AS many Malaysians can ill afford to buy a home, Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia, which is building 141,661 affordable homes, has managed to sell only 11,944 units, The Sun reported today.
The figures suggest that even PR1MA homes priced between RM100,000 and RM400,000 are out of the average Malaysian’s reach.
The daily reported that the federal government agency acknowledged that many registrants “dropped out” during financing stage.
Those who faced difficulty getting a housing loan failed to proceed with the purchase, the corporation said.
“Difficulties in obtaining home loans are not PR1MA-specific, but an issue faced by other developers as well, especially those involved in public housing programmes.
“This is mainly because these types of homes are targeted towards those who may or may not have adequate financial ‘muscle’ to purchase a house,” the corporation was quoted as saying.
It said that was why the Special PR1MA End Financing (SPEF) scheme was introduced in January for buyers to gain access to a higher loan amount.
“SPEF can be considered a loan booster. However, if they have other financing issues that hinder them from getting a loan in the first place, SPEF is not the solution,” PR1MA said.
To date, only 50 applications under the SPEF scheme have been approved. A total of 197 applications were made for RM44.1 million in loans.
Despite the poor take-up reflected in the residential overhang in PR1MA homes supply in the Kuala Muda and Baling districts in Kedah, PR1MA insisted there was high demand for its homes, The Sun reported.
“To say that there is low demand for PR1MA homes is incorrect. There is high demand for our products. This can be seen in PR1MA’s current number of registrations, which is now at 1.5 million registrants.
“The average subscription rate for the projects that we have launched is at least double against units offered,” PR1MA said in the report.
The corporation said it had conducted proper demand analyses and market studies to ensure that its projects met the registrants’ needs before embarking on a development.
“Our database shows there is a big demand for PR1MA homes and in certain areas in the Klang Valley such as PR1MA @ Jalan Jubilee project, applications were 27 times more than the available units.
“Therefore, it is not necessary to secure buyers first (before commencing of construction),” it told The Sun.
PR1MA can start building once it obtains the necessary approvals from its Members of Corporation, relevant stakeholders and the authorities.
It takes 24 months and 36 months to complete landed and high-rise units respectively.
PR1MA has completed 10,199 units nationwide and is targeting to complete 17,000 units more by year-end. By end of January, it aims to sell 16,250 units.
PR1MA is planning to build more units next year and has already obtained approval to build 259,881 units of houses.
In its recent quarterly bulletin, Bank Negara Malaysia reported that unsold residential properties were at a decade-high, with most priced RM250,000 and above.
The increase in numbers of unsold units since 2015 is following a mismatch between prices of newly launched homes and what Malaysian families can afford to pay for housing.
Bank Negara’s Housing Watch estimates 57.6% of households in Malaysia earning up to RM5,999 a month can only afford a home costing RM354,111.
A family earning RM1,999 and less can afford a house costing between RM112,200 and RM124,700.