Brunei-Muara keeps property prices amid shift in rates
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
DESPITE the changes in the home loan rates and packages, property prices in the Brunei-Muara district have not been affected.
Major real estate companies, which said that they have not received memos or instructions for property price changes, noted that demand from local buyers for real estate in the area is still strong.
Kenny Tchung of Tchung Real Estate said that based on his company's sales figures, the market's buying power for properties in the capital is even increasing.
Bruworld Real Estate and Property Management Sdn Bhd, Valor Property Agency (B) Sdn Bhd and Axsel Property Management Sdn Bhd have also said that there have not been any changes to their property listings.
However, Lim, the general manager of Axsel Property, noted that buyers are locals, and said that he was doubtful that they would be able to afford a 30 per cent downpayment on homes that need to be paid off in 10 years.
Following the revised lending rates issued by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, HSBC announced that its home loan packages have been restructured.
Under the new terms, HSBC covers only up to 70 per cent of the properties' value, as opposed to its old policy of covering 100 per cent of their price; the bank's repayment period has also been shortened to 10 years.
The bank has also taken away subsidies that used to amount to a maximum of $15,000 and included land valuation, insurance and others.
Other banks have also said that their home financing terms have changed, with Standard Chartered Bank's chief executive officer, Lai Pei-Si, saying that subsidies which used to cover five per cent of the loan's overall amount have been reduced to three per cent to take into account changes in the margins.
The bank still finances up to 100 per cent of the homes' value on a case-by-case basis, and is pricing its loans according to the requirements of the central bank.
Baiduri Finance has also told customers that its home loan applications are now calculated based on the newly revised rates of 4.5 per cent, which will be a monthly reducing balance.
The bank also said that it does not finance the full value of the property unless the applicant works for the government, adding that financing will be between 80 and 90 per cent of the property's value, also on a case-by-case basis.
Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) has also revised its home loan package to remove subsidies. Customers will also be charged separately for products such as fire insurance and others.
The repayment period for the home loans at BIBD remains at a maximum of 25 years, and that the bank "can also finance" up to 100 per cent of the property's value.