New plan for home owners

General Manager, Retail Banking RBBL, Wavney Nicholls
General Manager, Retail Banking RBBL, Wavney Nicholls

Despite the current economic climate many Barbadians still have a burning desire to own their own home and Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited continues to facilitate this demand.

Launched in June of this year, Republic Bank has been offering an attractive mortgage package for home owners, who qualify for new mortgages, at a reduced interest of 5.25 per cent for two and a half years. This was down from the existing rate of 6.5 per cent and came as a result of the revised policy directive from the Central Bank of Barbados relative to the minimum savings rate.

General Manager, Retail Banking RBBL, Wavney Nicholls, has advised: “To date, we have had an excellent response to our offer and are heartened to see new customers, many of whom are couples with a joint income of $5,000, qualifying for home ownership.”

She added: “While we are facilitating first time homeowner requests, some potential homeowners may also be looking for their second home.”

Nicholls gave an example of properties valued at $275,000 with three bedrooms, one bathroom currently on the market, which would attract an approximate $1,550 per month mortgage payment over a 30 year period.

She confirmed: “Based on our 5.25 per cent rate, an individual or couple with a gross income of $5,000 per month and a reasonable debt to earnings ratio can become a homeowner!”

In terms of default payments on existing mortgages, the 18 year veteran retail/mortgage banker explained that with a less than perfect economy, some customers have been having challenges. However, Nicholls advises such customers to have dialogue with their bankers.

She explained: “Everyone benefits when there is a conversation and an agreement on how terms of repayment can be adjusted to meet changed financial circumstance and help customers through a difficult patch. Our team has being having these conversations to assist our customers in seeking solutions in this regard.”

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