Avia Collinder, Business Reporter
Local banks are offering home buyers and those who wish to renovate their properties sweet holiday deals, a push that follows newly released economic data suggesting the mortgage market was on the upswing.
Among them is First Global Bank (FGB), which has teamed up with the Rapid True Value hardware chain to finance the construction, renovation and decoration of homes on credit.
Both businesses are owned by conglomerate GraceKennedy Limited.
First Global is one of several banks seeking to capitalise on the penchant of Jamaicans to beautify and decorate their homes around the Christmas season, or expand it for the Yew Year.
"Whether improvements are large or small, necessary or optional, First Global Bank can help you explore your loan options the bank proposes in its marketing spiel. Be smart and finance your remodelling project," said a joint advertisement from the two companies.
Also on the hustings is CIBC FirstCaribbean, which through its 'Match and More' promotion has been offering a 50 per cent discount on commitment fees for land and home loans. That offer ends December 9.
The bank proposes to match the interest rates of any other bank and add to this a range of incentives for switching.
Loan applicants, however, must take a loan of at least US$50,000, or the Jamaican dollar equivalent, in order to qualify. In addition to discounted committed fees, they are also being offered a pre-approved credit card, a revolving loan for home and car insurance, and a cash gift of US$1,500 as incentive to buy land or home with funds from the bank.
Top mortgage seller Jamaica National Building Society has also placed incentives on the table for home loans. Its offers include zero processing fees for a mortgage loan, up to 90 per cent property loan financing, and a 50 per cent discount on attorney's fees.
As part of the deal, JNBS is also pitching a discount of up to 20 per cent on motor vehicle insurance, up to $200,000 free content insurance, and 10 per cent discount on peril insurance, all through subsidiary JN General Insurance Company; as well as one year of free membership with the Jamaica Automobile Association, another of its subsidiaries.
The PIOJ reported in November that the volume of mortgages grew 72 per cent in the September quarter, while value climbed 69 per cent overall.