DBKL launches hostel-like rooms for B40 singles to rent, starting August
Singles from the lower income B40 group working in Kuala Lumpur can start applying to rent shared space units under the urban housing programme from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) from August, said Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan. DBKL would accept 188 tenants under the first phase and 135 under the second phase. “Applications for the first phase starts in August and they are expected to start renting the units from October at a low rate of RM100 per person,” he said. DBKL had allocated about RM7 million to renovate the interior of the two blocks of seven-storey buildings on Lot 54 and 56 in Jalan TAR. Applicants must be Malaysian citizens, aged between 18 and 35, earned less than RM2,000 a month, worked in the capital as well as did not own a house or car. (Bernama)

Rehda: Biggest hurdle for property market is strict lending conditions by banks
The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) said the strict conditions imposed by banks on home loan applicants is the biggest hurdle in the property market. “Tight-fisted” bank conditions remained an obstacle, amidst the government’s measures to encourage home ownership by waiving stamp duty fees and providing other incentives and discounts as part of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC). Rehda president Soam Heng Choon was quoted as saying that banks should gauge an applicant’s ability to repay their loan using aspects of his financial background outside the debt-service ratio. This could include parental financial support, part-time income, etc. (The Edge)

PM: Let’s improve Malaysia’s existing rail system before building HSR to Singapore
Malaysia’s transport sector can do without the proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) connecting Kuala Lumpur and Singapore for now, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. The prime minister explained that the infrastructure project is nice but not “necessary” as its development benefits only a few states between the two capital cities. “So we will not build the high speed train yet, but we will want to improve the quality of service given by our railway system, and that has been done to some extent, by double tracking and electrification,” he said. Despite suggestions that the HSR be cancelled, Malaysia has signed a supplementary agreement with Singapore on September 5, 2018, to defer the construction of the proposed HSR until May 31, 2020. (Malay Mail)

Ministry to get foreign investors to fund affordable housing
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government is looking to bring in foreign investors to facilitate homeownership among lower-income households (B40) under the National Affordable Housing Policy. Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the ministry is planning to woo investors from China, South Korea and the Middle East to finance affordable housing programmes. She said funds would only come in around 2021 as the first project under the policy would take about three years to complete. National mortgage corporation Cagamas Bhd could act as a conduit for investors by doing the administrative work and distributing the funds. (The Edge)

Singapore home sales surge as developers market new projects
Private-home sales in Singapore soared in March as developers marketed more projects after a typically slower February that included the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. Developers sold 1,054 units last month, more than double the 455 in February, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said. Residential home prices decreased for a second straight quarter in the three months ended March 31 after the government added cooling measures in July, helping to buoy demand. Sentiment is proving most positive in the super-luxury segment with a significant pick up in sales. (The Star Online)