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.”