Average of RM419,000 is indeed quite high, actually.

The average price of properties in KL is RM655,000. I consider this to be quite high when I look at the typical salary of majority of my colleagues. Fortunately, the average price in Selangor is just RM430,000 which I consider as acceptable as long as one does not simply spend all his salary on useless luxuries. Do note that the average price meant that there is the lower half and the upper half and not every property being priced near the average. What the senior managers would buy would be those which are much higher than average while for those who just could not afford at the average price level, manage your expectation and go for lower priced ones first. Upgrade few years later is much easier than trying to buy a few years later.
In Sabah, the average price is RM419,000. Personally I think this is considered high. The reason is because my wife was a HR and I know what’s the typical salary of office workers there. For a similar position, most of the time, the pay is lower by a few hundred ringgit easily. In a report in propertyhunter.com.my, Bank Negara’s Deputy Governor Marzunisham Omar said that one main reason why it’s difficult for low income groups in Sabah to own a house was because the house prices are very high. He said that as long as buyers fulfil the criterias they would get their loan applications approved.
Meanwhile on the other side, the President of Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (SHAREDA), Datuk Francis Goh said that one major reason for the rejections of loan applications was because banks were way too strict with its lending policies. If the banks do not loosen their loan requirements slightly, the chance of a low-income buyer to actually own a house is nearly nil. He said that property developers can continue to build affordable houses but if the banks are not going to lend, it will not help even if more of these affordable units were built.
I think one more information is really needed. A report on the rejection of loans. It would help both sides to sit down once they have an idea about the type of loans which are being rejected. If it is true that majority of all rejections are for the affordable units, then SHAREDA is right. If however majority of the loans are for units which are priced above the average for Sabah, I think you get the answer already. The prices are simply a tad too high for the buyers. Housing is a basic need. I seriously do not think Bank Negara would like to deny this basic right. However, since this is a public need, it is also very important for developers to build really affordable ones by working closer with the state government. RM419,000 on average is really not that affordable for workers in Sabah, not even Kota Kinabalu.
written on 9 Apr 2015
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