They say that “there’s no place like home”. However, some feel that owning a comfortable house is an elusive dream for those in the B40 and M40 categories. But is this true? Maybe you just haven’t discovered the current housing schemes available for you!
Moving into a property and calling it home is a goal for everyone. However, if you happen to belong in the B40 or M40 category, affording to own one might be difficult. Luckily, there are a few housing schemes aimed at assisting those of you in these two income groups.
Although it is wise to study each of these options and how they may benefit you the most, you may not want to dwell too long. You just have to look at the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) to realise that these schemes don’t last forever!
Which income group do I belong to?
Malaysians are classified into three groups according to their median household income. The data are taken from 2016’s official statistics compiled by the Department of Statistic’s (DOSM) Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey. The three groups are as the following:
- The household income is among the Top 20%.
- Also known as the Upper Class and has a median income of RM 13,148 per month.
- The T20 group earns RM 9,620 and above.
- The household income is among the Middle 40%.
- Also known as the Middle Class and has a median income of RM 6,275 per month.
- The M40 group earns between RM 4,361 to RM 9,619.
- The household income is among the Bottom 40%.
- Also known as the low-income group and has a median income of RM 3,000 per month.
- The income threshold for B40 is below RM 4,360.
What other factors should I consider?
The classifications of the income groups are based on statistics at a national level. They are used by the government when handing out incentives. However, national averages can obscure the very diverse realities that different Malaysian households live in. Instead, we should include geography when we analyse income differences.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for each state in Malaysia is different, even though they belong in the same income group. A report by Khazanah Research Institute entitled “The State of Households: Different Realities” managed to find much more nuance in the experiences of Malaysian households based on location.
For example, they found that a household in Kelantan that earned just above RM 5,870 is in the state’s T20 group. However, the same amount of household income would be part of the M40 nationally, and in fact, be in the B40 if they lived in Kuala Lumpur.
In another example, the income threshold for a B40 household in Putrajaya is RM 6,447 but it is only RM 2,348 in Kelantan. That’s a difference of 63.6% or RM 4,099! The reality is that household income in places such as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Johor are higher because there are higher economic activities in these areas.
What are the available housing schemes for B40 and M40 groups?
If you belong in the B40 or M40 category, the following schemes are meant to assist you in owning your own home. There are at least seven housing schemes that you can leverage on.
1. BSN MyHome (Youth Housing Scheme)
BSN My Home (Youth Housing Scheme) or Skim Perumahan Belia (SPB) was first announced by the former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the tabling of Budget 2015. Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) together with Perbadanan Gadai Janji Sosial, Cagamas Bhd and the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) has worked hand in hand to ensure single or married youths own their very first home. Eligible Malaysians may start their applications staring from 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2021.
Here are the criteria:
- Applicant must be a Malaysian citizen
- The main focus of the scheme is for single or married youths between the ages of 25 and 40 to own their first homes.
- The monthly household income must not exceed RM 10,000.
- A BSN GIRO / GIRO-i account holder.
- First come, first served and limited to 20,000 buyers only.
BSN will be providing financing from RM 100,000 to RM 500,000 with a tenure of up to 35 years or until the age of 65 years old upon the mortgage deadline (whichever comes first).
Under the Youth Housing Scheme, BSN offers financing up to 100% of the property market price, as well as an additional 5% to help cover the MRTA (Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance) or MRTT (Mortgage Reducing Term Takaful). Also, the government grants a 50% stamp duty exemption on the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and other legal documents.
On top of that, the government provides financial aid of RM 200 for monthly instalments, for two years starting from the date of the first loan repayment. It is only limited for 10,000 home units and the money will be credited to the homeowner’s financing account.
Read the complete guide for BSN MyHome (Youth Housing Scheme) in Bahasa Malaysia here.
2. Rent-to-Own-Scheme (RTO)
Announced during Budget 2020, the Rent-to-Own-Scheme (RTO) caters to aspiring homeowners who find it difficult to come up with the initial 10% downpayment. Applicants can rent up to 5 years and will have the option to purchase the house in the sixth year. The buyers will be able to lock in the property purchase price based on the current selling price. This is a huge advantage for first-time homebuyers because if the property price during the time goes down, they can decide not to buy; but if the price goes up, it’s a win for the buyer!
Here are the key takeaways from RTO:
- Financial Institutions will provide RM 10 billion financing, in which 30% of RM 3 billion is guaranteed by the government.
- Applicable only for properties up to RM 500,000
- Applicants can rent up to 5 years, before deciding whether to purchase at an agreed price.
- Exemption on stamp duty for SPA and loan agreement.
RUMAWIP is the affordable housing programme by the government to help lower and middle-income groups to be a first-time homebuyer. Also targeting first-time homebuyers, a total of 80,000 units of RUMAWIP homes are expected to be built all over Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan.RUMAWIP applicants must be a Malaysian citizen of at least 18 years old. Priorities are granted for those who:
- were born,
- or live in any Federal Territories upon the application, especially those who do not own any property in the Federal Territories area.
Retirees are also eligible for RUMAWIP but are subject to the terms and conditions from time to time.
The household gross income for individual applicants (single) must not exceed RM 10,000 per month while married couple must have a total income of no more than RM 15,000 per month. The husband or wife may apply for RUMAWIP. Nonetheless, only one offer will be given to each household. Not just that, the units are selling below the market price and they are available in three categories:
- Built-up: 700 sq ft
- Price: RM 63,000 (KL and Putrajaya), RM 52,000 (Labuan)
Medium low-priced house
- Built-up: 800 sq ft
- Price: RM 63,001 – RM 150,000
- Built-up: 650 sq ft
- Price: RM 150,001-RM 300,000
As mentioned earlier in this article, the income threshold for B40 and M40 is greater in Selangor. There’s also the fact that the state is highly populated. This result is many properties in the area sold at astronomical prices. First introduced in 2014, RSKU is designed to assist middle-income groups in purchasing affordable houses in key urban centres within the state of Selangor.
The properties under this scheme include highrise apartments and landed houses. The prices depend on the type of property and range from RM 42,000 to RM 250,000. Under the RSKU scheme, the houses are categorised into five types A, B, C, D, and E with different eligibility criteria depending on the applicant’s monthly household income. Applicants are allowed to choose only one type of house.
Here are the applicants’ criteria:
- Applicants must be at least 18 years old
- He or she must be a Malaysian citizen and a resident of Selangor
- Rumah Selangorku is for first-time homebuyers only
- The maximum household income (married couple) must not exceed RM 10,000
- The husband or wife may apply for Rumah Selangorku. However, only one offer will be given to each household.
- For a single individual, the household income must not exceed RM 3,000 per month
As the housing scheme is designed for the B40 and 40 groups in Selangor, there are some ground rules that potential buyers need to adhere to:
- The property cannot be sold within 5 years of purchase
- The owners are not allowed to rent out the property
- Applications are active for two years
- After two years, if not successful, applicants may apply again
5. Youth Transit Housing (MyTransit)
Another scheme under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) is the Youth Transit Housing (MyTransit). Its main focus is to provide housings for B40 youth. Instead of for purchase, the properties here are only for rent. However, its rates are promised to be 30% lower than the market rate.
2,010 studio units are to be built and they will be equipped with essential facilities and furniture. The location of these units will be at Mukim Batu and Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.
Interestingly, there’s also a “forced savings” element. This means that a percentage of the monthly rental will be set aside and returned to the tenant as a lump-sum after their maximum stay.
Here are key highlights for MyTransit:
- The rental rate per unit is 30% lower than the market price
- RM 400 per month for a 400 sq ft studio unit
- RM 500 per month for a 2-room unit of 550 sq ft
- The units are furnished with essential furniture and facilities like a gymnasium, shop lots and WiFi
6. Perumahan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (PR1MA)
PR1MA is an affordable housing scheme under the PR1MA Act 2012. It is introduced for affordable developments in key strategic urban areas nationwide. The purpose is to develop and maintain high-quality, affordable houses, as well as to help Malaysians, especially the younger generations to own their first homes.
PR1MA homes are contemporary, modern and ideal for first-time homebuyers. They are priced between 100,000 to RM 400,000 and available in various sizes and layouts. Here are the eligibility for PR1MA applicants’
- A Malaysian citizen
- An individual or combined monthly household income of RM 2,500 – RM 15,000
- At least 21 years upon application
- You or your spouse must not own more than one properties
In addition to that, the application is completely FREE of charge. There’s no fee charged for signing up and a lawyer fee isn’t required. The application can be made online or visit any PR1MA offices and sales galleries.
MyHome or the Skim Perumahan Mampu Milik Swasta was introduced in 2014 by the government (under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT). When it was first launched, the federal government allocated RM 300 million for the MyHome scheme. The initial target was to build 10,000 low-cost homes across the country.
The MyHome scheme is open to those who fulfil the following conditions:
- A Malaysian citizen of at least 21 years old
- A first-time homebuyer
- It must be a first-time home purchase for a household. A household refers to a married couple or a single individual.
- Only one offer will be given to each household.
- The household income must not exceed RM 10,000.
Buyers will be given up to RM 30,000 rebate per unit when purchasing homes under this scheme. Buyers will be required to pay a 10% down payment to the bank when purchasing a house but under the MyHome scheme, essentially the government pays that down payment for you as long as it is equal to RM 30,000 or below.
MyHome application must be done online at Sistem Pengurusan Perumahan Negara ( SPRN) website. You must register, create your user profile and proceed with the MyHome application. You can also check your application status and if you succeeded, you may download the offer letter and submit the related documents to the National Housing Department (JPN).
Also, there are few restrictions that MyHome owners need to adhere to.
- Buyers will have to adhere to a moratorium period of 10 years. This means that they can’t sell the property until after the 10 years has passed.
- The purchased house can be cannot be transferred or sold to a new owner, unless the immediate family members or heirs like spouses or children.
- The MyHome unit cannot be rented out within the moratorium period of 10 years.
So there you go! No matter which income group you belong to, there are plenty of options to help ease the burden of buying your first home. Happy house hunting!
Edited by Rebecca Hani Romeli