Bank Negara urged to ease conditions for first-time house buyers

(from left) Jagdeep Singh, Zairil and Cheah painting the wall of Block C of the Rifle Range flats to start off repainting work.

A state exco member has urged Bank Negara Malaysia to consider giving flexibility to first-time home buyers in repaying bank loan.

State Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said banks should lower the amount of monthly instalment for them during the first few years.

“The repayment amount can be increased subsequently after that, as the economy state of a person will become better eventually as time goes,” he told reporters at the Rifle Range flats where several blocks were being repainted on Friday.

Jagdeep Singh also proposed that the 10% deposit from the sale price of a property should either be reduced to 5% or removed entirely for first-time buyers.

He claimed the move would help first-time house buyers in Penang better compared to the First Home Deposit Funding Scheme (MyDeposit) which was launched on Wednesday.

The scheme is aimed at helping the lower income group with a household income of RM10,000 and below, with a contribution of 10% from the sale price, or maximum of RM30,000 (whichever is lower), will be given to first-time buyers looking for homes priced below RM500,000.

“The rejection rate on first-time housing loan applicants stands at 60%, according to Bank Negara Malaysia.

“If this is the case, I don’t think it is possible for those who can’t even pay for the deposit to get the loans.

“To solve the problem, I hope that Bank Negara can make it mandatory for commercial banks to give a good level of interest for first-time home buyers.

“For instance, the 10% deposit should be reduced to 5% or taken away completely,” he said, adding that since MyDeposit was available, he hoped that Penangites would be given a fair chance in receiving the contribution.

On another matter, Jagdeep said the state had allocated RM1.235mil to repaint six of the nine blocks of Rifle Range flats in Air Itam.

He said three other blocks had been repainted before the last general election.

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari said he and Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng had previously pledged to get all the nine blocks of flats in Rifle Range repainted.

“When the painting began for block C and D, some of the building walls had spotted cracks.

“We resolved the problem with RM22,048 allocation from the state government,” he said. - The Star

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