Stop lending to people who can’t afford homes in Malaysia: thinktank
Although finance ministry says consumers have more room to borrow now
While affordability and home ownership remain hot-button issues for the Malaysian government, its suggestion that banks aid first-time house buyers could prove to be “dangerous,” the Centre for Governance and Political Studies stated in an open letter published yesterday.
The Kuala Lumpur-based thinktank went on to decry the provision of financing options for homes that “people cannot afford in the first place.”
“We would be irresponsibly allowing Malaysians to buy houses they shouldn’t be buying at all. This will only lead to a mortgage crisis. Demands from the Ministry of Finance for banks to provide easier loans paints an unhealthy perception for the freedom of doing business in Malaysia,” the letter read.
More: Johor has most unsold homes in Malaysia
The statement comes on the heels of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s call for commercial banks to widen first-time home buyers’ access to credit. The minister, emboldened by the slight dip of the household debt ratio to gross domestic product (GDP) to 83 percent in 2018, exhorted banks to loosen lending rules for property seekers and investors.
“Consumers have more room to borrow for wealth accumulation purposes, either for saving schemes, or for non-speculative investments, including acquisition of long-term assets,” he said in a a statement. “Household debt on average is sufficiently backed by assets.”
An average household in the M40 or Middle 40 percent income group, i.e. those earning MYR6,275 (USD1,511), would have to spend a “big chunk” of their income on mortgage repayments, the thinktank countered.
Hong Kong’s homecoming: Housing market reawakens, will it weather the interest rate storm?
Hong Kong’s reopening has led to growing indications of a rebound in the territory’s struggling housing market
6 of the exciting areas to visit in Lipa, Batangas (PH)
With its cool weather, nature, and laid-back lifestyle, this city in Batangas Province is a rising star
Ok, boomers, Gen X’ers: Where are they now in their property journeys?
Ageing societies in Southeast Asia mean that catering to the requirements of mature investors will be a key challenge for developers
Pursuing a career in sustainability paves a path for a green, resilient, inclusive property sector
The Narrow Door Podcast Host Sam Oh speaks with World Bank Group's Angelo Tan on his career journey