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Are You Aware Of These Illegal Brokers?

Under the cover of technology and innovation, real estate organisations are warning the public to be cautious of unlicensed brokers.

The Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM), the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents, and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS), the Malaysian Muslim Real Estate Consultants Association (PEHAM), the Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM), and the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents were among the organisations (MIEA).

When engaging any person or persons to carry out real estate services such as selling, buying, renting, leasing, tenancy administration, and advisory services, the associations are urging members of the public to deal only with real estate agents and firms registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents, and Property Managers (BOVAEP).

The statement served as a reminder, according to the groups, that there are persons who are not estate agents but are running estate agency operations unlawfully and utilising a variety of inventive strategies to do so.

 

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9): Real estate associations are urging the public to beware of illegal brokers under the guise of technology and innovation.

The associations consisted of The Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM), The Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS), Malaysian Muslim Real Estate Consultants Association (PEHAM), Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) and Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA).

In a joint statement yesterday, the associations are calling for members of the public to deal only with real estate agents and firms registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP) when engaging any person or persons to carry out real estate services which include selling, buying, renting, leasing, tenancy administration and advisory services.

The associations said the statement served as a reminder that there are people who are not estate agents but are operating estate agency businesses illegally and using many forms of creative ideas to do so.

Source: Edge Prop

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The Longer The Pandemic, The Higher The Risk Of Abandoned Projects.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread, there is a risk of more projects being abandoned. Property and legal experts told The Edge Malaysia in an article this week that once the movement restrictions or bank loan moratorium are lifted, “millions, if not billions, of ringgit worth of projects could be abandoned.”

Due to widespread job losses and income cuts among the M40 and B40 groups, he noted, property developers targeting these individuals “may find it tough to market and sell their products.”

Moreover, according to the weekly, some developers are becoming increasingly apprehensive because they have yet to receive approval for a late delivery of vacant possession (VP) extension due to the lockdown this year.

Another expert believes that commercial properties, rather than private ones, will be more likely to be abandoned. There are fewer instances of property developers defaulting on housing developments, according to Stanley Toh, valuer and real estate agent at LaurelCap Sdn Bhd.

“Abandoned projects are more likely to involve commercial properties like SoFo (small office/flexible office), SoVo (small office/versatile office), offices, and retail lots,” he continued.

Lawyer Ranjan N Chandran, a commercial and construction partner at Hakem Arabi & Associates, predicts “an increase in abandoned projects because to the economic slump and developers being cash-strapped due to the pandemic.”

 

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PETALING JAYA (Aug 28): There is a potential rise in abandoned projects as the Covid-19 pandemic drags on with high daily cases.

Property and legal experts told The Edge Malaysia in a report this this week that there could be potentially “millions, if not billions, of ringgit worth of projects being abandoned once the movement restrictions or bank loan moratorium is over”.

“Banks can’t foreclose for now until the moratorium is over. But with the prolonged lockdown, I will not be surprised if some property developers experience cash-flow hiccups next year,” an abandoned project specialist who declined to be named said.

“As work progress is slow and sales low, the situation could get worse if they are unable to find an alternative source of funding or even a new investor,” he said.

He explained that property developers targeting the M40 and B40 purchasers “may find it challenging to market and sell their products”, owing to numerous job losses and salary cuts among the two groups.

Meanwhile, the weekly also reported that some developers “growing increasingly concerned as they have yet to obtain approval for an extension of late delivery of vacant possession (VP) due to the lockdown this year”.

“Without the mandatory extensions, developers may have to pay huge liquidated ascertained damages (LAD). Some may face issues with the authorities and be left with no choice when they run out of money and funding to continue with the project,” said the abandoned project specialist.

Another expert feels that there will likely be more abandoned projects involving commercial properties rather than residential homes.

Stanley Toh, valuer and real estate agent at LaurelCap Sdn Bhdobserves” that there are fewer incidences of property developers defaulting on housing projects.

He added that “abandoned projects are more likely to involve commercial assets such as SoFo (small office/flexible office), SoVo (small office/versatile office), offices and retail lots”.

Commercial and construction partner at Hakem Arabi & Associates, Lawyer Ranjan N Chandran, is also anticipating “a rise in abandoned projects owing to the economic slowdown and developers being cash-strapped due to the pandemic”.

He suggested a “tax waiver” to developers as one way to prevent projects from being abandoned.

Savills Malaysia deputy managing director Nabeel Hussain told the business publication that the pandemic has caused developers be very cautious with new launches, “so hopefully they won’t be too stretched”.

“That said, a period of severe economic turmoil such as is seen now almost always results in some level of casualties,” he added.

 

Source: Edge Prop

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MM2H Will Be Under New Management In October

After all legal requirements for the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) are completed, the Immigration Department (JIM) will manage and process all new applications beginning in October.

In a statement, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) stated that throughout the changeover process, the ministry will manage problems relating to existing participants through the MM2H Centre until September 15 of this year.

JIM will take over the processing of existing applications and logistics problems after this period is finished, according to the announcement.

MOTAC would continue to promote MM2H through Tourism Malaysia’s involvement and by marketing Malaysia as a long-term stay destination, particularly for retirees and high-net-worth individuals, it added.

The ministry will also continue to support the MM2H initiative, which aims to boost Malaysia’s economic growth while also promoting the country internationally. 

 

Source: Bernama

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A RM507.66 million Investment Coming To Batu Kawan

Simmtech Co Ltd, a South Korean semiconductor business, will invest US$120 million (RM507.66 million) in Penang’s Batu Kawan Industrial Park to build its first factory in Southeast Asia.

SimmTech Southeast Asia managing director Jeffery Chun explained that the company chose Penang as the location for its first large-scale manufacturing plant because the area has a well-established electrical and electronics (E&E) ecosystem, a significant talent pool, and a large customer base.

The semiconductor Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and packaging substrates factory in Penang, he claimed, will be the company’s first in Southeast Asia. Currently, the corporation solely operates in South Korea, as well as China and Japan.

Construction of the plant is projected to be completed by early next year, with operations and product shipment from the new factory starting in the first half of next year, according to Chun.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, he claimed, construction was still going forward and he didn’t expect any serious delays.

Simmtech’s 7.2-hectare complex in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park is expected to produce 1,200 high-value jobs in engineering, manufacturing, and quality management, according to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was also present during the virtual media conference.

Chow expressed optimism that Simmtech’s entrance will usher in a new era in the state’s relationship with South Korea. Penang, he noted, remained a major pillar of Malaysia’s external commerce as the country’s leading E&E hub.

 

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GEORGE TOWN: South Korean semiconductor company Simmtech Co Ltd will be investing US$120 million (RM507.66 million) to set up its first factory in Southeast Asia at Penang’s Batu Kawan Industrial Park.

SimmTech Southeast Asia managing director Jeffery Chun said the decision was made to set up its first large-scale manufacturing plant in Penang as the state has a well-established electrical and electronics (E&E) ecosystem, a great talent pool and an existing customer base.

“It makes a lot of sense for us to choose a region with a strong E&E background as well as access to local businesses and resources.

“This is our first phase of investments. Most of them will be made during the construction project over the next two years,” he told a virtual media briefing on the investment today.

He said the semiconductor Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and packaging substrates factory in Penang would be its first in the Southeast Asian region. The company currently only operates in its home country of South Korea, and China and Japan.

Chun said construction of the factory was expected to be completed by early next year, while operations and shipment of products from the new factory are slated to commence within the first half of next year.

He said despite the Covid-19 pandemic, construction was still ongoing and the company did not foresee any major delays.

“Instead, we see this pandemic as an opportunity for the industry as the increasing trend of online meetings has created stronger demand for semiconductor products. This is a great period for the semiconductor industry as a whole.

“Once it is in full swing, the production capacity (of the plant) in Penang will represent 20% of Simmtech Group’s current combined capacity in South Korea, China and Japan,” he added.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was also present during the virtual media briefing, said Simmtech’s 7.2ha facility in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park was expected to create 1,200 high-value jobs in engineering, manufacturing and quality management segments.

Chow said he was hopeful that Simmtech’s arrival would mark the beginning of a new chapter in the state’s link with South Korea.

He said as the country’s leading E&E hub, Penang continued to be a key pillar of Malaysia’s external trade.

In 2020, the state had recorded RM310 billion in exports and RM110 billion in trade surplus, accounting for 32% and 60% of the country’s total exports and trade surplus respectively.

Chow said Penang’s E&E exports were valued at RM231 billion in 2020, accounting for more than half of the country’s total.

On the investment front, Penang recorded outstanding investment performances for 2019 and 2020, having clocked up RM31 billion worth of manufacturing investments over the said period.

E&E products accounted for 47% of the total manufacturing investments, representing 35% of the country’s total E&E investments, further entrenching the state’s position as the Silicon Island of the East.

 

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Developers Cannot Reduce Property Prices Any Further During MCO 3.0

With the third implementation of the Movement Control Order, the property market is likely to remain static in overall asking prices across the country (MCO 3.0). According to Fariq Sazuki, a fellow at the Centre for Market Education and a Bait Al Amanah economist, MCO 3.0 will likely have comparable repercussions on the property market as MCO 2.0, because the property market has not recovered significantly since the first Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia.

He explained that this simply implies that home prices have already fallen so low as a result of multiple MCOs that developers will be unable to lower prices further during MCO 3.0.

According to Fariq, house prices cannot be cut much further from the developer’s perspective because the prices also reflect increased labour and construction material expenses. Due to the pandemic, time extensions, and disruptions in the building supply chain, expenses have increased. However, Fariq pointed out that the third MCO is still a source of uncertainty on the demand side.

While there is a belief that the property market would recover because to the low Overnight Policy Rate of 1.75 percent, he believes that the change in demand for properties would be vague and unbalanced towards the wealthy.

Cheap-income workers are expected to put the extra ringgit saved from loan repayments toward basic family expenses, while wealthier persons would take advantage of low interest rates to acquire more houses, driving up prices.

Apart from more secure meetings between developers and possible buyers, Fariq stressed that there is no strong evidence that the vaccination procedure can aid to the recovery of the Malaysian housing market.

VPC Alliance (KL) Sdn Bhd MD James Wong, on the other hand, believes that the introduction of MCO 3.0 may result in a decreasing trend in total property prices. According to him, the number of Covid-19 cases appears to be on the rise in the coming months, and the issue will continue to wreak havoc on the real estate market.

In the first quarter of 2021, the latest PropertyGuru Malaysia Property Market Index reported that overall asking prices for properties nationwide fell by 0.84 percent quarter-on-quarter and 1.79 percent year-on-year.

Sheldon Fernandez, country manager of PropertyGuru Malaysia, ascribed the drop to buyers’ anxiety as a result of the resurgence of Covid-19 infections and the introduction of MCO 2.0, which hampered commercial activities.

He predicted that, in the face of pandemic-related economic uncertainty, mood would remain cautious, with price patterns in the property market expected to fluctuate in the following months.

 

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THE property market is expected to remain stagnant in overall asking prices nationwide with the third implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0).

According to Centre for Market Education fellow and Bait Al Amanah economist Fariq Sazuki, the implementation of MCO 3.0 will probably cause similar effects on the property market as MCO 2.0, as the property industry has not experienced a significant recovery since the first Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia.

He said this simply means that the property prices have already declined so much due to multiple MCOs that developers cannot reduce the prices any further during MCO 3.0.

Fariq said from the developers’ point of view, the property prices cannot be reduced any further because the prices also reflect the rising costs of labour and building materials.

The increase in costs incurred is due to the pandemic, time extension and disruptions in the construction supply chain.

“In other words, the current property prices might have adjusted to the pandemic, where developers are more well-prepared of the impacts of the past MCOs.

“Besides that, MCO 3.0 is no stricter than the first MCO, meaning that the additional impacts of MCO 3.0 on the supply side are quite minimal except for the rising costs,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in a phone interview.

However, Fariq noted that there is still uncertainty around the third MCO from the demand side.

While there is a perception that the property market can recover due to the low Overnight Policy Rate at 1.75%, he said the change in demand for properties may be ambiguous but lopsided towards richer people.

He added that there is expectation that low-income earners would prefer using the extra ringgit saved from paying loans on essential household expenditures, while wealthier individuals will take advantage of low interest rates to buy more properties, driving prices up.

“However, this situation may only happen at hot spot areas such as Kuala Lumpur, where the demand for properties remains intact even with the pandemic.

“Properties in other areas such as Iskandar Malaysia may continue to face unfavourable fates for a long time.”

Fariq also emphasised that there is no solid evidence so far that the vaccination process can contribute to the recovery of the property market in Malaysia, other than more secure meetings between developers and potential buyers.

Conversely, VPC Alliance (KL) Sdn Bhd MD James Wong indicated that the overall property prices may risk facing a downward trend with the implementation of MCO 3.0.

He said it appears that the number of Covid-19 cases will rise further in the coming months and the situation will continue to hurt the property market.

“With the implementation of MCO 3.0, the economy will suffer further with increasing unemployment, salary cuts and closing down of businesses.

“This will definitely affect the property market and further decline in transactions and property prices are expected in the coming months,” he told TMR.

The latest PropertyGuru Malaysia Property Market Index revealed that the overall asking prices for properties nationwide has dropped by 0.84% quarter-on-quarter and 1.79% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021.

PropertyGuru Malaysia country manager Sheldon Fernandez attributed the decline to buyers’ apprehension as they take a wait-and-see approach due to the resurging Covid-19 infections and the implementation of MCO 2.0, which affected commercial activity.

He noted that with the backdrop of pandemic-related economic uncertainties, sentiment would remain cautious as the property market is expected to see fluctuating price trends in the coming months.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

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Is It Still The Case That Borrowers Are On The Losing End Of Loan Agreements?

Borrowers who do not fully understand the terms and conditions (T&C) mentioned in house loans or financing contracts have been on the losing end for years. Even if they do comprehend them, they are well aware that they lack bargaining power. They must accept those terms or their loan applications will be denied.

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) was pleased when Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) spoke up about their worries over mortgage agreements that are excessively biassed towards banking institutions.

In its 2018 Financial Stability and Payment Systems report, the central bank urged that banking institutions amend these discriminatory terms and conditions and increase clarity by adopting plain language for both new and existing housing loans and financing contracts by the end of 2019.

However, has the order, which was published more than two years ago, made a difference?

 

A Lawyer or the Bank?

Borrowers typically pay the legal fees associated with home loans. Loan lawyers, on the other hand, are compelled to act in the best interests of banks, not borrowers. Borrowers are given little or no time to review the actual loan agreements before signing. They must either accept or reject all of the loans that have been offered to them. Many ordinary housing loans include a slew of clauses that are blatantly unfair to borrowers, which they are not authorised to protest.

Half of the borrowers will simply sign after examining the fundamental data such as loan amounts and interest rates, as directed by the legal professionals, given book-thick documents plus several more subsidiary deeds. The other half may study the lines and try to clarify the numerous unjust and imbalanced terms they find with the lawyers, only to be told that the terms cannot be changed – take it or leave it.

 

Differences In Bargaining Power

In CIMB Bank Bhd v Anthony Lawrence Bourke & anor (2019) 2 CLJ 1, the Federal Court held that banks cannot avoid liability for their mistakes by relying on disclaimer clauses in loan agreements. This was a huge relief for homebuyers.

Clauses that completely limit a customer’s ability to enforce a contract through legal action are unlawful under the Contract Act of 1950.

Contracts including clauses that completely remove liability are “patently unfair” and unjust to bank clients, and thus require the application of public policy considerations as well as judicial intervention.

The case has brought to light the banks’ one-sided bargaining leverage with their clients. The bank’s attempt to hide behind the provisions is unethical. In fact, it is a violation of contract freedom.

Sadly, most homebuyers will lack the financial means to prosecute their lenders. As a result, BNM’s effort to remedy these unjust elements in loan agreements has been widely praised.

 

Changes To Apply Solely To Loans Of Less Than RM500,000?

To address BNM’s concerns, the Association of Banks in Malaysia and the Association of Islamic Banks have announced that they are examining all standardised home loan agreement templates that they have authorised, but that they will be limited to principal amounts of RM500,000 or less.

However, haven’t housing prices risen significantly in the ten years after the pattern was initially implemented?

In this context, HBA requests that all residential housing loans (including serviced apartments, etc.) defined as residential dwellings under the Housing Development Act be covered by the new judgement released by BNM, regardless of loan amounts.

HBA is hoping that BNM would conduct a thorough examination of loan agreements in order to identify any conditions that are imbalanced or unjust to borrowers, and that these elements will be eliminated from “standard” housing loans.

 

A Secret To Apportionment Of Payment To Interest And Principal?

The allocation of monthly instalments toward the settlement of principal and interest is another significant unfairness to borrowers, as it is not specified anywhere in conventional loan agreements or templates.

To give you an example, we had a customer who took up a 20-year mortgage about six years ago. The complainant assumed that after paying his monthly instalments on his loan for five years, the principle amount owed should only be roughly 75% of the original amount.

Unfortunately, as the complainant discovered firsthand, the outstanding principle amount was closer to 83.5 percent. Banks, without a doubt, utilise Excel Mortgage templates universally, but laypeople believe otherwise based on their rudimentary arithmetic calculations.

As a result, there needs to be more clarity in how monthly interest and principal repayments are allocated, and this must be specified in loan agreements. BNM might be able to fix the manner of charging interest.

 

BNM To Balance Things Out

Instead of focusing solely on earnings and establishing balance sheets to appease their shareholders, the HBA urges banks to continue to consider their customers’ hardships and protect their borrowers’ interests.

HBA further urges BNM to continue closely monitoring, supervising, and enforcing Malaysian banks to ensure that they do not exploit their borrowers. Borrowers vs banks is a “David versus Goliath” conflict, and BNM’s early involvement is required to balance the scales in the financial field.

 

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For too long, loan borrowers have been at the losing end as many do not fully understand the terms and conditions (T&C) stated in housing loans or financing contracts. Even if they do understand them, they know all too well the bargaining power is not in their hands. They have to accept those terms or risk having their loan applications rejected.

Thus, when Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) stepped up and voiced their concerns over mortgage agreements which are disproportionately skewed towards banking institutions, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) welcomed the announcement.

The central bank, in its 2018 Financial Stability and Payment Systems report, demanded banking institutions to revise these unfair T&C and improve clarity through the use of plain language, for both new and existing housing loans and financing contracts, by end 2019.

So, has the directive, issued more than two years ago, improved the situation?

 

Lawyer for the borrower or the bank?

It is a standard practice that borrowers pay for the legal fees of housing loans. Ironically though, loan lawyers are obligated to act in the best interest of banks and not borrowers.

In addition, a barrage of terms that are grossly unfair to borrowers are included in standard housing loans, which they are not allowed to dispute. They must either accept or reject the loans offered in totality.

While borrowers may have time to shop for different banks and compare various letters of offer before deciding, borrowers are given little or no time to vet through the official loan agreements before signing.  This is because after borrowers have accepted the letters of offer, they will be required to go to the loan lawyers’ offices to execute the loan agreements and other security documents.

Given book-thick documents plus multiple other subsidiary deeds, half the borrowers will just sign after merely checking the basic details such as the loan amounts and interest rates, as instructed by the legal officers. The other half may scan the lines and attempt to clarify with the lawyers the many unfair and lopsided terms they find, only to be told that the terms cannot be varied – take it or leave it.

 

Unequal bargaining power

The recent Federal Court ruling in CIMB Bank Bhd v Anthony Lawrence Bourke & anor (2019) 2 CLJ 1 stated that banks cannot escape liability for their mistakes by relying on disclaimer clauses in the loan agreements. This came as a big relief to house buyers.

The Federal Court has held, inter-alia, as follows:

● Clauses which absolutely restrict the rights of customers to enforce a contract via legal proceedings are void pursuant to the Contract Act, 1950.

● Contracts with clauses to absolutely exclude liability are “patently unfair” and unjust to bank customers, and merit the application of principles of public policy as well as interference by the Courts.

The case has spotlighted the one-sided bargaining powers between the banks and their customers. It is unconscionable on the part of the bank to seek refuge behind the clauses. In fact, it is an abuse of the freedom of contract.

Unfortunately, most house buyers will not have the resources to sue their bankers. As such BNM’s attempt to address these unfair clauses in loan agreements was a much lauded move.

 

Changes to apply only to loans of RM500,000 and below?

To address the concerns raised by BNM, HBA notes that the Association of Banks in Malaysia and Association of Islamic Banks have stated they were reviewing all standardised housing loan agreement templates which they had approved, but they would be limited to the principal sum of RM500,000 or less.

However, hasn’t the price of houses increased substantially over the past 10 years since the template was first initiated?

In this regard, HBA calls for all residential housing loans (including serviced apartments, etc, that are classified as residential dwellings under the Housing Development Act), regardless of the loan amounts, to be covered under this new ruling as announced by BNM.

HBA hopes that BNM will take a comprehensive review of the loan agreements to identify all clauses that are lopsided and grossly unfair to borrowers and ensure these clauses are removed from the “standard’ housing loans.

 

Apportionment of payment to interest and principal shrouded in secrecy?

Another grave injustice to borrowers is the allocation of monthly instalments towards the settlement of principal and interest as this is not disclosed anywhere in standard loan agreements or templates.

To illustrate, we had a complainant who took a 20-year housing loan about six years ago. After diligently paying his monthly instalments towards his loan for five years, the complainant assumed the principal amount outstanding should only be about 75% of the original amount.

Unfortunately, as the complainant personally experienced, the principal amount outstanding turned out to be closer to 83.5%. No doubt, the use of Excel Mortgage template is practised universally by banks, but lay people think otherwise with their simple arithmetic calculations.

Hence, there needs to be a greater transparency on how the allocation of monthly repayments for interest and principal is done and this must be disclosed in the loan agreements. Perhaps, BNM can fix the method of charging interest?

 

BNM to balance the scale

HBA calls for banks to continue to take cognisance of their customers’ hardship and protect the interest of their borrowers instead of only focusing on profits and creating balance sheets to appease their shareholders.

HBA also calls on BNM to continue the close monitoring, supervision and policing of banks in Malaysia to ensure they do not take advantage of their borrowers. The battle of borrowers versus banks is a battle of “David versus Goliath”, and the timely intervention of BNM is needed to balance the scales in the banking arena.

 

TIPS FOR BORROWERS

On the sideline, HBA’s recommendations to borrowers are as follows:

● Choose flexi-loans, where you can “re-use” your repayments;

● You are encouraged to “pay more” as and when you have extras (like bonuses), to enable you to shorten the loan tenure;

● From the onset, ask banks to allow you to start paying your monthly instalments rather than just service progressive releases; and

● Avoid “lock-in periods” where banks can impose penalties for early redemptions.

 

Source: Edge Prop

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Another 1,000 People Were Given Affordable Housing By The Penang Housing Board

Since 2008, the Penang government has supplied almost 7,000 frontline workers, including civil servants, with low-cost, low-medium-cost, and affordable housing. Even if the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging, state Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee Chairman Jagdeep Singh stated the state would continue to supply these homes to lower-income groups.

Penang has set a goal of developing 200,000 such units by 2030, according to him, and has so far reached 53.2 percent of that goal, or 117,049 units (that have been built, in the process of being built and approved to be built).

In response to the tightened standard operating procedures (SOPs) allowing 80 percent of government employees to work from home (WFH), Jagdeep stated the directive was not a green light to relax at home because “we have a lot of services to deliver.”

He emphasised that following the SOPs with discipline was the key to overcoming the Covid-19. He also urged the whole public to sign up for the National Covid-19 Immunization Program.

To emphasise the seriousness of the Covid-19 problem, Jagdeep stated that the country had recorded a total of 6,976 instances, with Penang reporting 372 cases yesterday, the second most after 395 cases on May 13. According to him, the two local governments have conducted a total of 1.88 million checks on establishments on both the island and the mainland, with the SOP compliance rate exceeding 99 percent in both cases.

He noted that though the Federal Government has asked individuals to practise self-lockdown rather than absolute lockdown in order to balance lives and livelihoods, MBPP and MBSP should not compromise on SOP adherence.

 

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The Penang authorities has offered low-cost, low medium-cost and reasonably priced properties to just about 7,000 frontliners, together with civil servants, since 2008.

State Native Authorities, Housing, City and Nation Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh mentioned the state would proceed to supply these properties to lower-income group even when the Covid-19 pandemic remains to be raging.

“We need to make sure that those that are eligible are solely chosen. We give precedence to the frontliners, together with all our civil servants, who’re uncovered to a lot danger. In all, 6,695 frontliners have obtained the models.

“Enterprise should go on; individuals want roofs over their heads. This morning, we proceed with our work to pick out 1,000 people for these properties,” Jagdeep advised a press convention through Zoom from Komtar at the moment.

He mentioned Penang has set a goal of constructing 200,000 such models by 2030 and has thus far achieved 53.2% or 117,049 models (which were constructed, within the technique of being constructed and accredited to be constructed).

Commenting on the 80% authorities servants to earn a living from home (WFH) below the tightened normal working procedures (SOPs), Jagdeep mentioned the instruction was not a inexperienced gentle to calm down at house as a result of “we’ve got loads of providers to be delivered.”

He reiterated that self-discipline in observing the SOPs was the important thing to overcoming the Covid-19.

As well as, he additionally inspired the general public to register for the Nationwide Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

To underline the seriousness of the Covid-19 state of affairs, Jagdeep mentioned the nation registered a document 6,976 instances whereas Penang reported 372 instances yesterday, its second highest after registering 395 instances on Might 13.

“Because the variety of Covid-19 instances rises, all of us ought to rise and step up our combat in opposition to the virus,” mentioned Jagdeep, including that each the Penang Island Metropolis Council (MBPP) and the Seberang Perai Metropolis Council (MBSP) have been instructed to up the ante within the Covid-19 combat.

To date, he mentioned the 2 native authorities have performed a complete of 1.88 million checks on premises on each island and mainland and located the SOP compliance fee to be above 99 per cent.

He mentioned whereas the Federal Authorities has urged the individuals to practise self-lockdown slightly than a complete lockdown to stability lives and livelihoods, he has known as on MBPP and MBSP to not compromise on SOP adherence.

 

Source: News Logged

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Government Considering Extending The Home Ownership Campaign Till End Of 2021

According to Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, the government is considering extending the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) until the end of this year.

She said that she had demanded the extension from Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

“However, the MoF (Ministry of Finance) will most likely review the requirements, and they will be slightly different from the current ones,” she told reporters yesterday after attending Malaysia’s Best Managed and Sustainable Property Award 2021.

Zuraida said that as of February 28, 2021, a total of 34,354 units worth RM25.6 billion had been successfully sold for the 2020-2021 HOC campaign, including RM4.3 billion in discounts.

In 2020, the HOC was introduced with stamp duty exemption and a 10% discount for qualifying applicants purchasing houses worth between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million.

 

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 5): The government is looking to extend the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) until the end of this year, says Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.

She informed that she had requested Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz to allow the extension.

“However, the MoF (Ministry of Finance) will probably review the conditions, and they will be a little different from the existing ones,” she told reporters after attending Malaysia’s Best Managed and Sustainable Property Award 2021 here yesterday.

Meanwhile, Zuraida said as of Feb 28, 2021, a total of 34,354 units of houses worth RM25.6 billion were successfully sold for the 2020-2021 HOC campaign, with discounts totalling RM4.3 billion.

The HOC in 2020 was implemented with stamp duty exemption, as well as a 10% discount for eligible applicants to purchase houses worth RM300,000 to RM2.5 million.

 

Source: The Edge Markets

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BNM – Housing Market Activity Has Reached An All-Time Low

Serviced apartments, small office home office (SOHO) units, and houses priced above RM500,000 in less common locations continue to push unsold properties, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

According to BNM’s Financial Statement Review 2020, the housing sector reached a record low in terms of activity in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20).

Despite the low interest rate environment and ongoing initiatives to boost demand, the housing sector has since marginally recovered in the third quarter.

“Demand for financing grew in lockstep with market activity, with housing loan application growth picking up across the price segments except for houses priced below RM300,000,” according to the survey.

In the first three quarters of 2020, total launches decreased dramatically across all price segments, according to BNM (24,853 units; 1Q19 to 3Q19: 60,955).

This decline is particularly pronounced for properties priced above RM500,000, with the share of newly-launched properties in this segment falling to 20.5 percent of total new launches (1Q19 to 3Q19: 31.8 percent ).

The central bank also stated that average housing transaction values increased for the second quarter in a row, providing support to house prices.

According to BNM, housing borrowers accounted for one-fifth of all loans in the banking system.

It reassured banks that the actual impairment level and share of borrowers in negative equity for household investors are both at 0.9 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, suggesting that the risks to banks are well-contained.

The property sector remains a major contributor (52 percent) to banks’ total loans, according to BNM, but it reaffirmed that exposures to the more vulnerable property segments are still a concern.

 

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 31): Unsold properties continue to remain at an elevated level, driven by serviced apartments, small office home office (SOHO) units, and houses priced above RM500,000 in less popular locations, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The housing market had hit a historical low in terms of activity in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20), according to BNM’s Financial Statement Review 2020.

However, the housing market had since slightly rebounded in the third quarter, amid the low interest rate environment and ongoing measures to support demand.

“The low interest rate environment also encouraged purchases for both own occupancy and investment purposes.

“Demand for financing correspondingly rose in line with market activity, with housing loan application growth picking up across the price segments except for houses priced below RM300,000,” the report said.

BNM also highlighted that overall launches declined significantly across all price segments in the first three quarters of 2020 (24,853 units; 1Q19 to 3Q19: 60,955).

This decline is notably sharper for properties priced above RM500,000 which has resulted in the share of newly-launched properties in this segment to fall to 20.5% of overall new launches (1Q19 to 3Q19: 31.8%).

The central bank added that for the second consecutive quarter, average housing transaction values had experienced growth, lending support to house prices.

“Average transaction values recorded a second consecutive quarter of positive annual growth of a market more concentrated in the mid- to higher-priced segments, mainly where buyers are more likely to be those whose incomes have been less affected by the pandemic.

“This continued to support the growth in average housing prices, as measured by the Malaysian House Price Index (MHPI), although prices increased at a more moderate pace during the third quarter of 2020,” said BNM.

For housing investors, BNM reported that they accounted for one-fifth of overall banking system loans.

It reassured that risks to banks are well-contained, with the current impairment ratio and share of borrowers in negative equity for household investors at 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively.

According to BNM, the property sector remains a significant contributor (52%) to banks’ total loans, but reaffirmed that exposures to the more vulnerable property segments remain low and have declined further in the second half of 2020.

 

Source: Edge Prop

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BNM – Malaysia’s Economy Will Grow From 6.0 Percent To 7.5 Percent This Year

The Malaysian economy is expected to rise between 6.0 and 7.5 percent in 2021, compared to 5.6 percent contraction in 2020, thanks to domestic factors like consumption and a brighter external environment fueled by vaccine rollout.

Aside from inoculation, less strict containment steps, and COVID-19, economic growth would be fueled by a gradual improvement in labor market conditions, continued policy support for households and enterprises, and improved external demand during the technology upcycle.

The International Monetary Fund recently raised its global growth estimate for 2021 by 0.3 percentage point to 5.5%. With the COVID-19 resurgence, Malaysia’s economy shrank by 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, taking the full-year contraction to 5.6 percent.

Nor Shamsiah pointed out that one of the potential upsides to its GDP forecasts is the possibility of pent-up demand due to the country’s historically high savings rate.

“We also didn’t account for the fact that the government has accelerated the inoculation target, with the aim of achieving herd immunity by the end of this year,” she added.

On the other hand, she said, the downside risks will be a broad-based lockdown to prevent infection and a slower vaccination than anticipated, emphasizing that “vaccination is key.”

As a result, Nor Shamsiah believes that Malaysia’s phased vaccine rollout, which began in late February, would help to improve growth by strengthening consumer confidence and encouraging a gradual return to normalcy in economic activity.

As a result, after a strong downturn in economic and trade activity in 2020, the global economy is expected to recover this year and expand by 5.5 percent.

Domestic private consumption will anchor growth in 2021, according to Nor Shamsiah, due to less stringent movement constraints, incremental improvement in sentiments amid vaccine rollout, and continued income growth on the back of improved economic activity.

Similarly, investment activity would rebound, owing to improving demand conditions and government policies that prompted a recovery in both private and public sector capital spending.

She added that the operation would be aided by a steady rise in foreign and domestic investment as a result of increased global demand and the tech upcycle.

“The realisation of approved manufacturing investment amounting to RM91.3 billion in 2020 versus RM82.7 billion in 2019 and continuation of transport infrastructure projects, namely the East Coast Rail Link,  Mass Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line and Light Rail Transit Line 3”.

Improvements to digital infrastructure, as well as measures to attract quality investment and develop ease of doing business, such as the expansion of relocation incentives, the creation of a one-stop-centre to promote business traveler entry, and the Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit, are among the others.

Financial structures, according to Nor Shamsiah, are robust and well-positioned to facilitate financial intermediation, whereas financial institutions continue to maintain high capital reserves and healthy liquidity to support intermediation activities.

She stated that the central bank expects jobs and unemployment to recover after seeing promising signs of continued hiring activity.

 

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 31): The Malaysian economy is projected to expand between 6.0 per cent and 7.5 per cent in 2021 compared with a contraction of 5.6 per cent in 2020, supported by domestic factors such as consumption and a brighter external environment fuelled by vaccine rollout.

Besides inoculation, less stringent containment measures and COVID-19, gradual improvement in labour market conditions, continued policy support for household and businesses, as well as improving external demand amid technology upcycle will drive economic recovery.

“Malaysian economy to rebound in 2021, with the gross domestic product (GDP) achieving pre-COVID-19 levels by mid-2021,” Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus told an editor briefing session on Tuesday.

“And in our forecast, we assumed herd immunity will only be achieved in the first quarter of 2022.

“We assumed that the international borders will remain closed for this year and the movement control order will be highly targetted,” she said.

The International Monetary Fund has recently revised upwards its 2021 global growth forecast by 0.3 percentage point to 5.5 per cent.

Malaysia’s economy shrank 3.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 with the COVID-19 resurgence, bringing the full-year contraction to 5.6 per cent.

Nor Shamsiah pointed out that the potential upsides to its GDP projections include possible pent-up demand amid the historical high savings seen in the country.

“We also didn’t take into account that the government has accelerated the inoculation target where the government is now targetting the herd immunity to be achieved by end of this year,” she said.

On the flipside, the downside risks would be a broad-based lockdown to curb infection and the slower vaccination than anticipated, she said, stressing that overall “the vaccination is key.”

“The vaccine rollout is critical to this economic recovery as the current crisis is a health crisis,” she said.

Therefore, Nor Shamsiah said Malaysia’s phased vaccines rollout started at the end-February will provide some lift to growth, as it supports recovery in employment and income by improving consumer sentiment and facilitating a gradual normalisation in economic activity.

Correspondingly, the global economy is set to rebound this year and to grow by 5.5 per cent after a large contraction in economic and trade activity in 2020.

“Global economic activity will be driven by vaccine rollout and continued significant policy support comprising large fiscal and monetary stimulus to cushion the pandemic impact on growth.

“Global health crisis triggered a large economic downturn in 2020 which caused weaker demand and production disruptions amid widespread containment measures,” she said.

In another development, Nor Shamsiah said domestic private consumption will anchor growth in 2021 due to less stringent movement restrictions and gradual improvement in sentiments amid vaccine rollout, as well as continued income growth on the back of improving economic activity.

Similarly, investment activity would rebound, driven by better demand conditions and government initiatives which triggered a recovery in capital spending in both private and public sectors.

She said the activity will also be supported by a gradual improvement in foreign and domestic investment on the back of better external demand and tech upcycle.

The realisation of approved manufacturing investment amounting to RM91.3 billion in 2020 versus RM82.7 billion in 2019 and continuation of transport infrastructure projects, namely the East Coast Rail Link,  Mass Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line and Light Rail Transit Line 3.

Others include enhancements in digital infrastructure and efforts to attract quality investment and improve ease of doing business such as extension relocation incentives, establishment of one-stop-centre to ease entry of business travellers and Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit.

Nor Shamsiah said financial systems remains resilient and well-placed to support financial intermediation, while financial institutions continued to maintain strong capital buffers with healthy liquidity to support intermediation activities.

On the labour market, she said the central bank expects recovery in employment and unemployment after witnessing encouraging signs of continued hiring activity.

 

Source: Edge Prop