Rules may be relaxed for first-time home buyers

Jagdeep: It’s okay if they have incomes that exceed our limits but they must be purchasing their first homes

The state government is thinking of allowing developers to sell a certain percentage of affordable units priced between RM200,000 and RM400,000 to buyers who do not meet the financial requirements.

Penang Housing, Town, & Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said these buyers were not eligible to be on their list but they had to be first-time buyers.

“It is okay if they have incomes that exceed our limits but they must be purchasing their first homes.

“We may allow the developers to sell about 30% of the affordable units to buyers not on our list,” he said at a press conference on the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition (Maspex) 2015 which will be held from today to Sunday at Queensbay Mall.

According to the present guidelines for buying an affordable home in Penang, the applicant needs to be a voter and worker in Penang.

For affordable property on the island, the net salary of a buyer must not exceed RM6,000 for a RM200,000 unit, RM8,000 for for a RM300,000 unit and RM10,000 for a RM400,000 unit.

In Seberang Prai, the net income must not exceed RM6,000 for a RM150,000 unit, RM8,000 for a RM200,000 unit and RM10,000 for a RM250,000 unit.

“We are also considering a 10-year waiting period before allowing buyers outside the list to sell their affordable homes.

“Another condition we want to impose is to have the developer selling to buyers outside the list to surrender an affordable unit to us for every 10 units they build,” he said.

Jagdeep said the state government was also exploring the idea of introducing a new range of affordable property priced between RM120,000 and RM150,000 for those earning a net income between RM3,500 and RM6,000 per month.

“This is because the rejection rate for the current affordable units is still high.

“A total of 3,948 eligible applicants have applied for housing loans so far this year but about 30% were rejected,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (Penang Branch) chairman Mark Saw said that there would be more than 3,500 secondary homes priced between RM350,000 and RM2mil on display at the Maspex exhibition.

“Penang’s property market saw a slight drop in the last quarter and the market has been moving downwards since.

“There are still some good buys in the secondary market where prices are gene- rally lower by 15% to 20% compared to the primary market,” Saw said. - By The Star

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