KUALA LUMPUR (July 20): Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has urged Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to look at measures to help potential first-time homebuyers acquire properties to increase home ownership.
Azmin said yesterday the state government had received “many complaints” about the difficulty in securing housing loans from banks.
“We therefore urge Bank Negara, specifically the newly appointed governor (Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim), to effectively address this issue. We understand the household debt is at its critical level, but these came from retail consumption and housing. Retail debt is different from housing debt, as mortgages have potential to appreciate over time.
“We hope Bank Negara would review its policy so that first-time homebuyers are not neglected, and [will] be prioritised to secure credit for a home ownership,” he said.
Azmin was speaking to reporters after officiating at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Rumah Selangorku project, the Selangor government’s affordable-home initiative, in which Hillcrest Gardens Sdn Bhd, a company under the Kuok Group, is participating in.
Also present at the event was Hillcrest executive director Frank Goon Swee Kheong, who said the company is developing 1,162 apartment units, with a gross development value of RM200 million, under the initiative in Puchong, Selangor.
The project, he said, will be Malaysia’s first Green Building Index-certified affordable housing.
“A large part of the development is covered with soft scape and grasscrete, like at open parking bays, which help reduce the heat island effect and ease storm water run-off to the public drain. All these elements help achieve comfortable temperatures, natural daylight, and good indoor air quality for healthy living. At the same time, they help keep the running cost low,” he added.
Dubbed “Rumah Selangorku — Taman Puchong Utama”, the project has three unit types, with built-up areas of between 750 sq ft and 1,000 sq ft. The selling price ranges from RM100,000 to RM220,000.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 20, 2016. Subscribe to The Edge Financial Daily here.
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