The government’s Youth Housing Scheme (YHS) which was introduced in 2015 to aid first-time buyers aged between 25 and 40 with a combined household income of not more than RM10,000 attracted only about 12 per cent of the 20,000 total application quota over a two-year period.
To date, out of the 2,500 applications received, more than RM300 million worth of loans have been approved, which is below expectations.
Factors contributing to the lukewarm response were attributed to the mismatch between the price range under the scheme and the type of homes that are needed by the target market, say market watchers. Furthermore, the National Higher Education Fund Corp’s (PTPTN) decision to list borrowers who fail to repay their loans in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) has put an additional damper on the situation.
Bank Simpanan Nasional senior vice-president and head of retail and community business, Datuk Mearia Hamzah, was quoted saying that some first-time home buyers who work in the city end up buying homes in locations where they have to travel for two hours to work daily.
Although the terms of the scheme are very attractive, house prices, at least for dwellings within a reasonable distance from the city, have shot up beyond the RM100,000 to RM500,000 range allowed under YHS.
She also pointed out that some homes offered within the stipulated price range are not suitable for young married couples who intend to start a family.
“Those who still owe PTPTN are afraid to apply because they know the application will not go through. These are the borrowers who have not paid [their PTPTN loans] for a long time. They feel that there is no point for them to apply [for YHS],” Mearia said.
It was reported in April that a total of 1.25 million PTPTN borrowers who failed to repay their loans were to be listed on CCRIS.