Only a small number of people have applied for loans under the My First Home Scheme (MFHS) of the government, according to several sources. This is attributed to strict lending rules and confusion caused by ongoing debate over increasing the cap for household income as well as the ceiling price of units under the scheme.

"Since the scheme was launched last March, the number of loans approved has been less than 10 a month. The slow response has been partly attributed to the stringent requirements which make it hard for borrowers to get the loans," noted an anonymous banking executive.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai recently said that the government is considering increasing the household income limit eligibility from RM3,500 to RM7,000.

This concurs with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement in Budget 2012, of increasing the loan limit from RM220,000 to RM400,000 starting in January next year.

CIMB Bank Head of Retail Financial Services Peter England (pictured) noted that the response to MFHS loans was slower than anticipated.

"But we expect this to pick up in the future when the maximum house price under the scheme increases."

The scheme’s loans has received a "good number" of enquiries from the public according to Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) Deputy President and Head of Community Financial Services, Lim Hong Tat. However, he declined to disclose the exact figures for competition reasons.

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