The only way to help house buyers is to get banks to relax housing loan requirements, the Penang government said today.
Responding to the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday that the sale of houses priced under RM300,000 in new developments must be limited to first-time house buyers only, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pictured) said it helped little if the buyers still could not secure housing loans.
He said currently, people seeking loans for low-cost homes priced at RM42,000 and RM72,500 were also facing difficulty.
“Even they cannot get loans. Why won't Najib say the federal government would loosen the requirements, so the people can get loans to buy a home for their families easier?
“Right now, there are units that cannot be sold because the people cannot get loans. If we talk about first-time buyers, many are just starting out and they don't have high salaries," he told reporters in Penang today.
Apart from making housing loans easier to secure, Lim suggested that the government considered reintroducing the Developers Interest-Bearing Scheme (DIBS), a scheme in which the developer absorbed the interest of the housing loan during the construction period.
Under DIBS, the house buyer does not need to service the loan until the property is completed, which usually takes three years from the time a development is launched.
Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, said the difficulty faced in obtaining bank loans were not experienced by hopeful house buyers in Penang, but everywhere.
He said this concern had been raised by other state government leaders as well as housing agencies.
Meanwhile, Lim said the 3% cut in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution from March this year to December next year was okay, but the better move would had been scrapping the goods and services tax (GST).
“That is okay. It is giving people more cash in their hands, but the government is missing the woods for the trees.
“It is better to abolish the GST. Cutting the 6% is better than the 3%. But then, it might cause Putrajaya to go bankrupt," he said. -- The Malaysian Insider