Here Are 5 Private Property Developers Offering Affordable Housing

Property Market Expected To Remain Flat In 2017

The government has been focusing on providing affordable housing in the recent years. The recent Budget 2018 gave the housing sector an allocation of RM2.2 billion, with over 50,000 units being prepared under the affordable housing programme and more financing programmes such as PR1MA to help Malaysian citizens afford their first homes.

Amongst all of these announcements on housing, this year private developers seem to finally be getting a slice of the affordable housing pie. The popular PR1MA end-financing scheme is now extended to eligible private developers to help more Malaysians in purchasing their first homes.

With private developers being part of the plan, it seems likely that more Malaysians will be able to afford a house at key areas. But are there private developers offering affordable housing?

To answer that, we first need to know what exactly defines affordable housing.

What is considered affordable housing today?

According to research by the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI), the threshold for affordable housing is one where the cost of the house is three times the median income, called the Median Multiple.

This calculation defines that if a household can finance the house with less than three times its annual median household income, the house is considered affordable. Anything higher than that, it’s considered unaffordable.

This calculation has even been supported by  Deputy Minister of Finance, Datuk Othman Aziz, and has also been recommended by the World Bank and the United Nations for the evaluation of urban housing markets.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), the current median income is at RM5,228 as of 2016. Using the Median Multiple calculation, Malaysia’s overall affordable housing price is at RM188,208.

However, as different states record different incomes, the affordable housing price should also differ according to states. Here are the seven states with the highest median income in Malaysia according DOSM, and how much the affordable housing price should be for each state.

Median Income
Affordable Housing Rate
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya
Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan

Out of these seven states, only six states can afford housing that is above RM200,000. If you live in the Klang Valley, you would notice that most of the developments by private developers are way above that price tag. Even PR1MA houses within the Klang Valley are priced above RM200,000.

This begs the question of what the “eligibility criteria” set for private developers for the end-financing scheme are. At the time of writing, no details have been released by the government on this scheme, but let’s look at which private developer are already stepping up their game in offering affordable housing, even before the Budget has been announced.

1. Berjaya Land Development

Who is eligible?

Cost of houseFrom RM150,000
IncomeNot more than RM8,000 per month
Age21 and above
Other requirementsMalaysian resident, registered voter in Penang

Berjaya Land announced early last year that they would be providing affordable housing, especially in Penang. They have a number of projects in Penang currently, particularly at the Jesselton Villas near the Penang Turf Club.

Their affordable housing in Mutiara Jesselton, Penang starts from from RM150,000, which seems to be the most affordable housing you could find in Penang thus far.

However, their other ‘affordable properties’ are mainly around the range of RM300,000, which is far from affordable for most of the residents in Penang.

In order to be eligible for these affordable property in Penang, you will need to be a Malaysian citizen and a registered voter in Penang with an income of RM8,000 per month or below. Both the applicant or even the spouse must not own any property anywhere in Malaysia.

2. IJM Land

Who is eligible?

Cost of houseFrom RM245,000
Other requirementsTBA

Recently, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor announced that Amona Development Sdn Bhd and IJM Land Bhd had jointly agreed to lower the price of houses in Pantai Sentral Park to RM245,000 from its original price of just below RM300,000. Further information on this development has yet to be released. The completion is expected to be 18 months from the end of October 2016. More details on this should be released in 2018.

A quick look around the property prices around Pantai Sentral Park shows prices of around RM700,000 – RM800,000! With its prime location close to the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the price of RM245,000 is pretty attractive, and it is still below the affordable housing threshold for Kuala Lumpur residents.

3. Sime Darby

Who is eligible?

Cost of houseFrom RM170,000 to RM270,000
IncomeBetween RM3,000 to RM10,000 monthly
Age18 and above
Other requirementsMust be first home

There are a number of private property developers that participated in the Rumah Selangorku programme that promises to offer affordable housing within Selangor, and Sime Darby is one of them. Sime Darby is currently offering 1,700 units of apartments with prices ranging from RM170,000 to RM270,000 with their second Rumah Selangorku project, Harmoni 1, located in Putra Heights, Subang in Selangor.

Other projects under the Rumah Selangorku programme by IJM Land include the Serunai Apartment at Bukit Raja, and Harmoni, City of Elmina with houses ranging from RM200,000 to RM250,000 which are still within the affordable property price in Selangor.

4. SP Setia

Who is eligible?

Cost of houseFrom RM170,000
IncomeBetween RM3,000 to RM10,000 monthly
Age18 and above
Other requirementsMust be first home

SP Setia is one of the developers that are also under the Rumah Selangorku programme, which means most of their affordable housing is based in Selangor.

Their current project is based in Setia Alam and it comprises of 737 units at the De Kiara apartment and 730 units at De Palma apartment with built-ups of approximately 800 square feet and the units are priced at RM170,000. They also have 723 units with a built-up of approximately 900 square feet at De Bayu apartment that’s priced at RM200,000.

The developer also has Setia Eco Templer, which has also built approximately 900 affordable housing units that were priced from RM42,000 to RM250,000.

5. Mah Sing Group

Who is eligible?

Cost of houseFrom RM170,000
IncomeBetween RM3,000 to RM10,000 monthly
Age18 and above
Other requirementsMust be first home

Another developer under the Rumah Selangorku project, Mah Sing is also offering affordable housing that’s gated in Rawang. Currently with 488 units, the Cendana Apartment homes have a built-up area of 850 square feet each with a starting price of RM170,000.

Their future projects on affordable housing will also focus on other states such as Penang and Johor as well, though they have yet to be announced. Mah Sing also has plans to launch M Centura in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur which boasts high quality affordable housing with a price tag of RM328,000. This is slightly higher than the affordable housing meant for KL residents, but the developer justifies the price tag by promising quality.

Can Malaysians get these affordable homes?

Of the five property developers listed above, most of them have worked under the Rumah Selangorku programme to provide more affordable housing for Selangor residents. As Selangor’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in property is double that of Kuala Lumpur’s at 26.8%, this means prices of property has been going up a lot faster than most residents of Selangor can afford.

On the other hand, Penang’s CAGR is a lot lower compared to most states at 1.8%, but the median price of property in Penang is already in the millions, which is also another issue that would raise the demand for affordable property.

Despite more participation from private developers, the demand for affordable housing is still way above the supply. Most of the developments mentioned above are either unavailable at this point or there’s a long waiting list with little to no certainty of getting said unit.

This has also been criticised by Wong Chen, Kelana Jaya MP, who said during iMoney’s pre-budget live forum that it is close to impossible for the government to provide affordable housing such as PR1MA to everyone.

“Assuming we can build 10,000 houses a year, it can only serve 1% of those who need. This creates the ‘lucky draw’ mentality which encourages corruption,” said Wong.

The current system is definitely far from perfect, but the problem is not insoluble. So what else can be done to solve the issue of affordable housing? The KRI had recommended improvements to the current construction industry’s delivery system to supply affordable housing, reduction of pressure that leads to rapid house price escalation, as well as a steady supply of housing at affordable prices to match the demand efficiently.

However, the issue of affordable housing will not be solved overnight, and it cannot be solved by the government alone. More effort needs to be put in to make owning a home more affordable, and there’s hope that more private developers will play their part in contributing to the solution.


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