Malaysia To Set Up Property Crowdfunding Platform For Affordable Homes
 
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
May 22, 2019
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The government of Malaysia’s is turning to an alternative form of real estate financing to help resolve a $4.8-billion property overhang in the country as banks are becoming more and more reluctant to grant mortgages to potential home buyers.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on May 17 that property crowdfunding would offer a viable solution for home buyers, but he also clearly warned banks that he may take action against them for rejecting housing loan applications without reason, Bloomberg reported.

“If the banks refuse to lend, it will be not only just an option,” he said, adding that “it may be more than that.”

The crowdfunding model – in which individual investors are funding a loan portfolio in expectation of returns without intermediaries – lets Malaysians bypass banks for loans and connect directly with private investors.

Together, equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer platforms have so far raised 350 million ringgit ($84 million) for small businesses, with more than half of the 11,261 investors being younger than 35 years old, according to Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC). The SC already has set out guidelines for property crowdfunding and urged those interested in setting up such a platform to call them.

Lim expects fintech – encouraged by possible incentives – to help address the gap between the glut in property supply and a lack of affordable homes. The government has pushed for discounts and waived stamp duty fees for first-time buyers, but he remains unhappy with the banks’ role. Loans disbursed to buy residential property shrunk five per cent in the first quarter from a year ago, according to central bank data.

 
 
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