Au Foong Yee

It’s About Individual Affordability, Not Supply, Says Au Foong Yee

SHAH ALAM Instead of building more homes, improving the purchasing power of income earners is the key to encouraging homeownership, said managing director and editor-in-chief Au Foong Yee.

According to the National Property Information Centre’s (Napic) latest data, there are 29,227 overhang residential units in the market as at 1H2018, with a total of 7,525 units are properties priced RM500,001 to RM1 million.

Overhang properties means completed units in the market which have obtained all the certifications and are ready for occupation, that remain unsold for more than nine months. The figure is cumulative and includes units from the latest period under review.

“The market is never short of housing supply but the low discretionary income is the main concern. People just can’t afford it [buying a house],” said Au in her session titled “What are you getting into? Make informed investment decisions” at the Talk today.

This is one of the sessions in the half-day talk titled “Are you destroying your investment in Real Estate?”, which is organised by, in partnership with Nippon Paint Malaysia.

Au cited the recent Khazanah research report which showed that a Malaysian household earning less than RM2,000 only has RM76 left to spend after deducting all their expenses.

She said the figure showed that the majority of Malaysians face difficulties in making ends meet, what more to buy their own property.

Despite the government’s efforts in bringing down housing prices by reducing construction costs, requesting developers to reduce selling prices and considering relaxing lending guidelines, the individual’s purchasing power is still the key criteria in whether they could afford a home.

“Hence, we need a revolutionary way for people to own a home, instead of lowering the bar [of end-financing] or building more homes, we need to find other ways [to encourage homeownership],” she said.

Meanwhile, business development division account manager Stannly Tan emphasised that facts and figures are important to help property purchasers make the right decision.

“For instance, on the website, we have quite a number of useful tools, such as area price comparison, project reference price, home purchase calculator and time travel tool, that could help homebuyers to do their research at anywhere anytime,” he noted.