NHT INCREASES LOAN CEILING AND CUTS INTEREST RATES

The National Housing Trust (NHT) has improved its contributors’ ability to afford home loans, following an increase in the NHT’s loan ceiling from $5.5 million to $6.5 million. In addition, the NHT has reduced interest rates for all mortgagors and has made adjustments in the income bands to which interest rates are applied. The changes became effective on May 1, 2019, retroactive to April 1, 2019.

There’s more, as the NHT has now made additional funds available to holders of its Serviced Lots to carry out construction. The measures are expected to make more funds available to contributors than before, to pursue their homeownership goals.

These and other adjustments to the NHT’s loan policy were announced by Prime Minister Hon. Andrew Holness in his contribution to the National Budget Debate on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

 

Increased Loan Limit

In a move to improve access to homeownership, the NHT now provides an additional $1 million dollars to contributors, moving from $5.5 million to $6.5 million effective on May 1, 2019, retroactive to April 1, 2019.This represents an 18% increase in the loan ceiling, in keeping with changes in construction costs. The NHT last increased its loan ceiling to $5.5 million in 2016.

In addition, the NHT has also increased the loan limit for its Construction Loan for holders of NHT Serviced Lots. These individuals may now access up to the cost of a two-bedroom unit in the scheme where the lot was purchased, to assist with construction. The contributor must commence construction within a three-year period. Previously, NHT contributors who purchased lots from the NHT, were entitled to the difference in the cost of the lot and their loan entitlement, to assist with construction.

  

Interest Rate Cut And Income Band Adjustments

In keeping with market trends of declining interest rates, the NHT has reduced interest rates by 1% for all mortgagors effective on May 1, 2019, retroactive to April 1, 2019.

In addition to the reduction in interest rates, the NHT has also made adjustments to the income bands which determine the rates for new borrowers. The adjustment now mean that some contributors will benefit from further reductions in the applicable interest rate based on their income. NHT’s interest rates are charged according to contributors’ weekly incomes.

The adjustment in the income bands means more contributors can now access the NHT’s Home Grant of $2.5 million. NHT Home Grants are available to contributors who have been contributing to the NHT for at least seven years and who are in the NHT’s lowest income band.

The NHT has also moved the upper limit of each income band and in so doing, will lower the interest rates to be charged to some new borrowers. The new income bands and rates are as follows:

Current Policy

New Policy

Interest Rate

Weekly Income Band

Interest Rate

Weekly Income Band

0%

Minimum wage-$12,000

0%

Minimum wage -$15,000

2%

$12,001-$20,000

1%

$15,001-$30,000

4%

$20,001-$30,000

3%

$30,001-$42,000

6%

$30,001 and above

5%

$42,001 and above

Public sector workers will continue to enjoy a 1% reduction in their applicable interest rate.

Other policy changes announced by the Prime Minister to include an intergenerational mortgage programme, will take effect at a later date.

 

Contact:

National Housing Trust
4 Park Boulevard, Kingston 5
Tel: 
(876) 929-6500-9 OR 1-888-CALL-NHT(2255-648)
Email: wecare@nht.gov.jm