BY A. JALIL HAMID | 24 APRIL 2016
A friend of mine, who went for a double-storey link house launch in Elmina Valley near Shah Alam the other day, said he had not expected to see such a big crowd there.
While parking his car some half a kilometre away from the sales site, he muttered to his wife: “Sapa kata orang Malaysia takde duit? Mahal gini pun ramai datang.”
In the same breath, he said at current offer prices of RM600,000 apiece, he did not think his children could afford to buy one after they started working. Even if they could afford it, they would probably rent it out to help pay for the loan instalment while staying put with their parents.
Sime Darby Property, part of the Sime Darby conglomerate and developer of the upcoming Elmina township, later announced that 94 per cent of the 309 units of the double-storey houses on sale was snapped up on that day alone.
A press release from the company said: “The response also reflects the strong demand for residential products within the RM600,000 price range presented by Sime Darby Property.”
A 20ft by 70ft (6m by 21m) double-storey link house sells from RM600,000 and above these days, and these new launches are nowhere near Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya. You have to go even further out, and that means a longer commuting time.
The “overwhelming” response for Elmina terraced homes possibly belies the actual situation on the ground, at least in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Baru. Prices of new launches of landed and high-rise properties are now way beyond the reach of the majority of people, even middle-income earners.
The issue here is affordability. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) says a house is considered affordable if a household can finance it with less than three times its annual household income.
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