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Fresh interest in mortgage


marciadottin, [email protected]

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GOVERNMENT’S RECENT LAUNCH of a number of new housing solutions through the National Housing Corporation (NHC) has generated renewed interest in the local mortgage market.This was the general consensus when THE DAILY NATION spoke to representatives of three mortgage providers.Steve Belle, general manager of the City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union (COB) said that company had seen “some increase in the demand for mortgages, given the number of housing solutions now on the market”.However, he said the demand did not reflect the number of housing projects available since potential homeowners lacked confidence in the economy.Belle explained that people were hesitant to take on mortgages “if they may not have a job next week”.“Also, many people now have diminished incomes and may not qualify.“The pickup is not as significant as when we were in pre-recessionary times,” he said.Robert LeHunte, managing director of Barbados National Bank, also believed the NHC thrust “has helped push the mortgage market”.“The personal lending is down but the mortgage market has actually done better.“People are still keen on owning their own homes and the market has become very competitive as banks are making adjustments to their mortgage lending rates to try to grab as much of the market as they can,” he said. Meanwhile, Jennifer Murray, Scotiabank’s assistant general manager of branch banking, said one of the bank’s main objectives was to help Barbadians at all income levels to become homeowners. “In this regard, we have maintained a partnership with the NHC for a number of years and this continues where we are one of the financial institutions providing financing for prospective purchasers for the various NHC projects.” (NB)

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