for both unsold strata and landed residences, for foreign purchasers. Urban Wellbeing, Housing, Local Government and New Villages Committee chairman Teo Kok Seong said the aim behind such a move, was to make the housing market more competitive. Teo added that since the state government raised the price ceiling from RM1 million to RM2 million in January, many concerns had been conveyed to them by housing developers and foreign investors. (Malay Mail)

Ministry preparing SOPs for online money lending
The Housing and Local Government Ministry is drafting the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to allow licensed money-lending companies to offer loans via online. Its minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the move follows requests for such facilities. “We have not approved any request. We are still drafting and studying the SOPs and relevant acts to allow that to happen. This is a positive move to ease the transaction process between the borrowers and lenders,” she said. On whether the ministry would amend the Moneylenders Act 1951 to impose mandatory jail sentences and seized all properties owned by offenders and their families, Zuraida said the matter was under police jurisdiction. (NST Online)

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