According to an article I read on the Borneo Post Online yesterday, the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (KPKT) is in the midst of developing a databank to collect information on housing across the country.

The system, which is being developed through the National Housing Department, will provide information regarding offers for Bumiputera units before being released as freehold, and the progress of residential projects throughout the country. Through the system, Bumiputera units in all states which have not been sold will be made known to the public, and the ministry will request an additional three-month period from developers to offer these units on the market before they are released to become freehold.

The housing databank is part of the government’s efforts to assist low and middle-income earners to own a home. However, how useful will the system be to help this group of people to buy their own home?

Well, it is good to have information on all the available Bumiputera units in all states made open to the public, so that those who are eligible are able to apply and hopefully own their home. This will definitely increase the rate of house-ownership in the low- to middle-income group, and help to strengthen the property market as well as local economy. Besides that, having a comprehensive database of upcoming and ongoing residential projects throughout the country will help current and future property buyers track the progress of properties they are interested in, and provide useful information about these projects to the general public.

However, there are also downsides to the system. Properties are constantly being built, launched, bought and sold throughout the country. The information regarding status of available Bumiputera lots and progress of residential projects would have to be constantly updated. In addition, those in the low-income category would most likely have limited or no access to this kind of information, especially if it is online, thus limiting the reach and awareness among the target group.

If, as mentioned in the article, it provides information about available Bumiputera units – regardless of whether they are landed or high-rise residential properties – this will mean that only those with Bumiputera status will be able to buy the units. The three-month extension period for offering these units, while advantageous to those with Bumiputera status, will also mean that developers won’t be able to sell these units for a longer period of time, if there are no buyers for the units.

Of course, this is all just from a first impression from the news, as there is still not much information about this housing databank system. It is definitely a good idea, and will benefit many people from the lower and middle-income group who are looking to own a home. Just like any other system, there needs to be a trail period to ensure its feasibility, and the ministry will also have to obtain and learn from feedback from users in order to improve its functions.

Let’s wait and see how this system will fare, shall we? 🙂