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Rehda calls for combination of lower interest rates, ease to housing loans

Datuk Seri FD Iskandar

Datuk Seri FD Iskandar

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – January 26, 2018: While lauding the government’s proposal yesterday to lower housing loan interest rate, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) has also asked for measures to make it easier for house buyers to get the loans.

In a statement today, Rehda president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar pointed out that those within the M40 and B40 income groups would benefit greatly from a combination of lower interest rates and easy access to loans.

The M40 and B40 refer to households earning up to RM6, 275 and RM3, 000 respectively; the two groups are said to be the ones most hard-pressed to purchase homes.

“We foresee that this will translate into an improved economic status for the people given that properties are assets with increasing value, as well as the industry and nation for the years to come,” said FD Iskandar.

“However, despite the positive impact the lowered housing loan interest rate is anticipated to cause, Rehda would like to highlight that ease of end-financing is still imperative and must come hand in hand in meeting the objective of the move.

“The main obstacle currently faced by buyers, especially the younger generation purchasing for the first time is attaining loan and if correctly addressed, combined with the lower interest rate proposal, more homebuyers would be able to realise their dreams.”

The proposal to lower the current 4.65 interest rate was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday after he chaired a meeting with  National Housing Department officials.

Zahid said that a more competitive interest rate was needed as some house buyers found it difficult to secure loans.

“This is one of the reasons why 65.17 per cent of houses (about 13, 000 units) with price range between RM250, 000 and RM500, 000 were unsold (last year).

“Bank Negara will raise this issue with commercial banks once the Cabinet has given its approval,” he said, adding that the matter is expected to be discussed at the Cabinet meeting.

In October last year, Rehda, citing the findings of its latest survey stated that loan rejection was the main reason why 85 per cent of its respondents were unable to buy homes.

Bank Negara had however later stated that there were high percentage of housing loan approvals in the second quarter of last year, with the bulk of applicants being first time buyers.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]