Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a new special "step-up" end-financing scheme for the PR1MA programme to enhance the first home buyers' affordability.

He said with the scheme, financing will be easier and more accessible to the buyers with total loan up to 90 percent and 100 percent with loan rejection rate to be reduced drastically.

The Prime Minister highlighted this during the Budget 2017 tabled in Parliament on Friday.

Below are some of the responses by industry players on the issue.

*Datuk Seri FD Iskandar, REHDA president

"REHDA welcomes the Government’s move in continuing to make affordable housing a priority. The programmes for affordable housing announced by the Prime Minister in today’s Budget will expedite and widen the accessibility of affordable housing to the rakyat and hopefully nudge the rakyat in taking the first step towards home ownership.

*Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS)

"One measure announced in the 2017 Budget is to build 10,000 houses for rental to eligible youths. This will help urban youths who cannot afford to buy a house, hence, to rent first. In fact, the Government should implement the scheme of renting the house with the option to buy after a few years.

"The 'step-up' end financing scheme as announced in the 2017 Budget for PRIMA buyers involving Bank Negara, EPF and four local banks assisting PRIMA buyers is deemed as a top-up loan and will assist PRIMA buyers to be eligible for the purchase and hence, it is a good measure."

*Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli, RHB Banking Group’s group managing director

"This budget has a special focus on inclusiveness, such as helping to manage rising cost of living and enabling home ownership among the new joiners to the job market.

"The affordable home ownership scheme announced by the government through PR1MA will enhance the eligibility of this group of the population to own a house, and RHB is honored to be able to be involved in this scheme.