Rent-to-own scheme ‘best option’ to help Malaysians own homes

Chan emphasised that developers participating in the scheme should have the financial resources to play 'landlords'. — Bernama pic
Chan emphasised that developers participating in the scheme should have the financial resources to play 'landlords'. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — The HouzKEY rent-to-own plan finally open for online application is not ideal, but it is currently the “best option” to increase home ownership among Malaysians, according to Datuk Jerry Chan Fook Sing.

The immediate past chairman for the Penang Real Estate and Housing Developers Association said the HouzKEY was a positive step, but added that the actual take-up rate should be subject to several factors.

“Besides having banks structure housing loans to allow lower instalment payment structure, the rent-to-own strategy is the best option.

“But the response from consumers will take time to gauge and the prices of the rent will be dependent on the developers, price, location, size, and property type,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

“Also the rent is not part of what it would cost to own the home. It will take time to see if consumers will take up this option,” he added.

Chan emphasised that developers participating in the scheme should have the financial resources to play “landlords”.

“The participating developers must have the financial resources to be landlords while hoping that the tenant ends up as a purchaser.

“Most developers will want to sell outright and not be landlords as far as residential developments are concerned,” he said.

Chan described the situation as if win-win if implemented correctly and said developers must have the commitment to see the scheme through as the tenants could in the long-run be attached to the property and neighbourhood, either by developing community ties, schooling or event sentiment.

“So an occupied house with rental income is better than unsold stock but invested by the developer money is tied-up if another buyer comes along and the tenancy is still running,” he added.

HouzKEY is the country’s first rent-to-own plan, and has opened its digital platform to buyers in the Klang Valley.

The scheme was launched last November and is now accepting applications directly via its portal managed by Maybank Islamic Bhd dubbed Maybank2Own.

In a statement on Tuesday, the bank said the portal featured a range of properties from 12 developers including EcoWorld Bhd, SP Setia, Mah Sing Properties, Sime Darby Property, Gamuda Properties, UEM Sunrise, Selangor Dredging Bhd, and Mitraland.

Maybank Islamic said it expects participation from seven more developers by end January.

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