Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bank Negara studying policy changes to housing loans

Source: (27/10/2010)

BANK Negara is studying possible policy changes for those taking up loans to buy a third house or more, says Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.

He said Bank Negara was looking into the matter first before making a decision.

“However, there will be no policy changes for first and second-time house buyers,” he said in his reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut).

At present, there are no restrictions on home owners seeking to buy their third house. In fact, they are eligible to apply for 90% of housing loan. The deputy minister said that house prices have increased steadily alongside the growth in the country’s income and economic levels. “Between 2001 and 2009, the Malaysian house price index and gross domestic product have increased by an average annual rate of 3.4% and 8.6% respectively,” he added. However, he said that house prices at several locations in large cities had shot up due to price speculation and investment activities. “If this situation is not controlled at an early stage, the house prices will go up beyond the consumer’s financial means and may affect socio-economic growth,” he added. Lim said the people would also face difficulty in buying houses, which might lead to an increase in debts. “The loan-to-value ratio will be specific in nature and its implications on the country’s economic growth will be taken into account,” he added.

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