Loan approvals for home purchase decline

Bank Negara Malaysia

The banks' tighter lending rules have slightly diminished the actual sales in the residential property market, according to real estate consultants as well as Bank Negara Malaysia data.

Bank Negara's website revealed that the percentage of loan approvals for houses have declined to 46.8 percent in 1H2012 from 50.1 percent over the same period last year.

The amount of mortgage applications for home purchases rose by 2.9 percent year-on-year to RM96.7 billion in 1H2012. However, the value of loans that were approved fell from RM47 billion to RM45.26 billion.

Paul Khong, Executive Director of CB Richard Ellis Malaysia (CBRE), noted that residential property prices could be affected if the mortgage approval rate continues to decline.

"In order to conclude transactions, residential property sellers may now need to realistically adjust their selling prices as many of the buyers cannot get their loan applications approved," added Khong.

CBRE's recent report on Kuala Lumpur's housing market also noted a decline in the percentage of loan approvals in Q2 2012. The report revealed that the rate "was as high as 60.5 percent during the first five months of 2008, and has declined steadily since."

The report also highlighted that the lower rate could be due to the central bank's new lending guidelines.

Anthony Chua, Director of KGV International Property Consultants, commented that although the demand for homes continues to be high, the tougher lending measures have somehow cooled the market.

"We are still monitoring the situation. There is less transactional activity in the market this year for both new property launches and the secondary market compared with last year," said Chua.

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