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In-house mortgage

Geralyn Edward

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Barbados’ financial landscape will change dramatically in another month when a new mortgage company is launched specifically to finance the purchase of homes in the sprawling Villages At Coverley in Christ Church.
With more than 1 000 houses in the new lifestyle community on the market, the principals behind the project said they wanted to perfect and complete the process by offering in-house mortgage facilities.
When contacted, Mark Maloney, managing director of  Housing Concepts SLR, told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY the company was investing about $20 million to get the mortgage company started.
He said the current lag between the time prospective homeowners chose a house and when they were able to take possession of the property could range from four months to more than eight months depending on various issues that arose.
“We want to change that,” he said. “This is no criticism of the banks that are working for the clients but we want to have a one-stop-shop operation.
“We want to originate the mortgages which we could later on-sell to a bank if we chose to, but we want to sell and close the sales much more quickly.
“It would be like buying a car. You would choose the home (and) meet with our people, who would secure the necessary information and documentation and do the groundwork.”
Maloney admitted that on-selling mortgages would be a new concept in Barbados. “We are innovative in the way we build and design homes . . .  and now in the way mortgages are provided,” he added.
The new finance company will form part of the Housing Concepts Group and should be up and running next month.
And despite the soft mortgage and lending market in Barbados, Maloney said he was confident of the success of the project and the finance company.
“Now, in a recession, is the best time to do things differently. There is business out there. You certainly can’t throw your hands in the air and say that things are so bad. You have to be resourceful to ensure sustainability,” he pointed out.
The Villages At Coverley project has already recorded 200 home sales and construction is continuing.
Maloney, who has been in the manufacturing and construction business for more than two decades, said the principals of the company were forced to pull capital from other sections of the business in order to establish the finance operation.
“We had to use a lot of our resources to make this happen but our objective is to make it a success,” he said. “You know that necessity is the mother of invention.”
Asked whether the company had already received approval from the Central Bank, the chief executive explained that because the mortgage firm was using private capital and was not taking deposits from the public, it did not require Central Bank approval.
Housing Concepts SLR is the development arm at The Villages at Coverley and is associated with Caribbean Homes Limited, Preconco Limited, Meridian Caribbean Windows, CemTile, and Creative Paving Solutions Inc.