Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Clamour for House Ownership

Image credit: New Straits Times, Malaysia, October 11, 2018

On Sunday, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said out loud what we Malaysians already know: “Thousands want to buy a house, but thousands of houses cannot be bought. They are empty because house buyers cannot afford, and banks do not easily lend to people who cannot pay back”. 

And so, he expressed confidence that the property crowdfunding solution announced in Budget 2019 can indeed drive the building of one million houses in 10 years – as promised by Pakatan Harapan in their GE14 election manifesto. 

This was supposedly the FundMyHome scheme – the first of its kind in the world – that brings together first-time homebuyers and participating institutions in a mutually supportive relationship. 

Here, buyers pay only 20% of the property price to "own" a home, choosing from a wide array of high-rise and landed properties of different prices and locations. The balance 80% of the property cost is borne by investors via a peer-to-peer financing framework. The said institutions share the returns from changes in the future value of the homes. 

Now, if I understand the above correctly, what it means is that purchasing 20% gives you the option to buy the abode in five years. After five years, if you want to fully own the dwelling, you need to fork out the remaining 80%.

Meaning, there is no monthly repayment for the first five years. After that, a buyer can sell the house or pay for the remaining portion at market price or refinance the property entirely. 

Anyway, this FundMyHome scheme is just another option in the market. I think, the more options we have the better.

Mahathir acknowledged that even as he believed that it is a “fantastic scheme” – he found it hard to believe. He wants to see real solid evidence that it can work! 

In any case, it represents a bold initiative to enable more Malaysians to own houses.

On Thursday, I was at Wisma Mont’ Kiara in KL’s Mont’ Kiara – where I attended the Ireka Toastmasters meeting. I was the General Evaluator at the said meeting. 

Performing this meeting role means I can tick another box in my CL manual – leaving me with just two more tasks before I earn my twenty-second Competent Leader award. 

Plus, I presented a CC #6 speech on Vocal Variety titled I Can’t Scream. Likewise, two more CC speeches and another Competent Communication manual will have been completed – my fiftieth round. 

It is good to know that Ireka’s Ella Yiek delivered her CC graduating speech – and I must say she did well! 

I’m happy to have gone through two practice sessions with her – they boosted her confidence and she should take pride that she is now a Competent Communicator, a well-deserved achievement.

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