GEORGE TOWN, August 5 — The Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) wants Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to ease lending measures affecting the property sector, particularly loans for the affordable housing segment.
President Datuk Seri Choot Ewe Seng said following the Overnight Policy Rate cut from 3.25% to 3.0% on July 13, BNM should review the stringent measures affecting the housing market in the last 12 months.
“The authorities should reintroduce the developer interest bearing scheme (DIBS) for the affordable housing segment.
“We feel that developers are willing to bear the interest that will benefit buyers, especially first-time buyers, and also secure the survival of the housing industry.
“Its a win-win situation where buyers would be able to lessen their burden and hence, the housing industry will survive,” he said at PCCC’s annual general meeting here today.
He said BNM implemented the maximum loan-to-value ratio of 70% applicable to the third house financing.
“In 2013, BNM further introduced pre-emptive measures, including a cap on the housing loan tenure.
“In the 2014 budget, DIBS was abolished and the tax rate for Real Property Gains Tax was raised,” he said.
Choot said under the DIBS system, developers absorbed the home loan interest while the property was being built and loans would still be disbursed during construction.
“The scheme was abolished as property consultants observed that such schemes or variants of it, tend to attract speculation as buyers needed little or no downpayment.
“PCCC will send a proposal soon to BNM to consider,” he said.