View from Sri Hartamas. Photo: Conny Sandland, Creative Commons Attribution License.
View from Sri Hartamas. Photo: Conny Sandland, Creative Commons Attribution License.

While we’re used to thinking of Singapore as an expensive place where our currency doesn’t stretch far, a recent study has found that Singaporean houses could actually be more affordable than those in Malaysia.

In a recent study, Malaysia’s residential homes market has been called “severely unaffordable” by US-based urban development researcher, Demographia. To get such a rating, housing prices would have to be 5.1 times the median annual income. Malaysia comes in at 5.5x, while Singapore sits at 5.1x. Housing in the United States and Japan is rated to be “moderately unaffordable”, reported the Malay Mail Online.

According to previous data from the House Buyers Association, condo prices in Selangor outstrip annual income even further, sometimes adding up to approximately six times annual household income.

Despite the government’s attempts to aid first-home buyers with schemes like the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA), My First Home (MFH) and recently announced Youth Housing Scheme, buyers are still struggling to pay the initial 10 per cent deposit.

Government data shows that since 2012, average housing prices in Malaysia have risen by 10 per cent (to RM280,886), quicker than the median monthly household income growth at eight percent (to RM4,258).

Mabel Ho