Housing Fund to Aid Property Market

by Fitri Shahminan

New homes being built in the Muara Mengkabau area. Picture: BT/Saifulizam

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 – REALTORS in the country believe that the new housing fund and saving scheme through the Employees Trust Fund (TAP or Tabung Amanah Pekerja), will have a positive impact on the property market in Brunei and grant buyers greater borrowing ability.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, had announced in his 66th Birthday titah, that TAP members, particularly those with low incomes, would have access to a new housing fund.

Participants who are earning lower than $2,000 monthly and whose household income do not exceed $4,000 a month will be eligible to financial aid from the government not exceeding $25,000, which will be paid in lump sum upon the final stages of a housing development project directly to the developer, seller or contractor, the statement added.

“The Sultan’s Birthday titah regarding the changes that are being made in the civil servants housing scheme and TAP scheme will certainly have a profound effect on the property market in Brunei,” said Yusuf Flynn, Sales Director of Rumahku Real Estate.

He explained that these changes would give Bruneians the opportunity to use a portion of their TAP savings to aid them in purchasing their own property and secure a future for themselves and their loved ones.

“By giving people the ability to have a larger down payment on a property it will have a direct impact on the monthly home loan repayments. This will lighten their monthly commitment and also give the purchaser the ability to own a home which may not have been the case prior to the new TAP scheme.”

Flynn said that the revised civil servant scheme would allow public servants to have a greater borrowing ability and “give renewed hope to many people who dream of owning a home.”

“This new outlook from His Majesty’s government will hopefully stimulate the growth of development projects that will be aimed at certain sectors of society. The downstream effect may not be felt immediately but does have a very positive outlook in the near future.”

Managing Director of Valor Property Agency, Irene Hii, said this will encourage good development and enable Bruneians in the low income group to own their own homes.

“It will definitely give a boost to the property industry and also alleviate the burden of those who don’t have enough money to build their own houses,” she said.

She added the new scheme would enable Bruneians to plan out a good strategy to buy their own house and not solely depend on the government’s National Housing Scheme (RPN).

Amy Liew, the Property Manager of BruWorld Real Estate Sdn Bhd, said that the scheme would improve the borrowing ability and secure bigger loan amounts with financial institutions as previously most local buyers could only borrow up to 80 per cent of the total house cost.

“With the government’s support, they do not have to get a personal loan, and just apply for house loans within their limit. I hope all the Brunei citizens can get their own houses because banks will now be more open to grant them the financing facility,” she said. “It (the new scheme) will improve the property market,” she added.