Bank Negara has expanded the eligibility criteria for its RM1 billion Fund for Affordable Homes.
Announcing the enhancement, governor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the maximum monthly household income is now increased to RM4,360 from RM2,300 set earlier, while the maximum property price is increased to RM300,000 from RM150,000 previously.
The enhancement, which takes effect on Sept 1 this year, is an additional initiative by the central bank to help citizens in the B40 income group to own their first home, she said at the launch of Financing Advisory Services (MyKNP) yesterday.
Later in a press conference, assistant governor Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid said the central bank has approved 296 applications for the fund worth RM31 million as at end-June 2019.
He said the enhancement to the fund would enable more people to access it, thus helping to increase its utilisation rate.
“We haven't fixed any specific performance target yet, but the intent is to deal with the cases (unsuccessful financing applications) and help improve the eligibility.
"We do hope people, as well as borrowers who had faced such rejection, make use of this facility,” he said.
Adnan Zaylani said Bank Negara has received feedback that businesses and households face a lack of information and awareness over the viability of financing in the market.
“When they get one rejection from one particular institution, borrowers tend to generalise the whole ecosystem is not working for them.
“By doing this initiative (MyKNP), we are hoping to elevate their perspective and showcase there is a big ecosystem that helps prospective borrowers get financing or improve their chances in getting financing,” he said.
The fund, which has a maximum financing rate of 3.5 percent per annum, is available for property in the primary market only.
Borrowers must be salaried workers or self-employed and do not have any record of impaired financing for the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (left in photo) announced that monthly instalments for borrowers under the Affordable Housing Fund are expected to be reduced by 20 percent.
“Successful applicants will enjoy a low interest rate of 3.5 percent per annum with repayment period of 40 years.
"We hope with this flexibility, it will be easier for house buyers to obtain loans," Lim said at a joint media conference with Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin today.
Lim said successful applicants would also be exempted from stamp duty for their sale and purchase agreement.
Meanwhile, Zuraida said six housing financing schemes, including for youth housing and 'rent-to-own' would be launched in October this year.
She said the schemes were being finalised for implementation to include the participation of banks and financial institutions.