KUALA LUMPUR — The government currently, has no plan to raise the ceiling price for houses which did not require down payment, from RM220,000 to RM350,000, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung.
He said he had proposed the matter to the Cabinet last month but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was concerned that if the ceiling price was increased, it could cause more problems, rather than benefit purchasers in the long run.
“The prime minister felt that if we increase the price to RM350,000, purchasers having salary scheme of that amount (less than RM3,000) may not have enough to repay, and this could lead to further hardship for the purchasers.
“So, it is not a good time to increase the limit. It is still at RM220,000,” he told reporters when asked to comment on the development of the proposal.
The proposal was brought to the Cabinet’s attention, following suggestions and concerns from consumers that the current scheme was insufficient.
The initiative under Budget 2011 is to encourage the first-time home-buyer with monthly household income of less than RM3,000 to purchase a house less than RM220,000, without needing to pay a 10 per cent downpayment.
The scheme was supposed to take effect from Jan 1, but some house buyers have complained that it had not been implemented.
Earlier, the minister attended the Completion Ceremony of Verve Suite Vibe Tower, a high-end condominium developed by Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn Bhd (BKP) at Mont Kiara here Thursday.
Chor urged more developers and contractors in the country to adopt internationally-recognised quality assessment systems such as the Construction Quality Assessment System by Singapore’s Building Construction Authority or Malaysia’s Quality Assessment System in Construction.
“These quality assessment systems will help to benchmark the quality of workmanship in the construction industry. At the same time, they are used to evaluate the performance of the contractors,” he said.
Chor also advised prospective home-buyers to exercise caution when purchasing a house and not be easily lured by the good price offered by developers.
“Check the developer’s background and demand to see the requisite licence, such as the development and advertisement licenses issued by the ministry which are compulsory for a project launch, before paying your deposit,” he said.
Chor said to date, there were about 1,000 individuals who were barred from getting licenses for housing development due to their bad track record in the industry, and warned purchasers of bogus developers who preyed on unsuspecting buyers.
“They know they can’t get the license, so they start to do it in a quiet manner, bluffing purchasers that they had gotten the license and the project will start soon. So, (when) everybody pays a 10 per cent downpayment, they (developers) disappear,” he said.