Govt, BNM working to ease housing loan terms and conditions

The government does not want banks to hinder its initiative to encourage homeownership by rejecting housing loans.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) are working to ease the terms and conditions for housing loans without affecting the stability of the financial system.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the ministry would take action if it receives any report from developers on housing loan applications being rejected without strong justification.

“We will take action against banks if we receive reports that housing loan applications are rejected without any concrete justification,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Home Ownership Campaign-Malaysia Property Expo (Mapex) here today.

He added that the ministry would forward the reports to BNM to be investigated and for the central bank to assist those affected in obtaining housing loans.

“We want to encourage banks to give housing loans. Don’t hinder the government’s initiative to encourage homeownership,” he said.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with the Home Ownership Campaign, Lim said buyers of residential properties priced between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million will be able to enjoy stamp duty exemptions on the instrument of transfer for properties, with 100% stamp duty exemption being applicable for the first RM1 million of the purchase price.

“Through the Home Ownership Campaign, developers are encouraged to give discounts of at least 10% and there are those who will give more,” he said.

Meanwhile, Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) president Soam Heng Choon said he was optimistic of surpassing their sales target of RM3 billion set for the House Ownership Campaign.

On housing loan approvals, Soam said that Rehda had received reports from developers on difficulties that they face in getting their loans approved.

“Most of the loan rejections occur with regards to the ‘lower-end houses’. Those involving more expensive houses do not face much problem,” he added.