Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said the ministry was awaiting feedback from designated banks.
“The eligibility limit is now RM3,500 and we are looking at around the region of RM6,000 to RM7,000,” he said when contacted by the New Straits Times.
Lim said the review was in line with the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the 2012 Budget, which raised the loan limit under the scheme from RM200,000 to RM400,000.
“We have to ask the bankers to give us the figures that they are comfortable with if one needs to borrow more money (under the new scheme),” he said.
National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary-general Chang Kim Loong, in lauding the move, said generally, banks practised a rule of thumb whereby any single loan repayment should not exceed one-third of the borrower’s gross pay.
The government should also push for the building of more affordable properties, which are within the RM220,000 to RM300,000 price range, he said.
“This lies within the capability of the middle-income group,” he said.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) president Datuk N. Marimuthu, in welcoming the review, said more people would be able to buy houses if the limit was increased.
In March, the prime minister had announced the My First Home Scheme to enable young working adults to buy houses costing between RM100,000 and RM220,000 with a repayment period of up to 30 years.
Those earning less than RM3,000 a month can obtain up to 100 per cent financing to buy their first home.
The scheme sees the participation of 25 conventional and Islamic financial institutions, including major banks like AmBank, CIMB, Hong Leong, Maybank, Public Bank, RHB and Standard Chartered.
To qualify for the scheme, which is for both houses under construction and completed properties, house buyers must be those working in the private sector and are confirmed employees with a minimum of six months in the job.
The self-employed do not qualify for the scheme, while joint applications are allowed, provided that both are in the private sector and are family members, such as siblings or spouses.
The monthly financing repayment sum must also not be more than one-third of the applicants’ monthly gross income.
However, this sum can go up to 50 per cent of their income if additional credit is permitted under the banks’ underwriting policy.
The Government, through Cagamas Berhad — a national mortgage corporation — will bear the costs of the initial 10 per cent deposit for the house while normal interest or profit rates for Islamic banks apply under the scheme.
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