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10 Affordable Homes in Malaysia to Check Out if You Earn Average Income

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For the average person earning average salary and income, getting an affordable home in Malaysia can be a challenge, no doubt about it. Many of the options available on the market will be ‘severely unaffordable’* to you.

*According to Khazanah Research Institute, property prices in Malaysia is ‘severely unaffordable’ at 4.4 times the median annual household income (2014 data). A more acceptable range is 3x

Yet, some affordable home options do exist. 10 options, in fact.

Before I get your hopes up…

Affordable homes in Malaysia won’t be the same as housing offered by private developers

First of all, you have to accept that any type of affordable house in Malaysia will NOT be at the same par with the more expensive options offered by private developers. No matter how you put it, a house costing less than RM300k or so COULD NOT offer the same things as a house costing RM500k and above.

So yes, do not expect the bells and whistles in these low cost housing in Malaysia. Instead, do expect that there will be downsides. Some that I could think of:

  • Located far from public transportation/work
  • Lack amenities
  • Bad management and maintenance
  • On the small side
  • Super dense and lack privacy
  • Lower-quality materials
  • Hard to get (lottery system)
  • Not applicable to you (don’t fit the requirements)
  • Lots of T&Cs (cannot rent out, etc)
  • Etc

(Feel free to confirm these downsides, or add more that I missed.)

On the plus side, you do have the ability to choose which downside(s) you can live with (or even enjoy). With that established, let’s go ahead with the choices of affordable homes in Malaysia you can get.

#1-6 – Affordable Housing Schemes by Malaysian Government

As of writing time, the MyGov portal lists these 6 affordable housing schemes for Malaysians. Each of them has their own T&C – click on each one to learn more.

  1. Perumahan Penjawat Awam Malaysia (PPAM)
  2. PR1MA 
  3. My First Home Scheme
  4. Federal Territory Malaysia Home/ RUMAWIP
  5. MyHome
  6. My Selangor Home

Before you click on any of those links, again I want to say- these affordable housing schemes have T&Cs. There might will be requirements for applicants, and even rules for buying/living/selling the house. For some, I’m aware you can’t even rent it out (not that it stops *some* people..)

#7 – Buy flats instead of other types of housing

This one is no secret – a type of low-cost housing in Malaysia, flats do tend to be priced cheaper than other types of housing.

You can find flats at all major property listing pages, like PropertyGuru, iProperty, and more.

#8 – Buy a cheap plot of land then DIY your small house

Next is building your own small house.

However, I feel like this option is a bit deceptive since you’ll probably spend more than you think for basic infrastructure, like electricity, water, sewerage system and roads.

If hooking up your house to the grid is not possible, then you have to install solar panels, rain water harvesting and filtration system, and more. All these costs good money.

Regardless, it may be a valid choice for some people, so that’s why I’m including it here. It is possible to build the house on your parents/relatives land (with their permission of course). That’s what these Youtubers did:

#9 – Buy a house outside of cities

You already know this option, but worth saying anyway: generally speaking, properties sold outside of cities, like in smaller towns and kampungs tend to be a lot cheaper.

If so far, #1-9 is not suitable for you, here’s one last option especially for people looking for affordable house in Selangor area.

#10 – Consider Yayasan My First Home

And last but not least is an option I found out from ex-Berjaya CEO Jalil Rasheed sometime back. Yayasan My First Home is an affordable house in Selangor that is championed by the foundation linked to (under?) Berjaya Group.

As of writing time, they have one project located in Subang, Selangor. According to the website,

Strategically located in Subang, this low-density development consists of 402 dual-key apartment units that sprawl across 3.3 acres of freehold land.

There are three unit types, each with a built up of 900 Sq. Ft. Featuring, Type A: 4 Bedroom & 3 Bathroom, Type B: 5 Bedroom & 4 Bathroom and Type C (Universal Unit): 3 Bedroom & 2 Bathroom.

I also found the financing options on the website, here it is. It looks like they scrapped the (supposedly) 60-year loan idea and retained 35-year loan term (common for mortgages taken by Malaysians).

There you have it, 10 options to get low cost housing in Malaysia. Click on the respective links to find out more information.

To end this, a reminder. Like I said in the beginning, each of them CANNOT be compared to the more expensive options offered by private developers.

Regardless, I hope this list helps aspiring homebuyers who also want to be financially responsible and live within their means can pick the best housing option for them.

Before we part, I’d love to hear from people who have picked one of these affordable home options – what would you do differently, if you were to do it again? Share with us in the comments 🙂

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  1. Perfectly timed article! I had just gotten my first home through the RumahSelangorku programme and thought of sharing some “interesting” discoveries. I think one caveat that should be talked about more is the upfront cost involved. Apart from having to set aside at least 10% for down payment (no discounts unlike commercial developers), the legal fees together with all the miscellaneous fees like valuation report, 4 months advance maintenance fee etc added up to almost RM 30k, which I feel for an initial payment is a huge amount to standby in cash. Next, spending on the electric fittings for the house itself, I got a shock when we had to do the bare minimum like adding power sources for water heater and airconds which were not included in the original design. Basically, be prepared still to spend a bomb on renovation upon getting the key. So in the end, I feel like “affordable” homes scheme is actually just affordable to middle class families, not actual B40…

    1. Thank you Joyce for your commentary! That’s really helpful – hope people expecting to buy a home are realistic about move-in and renovation cost. And not on ‘wants’ either, just on basics like electric.

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