One year after its launch, response to the government’s Youth Housing Scheme (YHS) was lukewarm, attracting only around 12% of the 20,000 total application quota for a two-year period.
Of the 2,500 applications received, over RM300 million worth of loans have already been approved as at May 2016.
Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) senior vice-president and head of retail and community business Datuk Mearia Hamzah attributed the situation to the mismatch between the type of homes needed by the target market and the price range under the scheme.Youth Housing Scheme (YHS) Was Lukewarm Click To Tweet
The house price plays a big role. It is not easy to purchase houses within 10 to 20 km from Kuala Lumpur for the price range allowed. Some of the first-time home buyers working in the city end up purchasing houses in locations that requires them to travel two hours daily.
While the terms of YHS are very attractive, prices for homes located within a reasonable distance from the city rose beyond the RM100,000 to RM500,000 range allowed under the scheme. Some of the houses offered within the said price range are not even suitable for young married couples intending to start a family.
Developers may launch something less than RM400,000, but it could be just a studio unit with a SOHO (Small Office Home Office) concept. SOHO units have no bedroom. If you just got married and have no kids, it’s okay. But once you have children, I don’t think the place is suitable.”
“SOHO units have no bedroom. If you just got married and have no kids, it’s okay. But once you have children, I don’t think the place is suitable, said Mearia.
The scheme’s take-up rate was also dampened by the National Higher Education Fund Corp’s (PTPTN) move to list borrowers who failed to repay loans in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS). In April, it was reported that 1.25 million PTPTN borrowers were listed in CCRIS.
Those who still owe PTPTN are afraid to apply because they know the application will not go through. They feel that there is no point for them to apply for YHS.
“The government did seek feedback from BSN. We hope that they can also assist us to do something about it. At the end of the day, we try to market the scheme. But what is the point if there are no takers,” she added.
The scheme is still open and the government will advise whether the scheme will continue or not. As of now, it is still ongoing.
Announced under Budget 2015, YHS was introduced in July 2015 and is a partnership between the Employees Provident Fund, the government and Cagamas Bhd.
The scheme is targeted at first-time buyer married youths aged from 25 to 40, with a combined household income of not more than RM10,000. YHS is valid for two years and is limited to 20,000 applicants, whichever comes first.
The scheme sees the BSN, which is the sole bank appointed to execute YHS, providing home loans ranging between RM100,000 and RM500,000 with a tenure of up to 35 years or the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
YHS offers both Islamic and conventional home loans, with a financing margin of up to 100% of the purchase price.
Successful applicants are given additional financing of up to 5% of the acquisition price for the cost of Mortgage Reducing Term Takaful or Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance. They also enjoy RM200 in monthly disbursement for the first two years counted from the first disbursement as well as 50% stamp duty exemption on the sale and purchase agreement and facility legal documents.
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