Friday, March 11, 2011

Housing For All: The Perils of Ownership

From the Malaysian Insider:

100pc financing is not the solution — Haslinah Yacob

MARCH 10 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement that he plans to launch the “My First Housing Scheme (SRP)” to enable young adults earning under RM3,000 to buy a house is well-intentioned but ill-advised.

Malaysia is indeed facing a housing crisis. The property development sector is booming. Unfortunately, property prices are so high, suitable homes are out of reach of most Malaysians. And yes, those most affected are young people looking to invest in their first home.

However, offering young adults the opportunity to “buy” a house without downpayment is not the solution...

Read the rest for her analysis, it's quite good. About the only thing I disagree with is that property development is booming - judging from the latest sales data, it's actually crashing:


Property developers have priced themselves out of the mass market. Other than that, I pretty much share the same reservations. While I don't think we've got the ingredients for a systemic crisis stemming from a housing bubble, the seeds are there – let’s not nurture them into something that’s too big too handle.

Having a roof over your head is a basic human right – but owning it isn’t a necessity, especially if there are alternative, more liquid investments around with comparative yield and less risk.

You might want to read Sakmongkol AK47's rant while you're at it.

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