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Oct 18, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: The drive to build more affordable homes can accelerate further with the prime minister speaking yesterday of the prospect of developers building below-marketprice units.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government was considering defraying infrastructure cost as an incentive for developers to build cheaper homes.

Najib had announced major housing initiatives in the 2013 Budget, including 1Malaysia Housing Programme Corporation (PR1MA) building 80,000 homes next year.

Yesterday, he said he had asked PR1MA to discuss with private developers to come up with another model.

He envisaged a situation where the government “can chip in, say, for the infrastructure cost, then the private sector can build more homes that are much lower than market prices”.

He was interviewed by Chui Ling and Jentzen Lim during an hour-long session on the Morning Boss breakfast show on Melody FM radio.

The question related to house prices in the Klang Valley.

Najib said looking at income and price levels over the years, houses were getting more expensive.

“We realise this is a serious issue and we need to find a solution.

“And the solution lies between looking at the demand and supply sides. We cannot just look at the demand side.

"We have done things like increasing the income limit for individual loans from RM3,000 to RM5,000 under the My First Home Scheme.

"For joint loans, they can go up to RM10,000, which means that you do not have to come up with the 10% initial downpayment but you can get 100% financing."
He acknowledged  that the private sector could not build enough affordable homes because land was  expensive.

On the 80,000 PR1MA homes, he said it would take at least two years for them to come into the market.

"We will open them up for registration as soon as we have identified land  for them."
Najib said the 80,000 units would be built nationwide, including in Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Kuantan, Seremban and Penang.

- New Straits Times

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