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Ghana Government to Introduce Cheapest Mortgage Facility in the World

Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea has hinted of plans by government to introduce a credible mortgage scheme to help reduce the housing deficit in the country today, ABC News Ghana can report.

In an interaction with the media, Mr. Atta-Akyea explained that the Akufo-Addo administration is currently considering an affordable housing system which will allow interested buyers pay a relatively cheaper interest on mortgage loans.

This by far, he explains, will be the lowest interest charged on any mortgage arrangement in the world.

“We are exploring how to use some of the pension funds by workers where workers are deducted every month to purchase a mortgage and insurance by the end of their service,” he stated.

He added that the initiative is aimed at assisting the middle income earners leverage on available funds to purchase mortgages over a long period of time. He noted that the arrangement is currently under review with experts working at a fine-tuned financial model to be considered by cabinet.

Samuel Atta-Akyea says he’s hopeful that the mortgage scheme will attract the needed partners from the private sector to make it a major success.

Source: Ghanaweb

Photos: Nigeria Diaspora Mortgage and Property Conference Begins in London

The Nigeria Diaspora Mortgage and Property Conference/Exhibition organized by MBAN and NMRC with the support of FMBN,REDAN and FHF has commenced today Friday 17th May in London, United Kingdom.

The 2-day event which will continue tomorrow Saturday 18th is taking place at Crowne Plaza London – Battersea, Bridges Wharf.

The conference and exhibition titled; “Home Ownership and Property Investment in Nigeria Made Easy,” is well attended by Nigerians in the diaspora to learn about credible steps to buying homes and properties for investment income in Nigeria

 

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”6″ gal_title=”Diaspora Mortgage”]

The organizers said: ‘’We the key stakeholders of the housing and property market in Nigeria are aware that there are so many sad stories of Nigerians in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe trying to buy property back home that they can return to for vacations or for rental income and of having been swindled out of their hard-earned remittances, by either unscrupulous agents or worse still, family members and friends.

‘’This Conference/Exhibition will mark the beginning of the end of such stories because this conference is sponsorship by credible stakeholders of the Nigerian housing market funded through a combination of public and private sector funding as well as international development finance institutions like the World Bank.”

Participants at today’s event were welcomed by Dr Chii Akporji, former Executive Ditector of NMRC.

The opening remarks was delivered by Adeniyi Akinlusi, President MBAN and MD/CEO TrustBond Mortgage Bank.

The President of REDAN, Rev Ugo Chime was also among the main guests at the event.

Others include Arch Ahmed Dangiwa, MD/CEO FMBN, and Shehu Osidi.

Mortgage approvals increased in April, latest data shows

There was a sharp increase in mortgage approvals in April as home owners continued to take advantage of low mortgage rates across much of the market, the latest data shows.

There were 65,781 mortgages approved during April 2019, up 2.7% compared to the same month in 2018, according to the mortgage monitor from residential chartered surveyors e.surv.

The report points out that while new activity in the wider housing market remains stagnant in many areas of the country, existing home owners are capitalising on a battle between High Street banks and other lenders which has seen interest rates fall so far this year.

This was also reflected in the rise in activity, with new approvals up 5.5% compared to March and the proportion of loans given to those with small deposits, usually first time buyers, reached 28.5%, up from the 26% recorded in March.

‘In many parts of London and the South East, the property market continues to move slowly. Yet this has not translated into the mortgage market with activity remaining strong. There has been a healthy increase in the proportion of loans going to first time buyers, showing that lenders are welcoming these customers,’ said Richard Sexton, director at e.surv.

‘Previously it may have been difficult for these borrowers to get their foot on the ladder, but lenders are now reaching out to these parts of the market,’ he added.

However, the data also shows that the proportion of mortgage approvals to large deposit borrowers fell in April, continuing the recent trend away from this part of the market. Indeed, less than a quarter of all loans, just 24.3%, were to these borrowers in April, lower than the 26.2% recorded in March 2019 and some way off the 2019 high of 28.1%, recorded in January.

There was a modest fall in mid-market activity, down from 47.8% to 47.2% month on month while on an absolute basis, the number of small deposit borrowers rose substantially, increasing from 17,205 to 18,748.

‘Large deposit borrowers once held a tight grip on the mortgage market but that has loosened in recent times. Yet the low rates available mean that there are still many current homeowners coming to the market for new loans,’ Sexton pointed out.

First time buyers, and others looking to purchase in Yorkshire benefited from the most favourable market conditions for small deposit borrowers. More than a third of the region’s mortgage approvals were to those with little equity or cash to spare at 36.6%. This is the fifth successive month that the region has been top.

Next was the North West where 35.1% of loans went to this part of the market and then the Midlands at 31.8%. By contrast, those looking to buy in London had a much tougher time, accounting for just 18.9% of approvals recorded in April.

The capital was the area of the country most dominated by large deposit borrowers, with 33% of all loans going to this market segment. This was ahead of the South East region at 28.1% this month. Behind that were Northern Ireland and the South and South Wales regions, both on 25.5%.

Source: Property Wire

Welp: Mortgage originations fall to four-year low in first quarter

Mortgage interest rates fell throughout the first quarter, eventually experiencing the largest single-week decline in 10 years. That decline led some to suggest that a boom in refinances could be on the horizon.

And while that may yet happen, it hasn’t happened yet.

In fact, the mortgage business just experienced its worst quarter in more than four years.

According to the latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data, there were only $344 billion in mortgage originations in the first quarter, down from $401 billion in the previous quarter.

That’s the lowest dollar amount of mortgage originations in any quarter since the third quarter of 2014.

It’s also the second straight quarter where mortgage originations have fallen.

Mortgage originations, which the Fed measures as appearances of new mortgage balances on consumer credit reports and includes refinanced mortgages, came in at $445 billion in the third quarter of last year.

Then, originations fell to $401 billion in the fourth quarter. And now, they’ve fallen again to levels not seen since midway through 2014.

According to the Federal Reserve report, mortgage underwriting “remained tight” in the first quarter, with only 10% of mortgages being originated to borrowers with credit scores under 647. The median credit score of borrowers who took out a mortgage in the first quarter was 759.

The report also showed that mortgage delinquencies improved slightly in the first quarter, with 1% of mortgage balances at 90 or more days delinquent, down from 1.1% in the fourth quarter.

Mortgage performance also improved, with approximately 0.9% of current balances transitioning to delinquency during the first quarter.

Beyond that, transitions from early delinquency improved as well, with just 11.7% of mortgages in early delinquency (30-60 days late) transitioning to 90+ days delinquent, the lowest rate observed by the Fed since 2005.

Overall, mortgage debt increased in the first quarter by $120 billion to $9.2 trillion.

Balances on home equity lines of credit fell slightly, by $6 billion, continuing a trend that stretches back to 2009. HELOC balances now stand at $406 billion.

Total consumer debt also continued to rise. According to the Fed report, total household debt increased by $124 billion (0.9%) to $13.67 trillion in the first quarter of 2019.

That’s the 19th consecutive quarter with an increase, meaning the debt load consumers are facing has increased every quarter for almost five years running.

The total of consumer debt is now $993 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.

 

Source: By Ben Lane, Housing Wire

The Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker if You Are Self-Employed

 

Prior to the 2008 recession, self-employed individuals used to find it as easy as any other employed individual to obtain a mortgage. Self-employed professionals were permitted to “self-certify”, meaning that mortgage lenders would take the word of self-employed applicants about their annual earnings.

Unfortunately, the lending landscape has altered somewhat since the credit crunch and self-employed professionals now have to jump through more hoops to secure the finance they need to buy or move home.

Although self-certification mortgages from UK-based lenders are a thing of the past – and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned self-employed applicants from seeking finance overseas – self-employed workers can still borrow the same amount as they used to, but often require the help of a mortgage broker that knows the right mortgage products for their unique circumstances.

While most high-street banks and mortgage lenders allow you to apply for an agreement in principle or a fully-fledged mortgage application online, some lenders have different criteria for approving applications than others. This means that some self-employed professionals may choose to apply for a mortgage with a high-street lender and be declined purely on the basis of their specific risk appetite on self-employed applicants.

That’s where the benefits of mortgage brokers really come into their own. Mortgage brokers tend to have broader access to the most competitive mortgage rates for self-employed professionals. It’s all about finding the right mortgage broker; one which is aware of lenders that adopt an open arms policy to self-employed applicants, giving them a better chance to secure an attractive rate of interest.

What a mortgage broker can do for your application

As we’ve already indicated, mortgage lenders now require self-employed professionals to provide official evidence of declared income by either supplying full accounts of your business, certified by a chartered accountant, or an SA302 Self-Assessment tax calculation. The latter is easier to get hold of, but there may be fewer mortgage lenders that will accept an SA302 document as proof of earnings. Luckily, most mortgage brokers will have industry leading awareness of the lenders that will view an SA302 form in the most favourable light.

 

If you are a busy self-employed professional, the added stress of gathering all the necessary evidence and liaising with prospective mortgage lenders can be too much to bear for some. That’s why mortgage brokers are handy to assist with processing documentation and handling all lender communications.

 

What if you have only been self-employed for a short time?

Mortgage brokers are also proven solutions for self-employed individuals that have only been working for themselves for a short period.

When it comes to self-employed history, most high-street lenders will demand at least two-to-three years of accounts to demonstrate a consistent, stable stream of income and prove that you aren’t a high-risk applicant.

Your chosen mortgage broker can help navigate the mortgage market and find lenders that are more willing to consider applications from those with a year or even nine months’ worth of self-employed earnings.

Put simply, self-employed mortgage brokers will help to broaden your horizons to more mortgage options than you originally thought you’d have. Some mortgage lenders are often private investors who appreciate that some self-employed professionals offer less risk than some full-time employees.

Infinity Mortgage Pitches for Diaspora Funds for Nigeria’s Built Sector

Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc. (ITMB), a player in Nigeria’s mortgage and housing finance market, has moved to Nigerians in the diaspora long-term diaspora mortgages.

The bank rolled out its services to the diaspora market at the just concluded Africa trade expo/conference, which held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Houston, United States of America.

The company’s spokesperson, Ms Remi Apatira said the conference sensitized Nigerians in the diaspora on the guidelines and payment mechanism for accessing diaspora mortgages, while creating the necessary awareness and required knowledge for such mortgages, adding that will also feature the unveiling of the Uniform underwriting standards for diaspora mortgages.

According to her, the standards which were recently approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as guidelines for long term diaspora mortgages, is being deployed through the Mortgage Banks Association of Nigeria (MBAN); Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company PLC (NMRC) and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

The guidelines as well as the newly deployed mortgage Loans repayment/collection mechanism would create access by Nigerians living in the diaspora to mortgages of up to 20-year tenor from mortgage lending banks in Nigeria to buy their homes.

She said ITMB’s booth attended to inquiries from participants and provide on the spot information on, credible steps to having access to finance home ownership in Nigeria as well as owning a property for investment; access to mortgage facilities while showcasing housing stock developed in partnership with Real Estate Developers.

The representatives will also address all issues and concerns along with the mortgage and housing value chain that potential buyers in the Diaspora often come across.

Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc has significantly increased its shareholders’ funds from less than N50 million in 2003 to over N5 billion and maintained an unbroken record in terms of consistency in dividend payment to shareholders for eleven years running.

It has wholly or partly financed no fewer than 14 modern estates in Abuja, thereby providing decent and affordable accommodation to over 3,000 Nigerian families.

The bank according to the statement was converted to a Public Limited Liability Company on 25th January 2013, and had to change its name to Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc, its shares were listed by introduction on the main floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on December 11, 2013. In 2014, it became a National Mortgage Bank. Currently, the bank has equity shareholding in the NMRC.

Source: Thisday

No Nigerian property mortgaged for China loans- Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi said on Monday that the Nigerian government did not mortgage any property to secure infrastructural loans from China.

Amaechi made the clarification at the 6th Annual East African Transport Infrastructure conference held in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to Amaechi, Nigeria did not offer China any such comfort because the country has the ability to repay the loan.

There were reports that countries such as Sri Lanka, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, among others are facing pressure of forfeiting their infrastructure to China over unpaid debts.

“I don’t know the arrangement these countries made with China-Exim bank, I do not think we will have any problems with repaying our loans. The countries that they are talking about are Kenya, Somalia and Sudan.

“These are some of the countries that have not been able to repay their loans I think. So what China is doing is that, it is taking over to manage and get its money, but it’s not so in Nigeria.

Amaechi said debt default by some countries is affecting Nigeria’s plan to borrow more from China.

“We are talking with them, to say that by June, we should be able to say this is our repayment plan. It also depends on what agreement plan you have with them. Our agreement does not include the fact that they will come and take over our seaports or railways or airports.

“We believe that we can pay back using our own money. That shouldn’t be any problem. Our focus should be to run this infrastructure efficiently so we can pay back and there is no plan for them to manage any of it.” he stated.

According to him, China is the only country that can give out loan for infrastructure. He claimed developed countries also borrow from China.

“If you don’t go to China, who will give you money? America is going to China even Russia. What is wrong if Nigeria goes to China?
I think we should not be afraid of China.

“Nobody runs railway with passenger fares. You can never get one Naira out of it. Nigerians think railway is just to carry passengers but the problem is that the goods that should be on the rail are the ones on the road and they are destroying the roads.

“Once we conclude the rail projects and those goods are transferred to the rail, that is when we will start making money to pay our debts.

“Currently our trains are carrying passengers. People are celebrating Lagos-Ibadan because they are looking at it that “oh, I’ll just jump into the train and one hour after, I’m already in Ibadan”.

“That’s not the overall aim. The reason the federal government said we must get to the seaport is to decongest the Apapa seaport.

That’s where the money lies,” he noted. (NAN)

What mortgage can do in a struggling economy

When there are downsides in an economy such as Nigeria is passing through at the moment, everything and everybody is affected. Besides weakening the economy, economic downturn also weakens purchasing power of individuals and households.

The challenge of life and living in Nigeria is that the managers of the country’s economy don’t seem to have any clue to how to bring about a turnaround. The country appears to be mired in economic inertia.

This means that the hard times are not as much the challenge of everybody as they are the concern about what to do to bring about a turnaround. Of the multi-pronged approach so far adopted to get the economy on its feet again, mortgage, unfortunately, is not in consideration.

 In advanced economies, the mortgage industry makes significant contribution to economic development. But here, it is not the case because mortgage finance as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), till date, is still as low as 0.5 percent which is several steps behind other economies including Mexico, Malaysia and South Africa where mortgage contributions to GDP are as high as 10 percent, 25 percent and 29 percent respectively.

Given what the government was able to able to do with mortgage in British economy, it means that mortgage has all the potential to stimulate the economy. But there are obstacles to the growth of the industry which have to be tackled.

 The relative ‘newness’ of the sector; lack of understanding of the dynamics and operational models of the sector by many Nigerians, and poor appreciation of the need and the ultimate benefit of keeping money in a mortgage bank are some of the militating factors.

Government can benefit a lot from a flourishing mortgage banking sector as it will help in regulating the economy in the desired direction.

 The Federal Government says is diversifying the economy to solve current challenges, but attention doesn’t seem to be paid to the mortgage sector. If government really wants to stimulate the economy, it has to reduce the interest rate and, all things being equal, more people will embrace mortgage loan to buy houses, leading to increased activities in the construction sector.

 Because of the identified obstacles, many primary mortgage banks (PMBs) are going through very difficult times, such that some are still unable to meet up with the kind of capital requirements in this sector.

 If government pays a closer attention to the PMBs by removing some of the obstacles that they have such as the drawbacks of the Land Use Act of 1978 which vests land ownership in the hands of the state governors; the right to easily foreclose on delinquent borrowers, ease of creating a legal mortgage and perfecting titles and the ease of falling back on their collateral to recover bad loan etc, this sector will surely improve tremendously.

Until all these issues are resolved in a way that encourages the provider of capital, in this case, the mortgage bank, the sector will not grow as desired but when these obstacles are removed, the supplier of mortgage will allocate more funds towards the provision of home loans while home buyers will better appreciate the implication of prompt interest and capital repayments as well as ensure discipline on the part of the people.

 Okika Ekwem, a US-based realtor, says  the poor capital base of the PMBs is inadequate, dismissing the idea of a fixed capital base for mortgage institutions. “Saying that a mortgage institution should have a fixed base of, say N10 billion, is wrong because that amount is too meager; even N100 billion is also meager given the kind of projects they are to finance. The federal government needs to come in, look at what is happening in other civilized world and copy. These days, copying is no longer an act of deception but actually something that is done even in the civilized world”, he said.

 In the civilized world, according to him, there is secondary market for real estate financing where commercial banks or individual brokerage banks lend money to people and thereafter sell the securitized certificate to the secondary market and come back again to lend to individuals.

 Mortgage sector growth is possible in Nigeria if the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) plays the role of a regulator while the federal government, through the CBN, should empower the PMBs more.

In this case, the country needs more PMBs established. Meckson Innocent Okoro, an estate manager explains this is to discourage the concentration of these institutions only in urban centres. “When this is done, access to housing finance will be increased; the PMBs must be positioned to champion the whole issue of affordable or social housing for the low income earners in the country. Anything the country wants to do without a functional mortgage system that can guarantee homeownership for a good number of people will not succeed”, he posited.

Source: By Chuka Uroko

Mortgage Rates Slump for the Third-Straight Week as Big Questions Dog the Housing Market

Rates for home loans fell along with the broader bond market even as the transformation of the real-estate industry quickened pace.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.10% in the May 9 week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That was down 4 basis points during the week.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.57%, down from 3.60%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.63%, down 5 basis points.

The 30-year-fixed follows the benchmark 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.15%   Thanks to concerns about the economy and choppy markets, investors have been piling into bonds this year. Bond yields fall as prices rise. The popular mortgage product has managed a weekly gain only six times so far this year, and just last week Freddie’s chief economist slashed his 2019 forecast for rates.

Meanwhile, as the spring season hits its peak, buyer demand has been “going gangbusters” for Rich Harty, a real estate agent in Chicagoland.

Mortgage rates have been “cooperative,” and a boon for the buyers Harty works with.

“I had a record year in 2018, and 2019 is shaping up to be even better,” Harty told MarketWatch. But real estate is hyperlocal, it seems: some communities adjacent to where he works aren’t doing as well, in large part because of surging property taxes.

(MarketWatch previously profiled Harty, who is also licensed in Wisconsin and frequently sells homes there to priced-out Chicagoans. Now, however, he’s too busy in the metro area to work across state lines.)

In fact, with business so brisk, most of what keeps Harty up at night are the big-picture questions. He’s keeping a close eye on the class-action lawsuit filed against big real-estate companies and the National Association of Realtors, as well as a wave of seismic shifts in the industry that threaten to make real-estate agents redundant.

“Where am I going to be in five, 10 years?” Harty said. “Is this the last hurrah before it all starts to shake out?”

U.S. housing agency wants new rules to attract mortgages from banks

The Federal Housing Administration announced on Thursday it was seeking to streamline and clarify its rules in a bid to entice traditional banks to rebuild their FHA loan business, as the agency seeks to give consumers a greater choice of lenders.

The FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans created by approved lenders, helping borrowers with less money for down payments or lower credit scores qualify for home loans. The FHA insurance protects the lender in the event of a borrower default.

Some academics and policymakers have expressed concern about the growing presence of nonbank lenders in mortgage lending, such as online lender Quicken Loans, given they are not as strictly regulated and lack a deposit base to help weather downturns.

Traditional banks made a significant exit from the FHA mortgage business in recent years, citing costly and complex rules. But now the FHA said it wants to more clearly explain what lenders and what types of mortgages qualify for its programs in an effort to bring them back.

“We are proposing a new, more transparent, plain-English set of requirements that preserves our enforcement authority without scaring lenders away from doing business with the FHA,” FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery said.

Depository institutions now make up just 13 percent of new FHA loans, with nonbank institutions originating the rest, he said.

According to the FHA, it was estimated in 2018 that one out of every five mortgage loans originated in the United States is an FHA loan. Such loans require a downpayment of only 3.5 percent, compared with the 20 percent required for most conventional mortgages.

Specifically, the FHA is proposing providing more clarity around what a lender needs to do, both in general and on a loan-by-loan basis, to qualify as an FHA-certified lender. The agency also wants to provide more clarity around how it identifies certain loans as defective and how lenders can address those deficiencies.

The FHA had sparred with some large institutions in the past, charging some with misusing the program and obtaining insurance on loans that did not qualify.

Source: By Pete Schroeder

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