Buy house before car? We need cars first, say youngsters

By Christine Cheah | christinecheah@thestar.com.my


Malaysian youths, who have been encouraged by the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association to buy a house before a car, say houses are too expensive and beyond their means.

Marketing executive Omar Islam Akhiruddin, 26, bought a second-hand car last year and lives with his parents in Puchong.

“I need a car because I need to move around and houses are expensive,” said Omar, adding that since he lived with his parents, a house was not a necessity yet.

Omar said he would prioritise buying a house if there was an LRT station nearby, adding that he would not depend on buses as a form of public transportation.

SEGi University lecturer Alex Chan, 28, says that even with the 1Malaysia Housing Programme (PR1MA), houses were too expensive for fresh graduates.

“As the Government has raised the ceiling price for PR1MA houses, they are too costly for fresh graduates who have loans to pay and other living expenses to meet,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Government raised the ceiling price of PR1MA homes to RM450,000 while the maximum household income eligibility was increased to RM7,500.

Chan, who bought a car earlier this year, said a vehicle ranked higher in necessity than a house in Malaysia.

“I can always rent a place but my house can’t take me places. People need transport,” said the Ipoh native, who has been renting rooms since he started working in 2010.

According to Chan, the public transportation system here was unreliable.

“KTM is not that good. The LRT is okay but it doesn’t go everywhere.

“When we have an efficient transportation system, which is also affordable and easily accessible, people can perhaps prioritise where their financial responsibilities lie,” he said.

Broadcasting student Joshua Nicholas Aeria, 24, said he was looking forward to moving out from his relatives’ house and buying a car once he finds a job.

“I want to rent a place and slowly save up for a car but finding a job is the top priority at the moment and having a car helps,” said Joshua.

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