Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani with Maybank Group president and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Abdul Farid Alias (2nd from left), Maybank Islamic CEO, Datuk Mohamed Rafique (left) and Maybank Group Head of Global Banking Datuk Muzaffar Hisham (right) at the launch of HouzKey, an innovative Rent-to-Own product by Maybank Islamic. [NSTP/ ZULFADHLI ZULKIFLI]

 KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking forward to the feedback from the housing developers following the freeze on approvals for luxury property developments.

 Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said developers are aware of the sharp disproportion in the domestic housing market in the first quarter this year.

During the first three months, 130, 690 residential units were unsold, mostly above RM250,000, the highest over the past decade.

"This is not the first time we are doing this check(freeze). Once the level (unsold stock) drops, we will unfreeze," he said at a media briefing after the soft launch of HouzKey, an innovative Rent-to-Own product (RTOO) by Maybank Islamic Bhd.

 Also present were Maybank group chief executive officer Datuk Farid Alias and Maybank group head of global banking Datuk Muzaffar Hashim.

 "Overall, the numbers imply that there is a clear under supply of affordable housing in the property market, and increasingly the (median) house prices are beyond their reach," Johari said.

The value proposition is to explore ways to develop a more robust rental market as only 24 per cent of households rent.

The concept of RTO is developed based on Ijarah and aims to address challenfes faced by purchasers in coming up with sufficient down payments for their new houses.

 To be eligible for HouzKey, applicants shoukd have a household income of at least RM5,000 and commit to a minimum rental tenure of five years. They will have the option to purchase the property at a pre-agreed price, after one year.

 Maybank Islamic is expecting to close at least RM1 billion in portfolio size through this product in the first year.



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