KUALA LUMPUR (April 26): PR1MA homeowners can start applying for a special end-financing scheme at Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank).

In a statement yesterday, Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia or PR1MA said the scheme — Skim Pembiayaan Fleksibel, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the tabling of Budget 2017 last year — has been made available since February this year.

“The scheme, a joint-effort by Bank Negara Malaysia, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the partner financial institutions, and exclusively for PR1MA homebuyers, was designed to increase the chances of getting a home loan, especially for first-time homebuyers, by providing access to a higher loan amount than they would otherwise be eligible for with conventional loans,” PR1MA said.

The scheme provides two options — the step-up only or the step-up with EPF Account 2’s withdrawal. “For both options, borrowers will only be paying interests in the first five years. The principal [sum] will kick in from the sixth year onwards until the loan is settled,” PR1MA added.

“If homebuyers would like to get a larger loan amount, they may choose the second option where the EPF Account 2 is utilised.”

PR1MA said as of April 2017, its members of corporation had approved the development of 265,033 units of PR1MA homes nationwide, of which 136,569 units are in various stages of construction.

Some 1.41 million Malaysians to date have registered for PR1MA homes nationwide, of which 166,972 of them had applied for the homes.

EPF had previously said that members must be aware that using their Account 2 for the end-financing scheme, other pre-retirement withdrawals under the account — for medical, education, those age 50 and haj — will no longer be available until the PR1MA loans are fully settled.

Established under a parliamentary act in 2012, PR1MA is mandated to plan, develop and maintain quality homes for the middle-income group, with a household income between RM2,500 and RM15,000 per month, in urban and sub-urban areas.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 26, 2017.

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