Interest rates go down at The Government Housing Loans Board

Chairman of the Government Housing Loans Board Felix Thomas. Photo: GIS
Chairman of the Government Housing Loans Board Felix Thomas. Photo: GIS

Chairman of the Government Housing Loans Board, Felix Thomas has indicated that effective May 1st ,2016 interest rates, and mortgages will drop significantly making it easier for public officers to own their own homes.

“From the 1st of May interest rates at our institution will be no more than 5.5 percent,” he told DNO on Monday. “The Honourable Minister of Finance assisted greatly in that effort, he spared no efforts really from inception to ensure that we could continue that drive in pushing interest rates down.”

Presently interest rate stands at 7.25 percent at the institution.

“We financed certain outstanding loans that we had and we will be putting between $11 million- $12 million into new loans for public officers,” Thomas explained.

He stated that the government and the Housing Loans Board have been from some time trying to ensure that housing is made more affordable to public officers who obtain loans from that institution.

“We started at a rate where interest rates were at 9.5 percent and we were able to get that reduced to 8.5 percent, and then we were able to make a further reduction to 8 percent and we were able to come down to as low as 7.25 percent,” Thomas stated. “However, we realized that 7.25 percent, that was still a bit troublesome and not too conducive for mortgage financing and not to affordable for persons who want to own their own homes.”

Thomas pointed out that the Board was able to finance and restructure its entire financing and loan portfolio in the tune of close to $34-million and was able to grant loans at four percent.

“That was to grant to public officers in the lower income bracket,” he noted.

Meanwhile, he revealed that there will be a number of activities in the construction sector over the next few weeks.

“What we are hoping is because we are concentrating on new construction, we hope that activity in the construction sector that will really create economic activity throughout the length and breadth of the country will be on a high,” he said.

Furthermore he mentioned also that over 37 applications for homes have been approved, “that means that 37 persons will commence their new construction immediately.”

Thomas stated this will create over 300 jobs, “because what we intend to do for the first year is to grant loans totalling close to $15 million…and as we go along for the next 4- 6 years that we will touch close to $16 million – $18 million in terms of new home construction and our financing of that new construction activity.”

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12 Comments

  1. Ifraid
    April 19, 2016

    But you all are ridiculous. The private sector have mortgage rates at 6% and you all have it at 7.25%. You all couldn’t compete with the private sector mortgages so all civil servants was going to the private sector financial institutions so you had no choice in the matter but to reduce your rates to remain relevant.

    • Annonymous Reader
      April 19, 2016

      If you had bothered to do your homework at all, you would have discovered that GHLB always had the lowest interest rates on island. When GHLB was charged 9%, the banks were charging 11 and 12%…It’s only by the consistent reductions in GHLB’s interest rate that banks even bothered to drop their rates.

      So don’t come with your nonsense. You don’t even know what you’re talking about.

  2. SN
    April 19, 2016

    It is unconscionable in the current low global interest rate environment that mortgage loan interest rates are north of 6%. Money has been cheap in the last decade and there is no justification for these kind of rates. These high rates being charged by local institutions tells me the banks profit margin is really high. While banks need to make profits, profit at that level is unjustified.

    • Cyril Volney
      April 20, 2016

      Unfortunately our local banks are unprofitable because they are inefficient, hence their high interest rates…

  3. Floridian Diaspora
    April 19, 2016

    The so called lowering of interest rates is an indication of a guilty conscience. These guys are lowering the rates because they are fully aware that the kind of chickenfeed salaries that the Dominican slaves are getting combined with the vast lack of employment which exists on the island simply doesn’t provision for these types of murderous loan commitments. Dominica is the only place I know where people spend their entire lifetime paying for a house. Or even worse, is their great grandchildren that does finish pay for it. It is time that these guys realize that the average Dominican simply does not have access to treasury and passport selling money to pay for a half a million dollar house like the head of cabal from Vieille Case

    • True Dominican
      April 20, 2016

      If we who are in Dominica working to build our country are Dominican slaves that that makes you an indentured laborer since you the slave to someone in a foreign land.

  4. AAGabriel
    April 19, 2016

    Ok, right these loans are only available to ‘public officers’. So in other words Labour supporters. What about other persons that hold jobs in the private sector? They are not Dominicans they are not worthy? Day in day out, you come up up with something ‘new’ and in the process keep on digging holes for yourselves just because all you in your desperation do not think anything through.

    • smdh
      April 19, 2016

      you would be surprised at how many public officers dont even vote, or dont support the labour party. just because they are employed by the govt, doesnt mean that they are involved in party politics.

      • AAGabriel
        April 19, 2016

        Yeah right, do not try to sell any BS to me. I guarantee you that 95% of Dominica’s public officers are government supporters in one way or another, otherwise they would not have the job in the first place. Infact the biggest supporters have the highest paid jobs.

    • truthbetold
      April 19, 2016

      You sound like an idiot. For years the Gov Housing Loan board granted loans to “PUBLIC SECTOR”. stop bringing politics into everything This will only drive the banks offer a lower rate to the “PRIVATE SECTOR”.

      Silly rabbit….

  5. syncronize
    April 19, 2016

    Tell us what significant analyses was employed to determine feasibility at that interest rate level. How will it affect the economy and how will your portfolio be able to sustain that level of reduction in interest rate. What was your return over the last five years and what will your return be in the first year or two. How do you plan to incorporate existing borrowers who now are at the higher interest rate and what method do you intend to integrate the existing loans. Will your borrowers have to refinance to benefit at the lower rate or is it going to be an automatic reduction? Say something about that rather than make blank statements without giving us an idea how this major change is going to positively affect your net return.

    • Annonymous Reader
      April 19, 2016

      Well for starters, people who already have mortgages at government housing loans board will have their interest rates lowered to 5.5%. This means that the mortgage will be paid off quicker, because the instalments remain the same.

      Ok?

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