Penang first-time home buyers upset over unsuitable locations, high cost

First-time housebuyers have cited costly houses and poor choice of locations on the island as the main obstacles in getting their dream homes.

Among the concerns raised include the difficulty in buying houses close to the buyers' workplaces as almost all low-medium cost (LMCs) projects are not in prime location near the inner city.

Many LMCs are located in Teluk Kumbar, Batu Ferringhi, Teluk Bahang or even on the mainland.

Mohd Ridhuan Abu Bakar, 27, told the New Straits Times that the range of LMCs and even affordable housing, being offered by developers in the market, were too expensive for fixed income earners.

He said the size of flat units was also getting smaller while the escalating prices had made housing beyond reach for low-to-medium salary earners.

"The prices of properties have been rising but size is 'shrinking'... I am having a tough time deciding.

"I plan to get married soon and I am running out of options to find a suitable location," said the store clerk who works in a private hospital when met at the LMCs property roadshow at Gurney Plaza here yesterday.

He also said the perennial traffic congestions in the vicinity of the LMCs had made the projects unsuitable for buyers.

Ridhuan, from Tanjung Tokong, is also concerned about the high rejection rate in bank's housing loan application.

Meanwhile, Valeris Chong, 58, said the floor layout of the LMCs was flawed in modern living.

Chong, who lives in Green Lane, said the lack of laundry area at many new LMCs had made it unsuitable for homemakers.

"I will not like to hang my wet laundry visible to others, and to me, such scene is unsightly.

"The pricing is too high for many Penangites and I urge the developers to lower their pricing for the sake of desperate housebuyers," she said.

Earlier, state Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo lauded the move by the 1Malaysia People Housing programme (PR1MA) to build 153,807 units of houses, including 24,923 units in Penang, during the National Housing Council meeting held in Putrajaya on Aug 21.

He however said the state housing committee has yet to receive any formal application from PR1MA.

Jagdeep urged PR1MA to be transparent and to divulge the details to the state housing authority.

"A developer has submitted re-zoning application for a LMC project in Batu Ferringhi and declare its intention to work with PR1MA to bring new houses.

"But, there is no documentation to prove any project is about to start," he said.

Jagdeep said the state administration had written to PR1MA last Thursday to enquire the status of upcoming federal projects here. - By PHUAH KEN LIN (New Straits Times)

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