Lend to home buyers with side gigs, Malaysian banks urged

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‘Pasar malam’ vendors and Uber drivers need homes too

Queuing for ATM machines in Kuala Lumpur. Maybank, RHB Bank and CIMB Bank are popular banks in Malaysia. AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA/Shutterstock

Malaysian banks must loosen vetting procedures insofar as borrowers with additional incomes can still qualify without the pertinent documents, real estate associations urged.

Officials from both the National House Buyers Association (HBA) and the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (REHDA) joined calls over the week to relax banking screens on borrowers engaged in part-time business and trades that do not have the required payslips.

“The banks can perhaps carry out their own evaluations of these side-jobs and their viability, taking these into consideration when people apply for loans,” HBA honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong told FMT today.

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Many loan applicants in Malaysia comprise of “pasar malam” sellers who have no stable income but earn enough money to report for tax purposes, he added. Other borrowers consist of individuals who have taken on sidelines such as driving for Grab, Uber and other ride-sharing services; selling baked goods online; and conducting multi-level marketing.

“We hope that in the case of those who don’t have documentary proof of income, the banks can evaluate their side incomes and take that into consideration,” former REHDA President Ng Seing Liong said.

As for developers, Chang said that they need to take into account the present sentiment of the market and delve into more mid-end projects. “Focus more on building homes which are priced between MYR150,000 and MYR300,000 each, and up to MYR350,000 in prime locations.”

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