It is becoming increasingly difficult for ordinary Malaysians to buy houses in urban areas. The prices of even terrace houses have shot up in the past 5 years.
Even in semi-rural Sg Siput, the selling price of terrace houses has gone up to RM 140,000. Our Deputy Prime Minister, is reported to have said in October 2013, “House prices have skyrocketed! I often hear complaints that terrace houses can cost as much as RM500,000. Who can afford such houses? Even those earning RM 10,000 a month would have difficulty servicing loans for a RM 10,000 house which used to cost between RM 140,000 and RM 200,000 several years ago.” 1
There is a housing boom in Malaysia. Lots of houses are being built. The problem is that the supply of reasonably priced houses falls far short of the need for such houses.
So is the government’s response to the housing crisis adequate?
From the majority of the 1.7 million families who do not yet own a house, cannot put aside too much towards servicing their housing loans – for our estimation is that about 75% of them would be having household incomes below RM 3000 and most of the remaining 25% would be in the RM 3000 to RM 5000 category. Most of them would not be able to afford the payment sums required by the PRIMA scheme – but this, with 80,000 targetted houses is the main effort by the government to meet the housing needs of ordinary Malaysians in urban areas.
In fact, even for graduate with incomes that place them within the middle 40% of Malaysian household incomes ie RM 3054 and RM 69555, the PRIMA scheme will put too high a burden on them. If this is the situation for graduates, then how about other Malaysians?