Malaysian homes at its most affordable - Ahmad Husni

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian residential property is presently at its most affordable, said Minister of Finance II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

Affordability has never been better as banks continue to support the market with very attractive mortgage rates to as low as BLR -2.4% in some cases.

He said Malaysian home prices have lagged far behind income growth since the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis.

"As the economy recovers, I am optimistic that business for our estate agents will get much better soon," he said in his speech at the opening of  the Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention 2010 organised by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA).

He added that Malaysia's economy is expected to grow by 5% in 2010 and the government's policy is to ensure that every Malaysian is able to own their own home.

"We do not want to see the establishment of a landlord class nor do we wish to see the prices of homes being out of reach of the average Malaysian. We do not want houses to be the subject of reckless speculation nor see the rise of an inflationary asset bubble," he said, adding that Malaysia has the largest number of middle-class homeowners in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile in a press conference later, MIEA president, Julie Wong agreed that the property market is picking  up with properties below RM500,000 the most popular.

On another matter, Wong urged the government to revise the minimum threshold for foreign property acquisition  in Malaysia which has been raised to RM500,000.

"We hope that the government can readjust this again because not all foreigners are rich. Many of them are  are from the middle income group and retirees. The previous level of RM250,000 would be good," she added.

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