Photo Credit Azinuddin Ghazali
Putrajaya said today it will submit a proposal to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) proposing a lower mortgage interest rate, in a bid to reduce the overall financial burden of Malaysian homeowners.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the proposal will be a part of the National Housing Policy 2.0, which will also include a review of the freeze on property development projects worth RM1 million and above that had come into effect in November last year.
“If possible the housing loan interest rate should be low enough that it is very competitive but at the same time does not impact the national economy negatively,” he said during the high-level committee meeting on housing here.
This comes even as the central bank announced today it is hiking its overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent, the first increase since July 2014.
Zahid said comparative studies have been conducted on the housing loan interest rates in other countries ― with Malaysia’s interest rate at 4.65 per cent compared to Singapore’s 1.65 per cent and Australia’s 5.3 per cent.
“It was discovered (based on the National Property Information Centre 2017 study) that 65.17 per cent, or 8,050 units, of homes between the price range of RM250,000 to RM500,000 remain unsold.
“This requires the development of big data analytics for the Malaysian residential property market, so the government can get a clearer picture of the housing situation in the country and make more accurate decisions,” he said.
Other proposals made during the meeting include providing exemptions or initiatives to affordable housing developers, mechanisms to control property price speculation, setting up the Public Housing Management Body for People’s Housing Projects, as well as introducing the rent-to-own scheme for public housing tenants.
Zahid said BNM has also proposed the government to set up a special coordinating task force for home buyers’ end-financing.
“The bridging financing directly given by financial institutions is largely settled. It is the end financing which we need to resolve,” he said.