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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Malaysian houses cost 5.5 times more than the annual median income, making them more expensive than even Singapore and the US, Khazanah Research Institute (KRiS) said today.
According to KRiS’s findings in its book titled “The State of Households”, many Malaysian households also have limited savings making them resort to loans and credit schemes which charge high interest rates to pay off their debts.
“By global standards, our housing is expensive at 5.5 times the annual median income when it ought to be three times,” KRiS managing director Datuk Charon Mokhzani told reporters at the official book launch.
In comparison, Singapore’s housing prices cost 5.1 per cent of annual median income, while houses in US cost 3.5 per cent of the annual median income.
Research by KRiS also found that Malaysians generally have limited savings which cuts across all ethnicities.
Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) data obtained last year showed that the bottom 71.4 per cent of ASB holders have only an average of RM554 in their accounts compared to the average top 0.2 per cent who have RM725,122.
The latest 2014 Employees Provident Fund (EPF) data also shows that the savings of the top 17,061 EPF members to be much higher than the total savings of the bottom 44 per cent (2.85 million members).
The richest 5,446 EPF members have on average RM1.56 million in savings while the bottom 13.5 per cent have an average of only RM3,580.
“Despite the low income of most households, there is very high ownership of televisions, refrigerators, motor vehicles and other consumer goods. Households are only able to pay for this by taking on extremely expensive debt,” Charon said.