NHT loans favour young, women
New information released by the National Housing Trust on the gender, income and age of homeowners shows that Jamaicans aged 30 years and below continue to secure the most mortgages from the state-run housing agency.
The data which covered the period April 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, in addition to a previous study conducted by the NHT over four fiscal years, March 2015 to March 2018, suggests that young adults are moving more aggressively towards real estate purchases.
Of the total 5,649 mortgage loans for the December 2019 period, disbursements to the 18-25 age group showed the highest increase of 53 per cent to 179; followed by 26-30 age group, which increased 20 per cent year on year to 854 disbursements.
Disbursements to mortgagors aged between 41 and 44 also increased 2.4 per cent to 682, while mortgage loans to individuals those aged 55-59 grew to 368, reflecting an increase of 0.8 per cent.
All other age groups declined, with the steepest being disbursements to mortgagors over the age of 64, which dipped by 65 per cent. Still, the typical age at which most individuals apply for a mortgage – 31 to 40 – represented 38 per cent of the loans disbursed, or 2,193.
NHT did not specify income bands according to age groups, but the highest number of loans disbursed for the eight-month period under review went to individuals earning between $15,001 and $30,000.99 per week.
The data also showed that more females are buying homes than men. Of the total 5,649 mortgages disbursed, 59 per cent were to females. Still, the total disbursements of 3,332 loans to females by the NHT reflected a 5 per cent dip from the 3,361 loans to that demographic for the period April 2017 to December 2018.
Males applying for mortgages from the NHT grew marginally to 41 per cent or 2,316, up from 40.5 per cent or 2,287 at the end of December 2018.
In keeping with market trends of declining interest rates and the overall improvements in the macroeconomy, Prime Minister Andrew Holness in his 2019-20 Budget presentation announced a one per cent across-the-board reduction in interest rates for NHT potential homeowners, and raised the cap on loans from the NHT by $1 million to $6.5 million per person. Loans are also priced within a range of zero to a maximum of 5 per cent interest, depending on income band.