Cheap mortgages are here as government steps up affordable housing agenda

The State-backed mortgage firm will cap cheap home loans at Sh4 million, kick starting operations after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) granted it the permit to start lending at an annual subsidised interest of seven percent or nearly half the prevailing market rates.

Home buyers in Nairobi metropolitan area — which extends to neighbouring Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado counties — will access a maximum of Sh4 million for mortgages, while the funding for the rest of the country has been capped at Sh3 million.

 

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This means individuals who qualify for the subsidised loans or those earning less than Sh150,000, will have to top up their loans with commercial credit should they seek a home above the Sh4 million.

The CBK on Friday licensed the country’s first mortgage refinance firm, paving the way for commercial banks to access long-term finance for home loans.

The lower home loan rates are the product of the newly established Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC), a Treasury-backed lender, which offers banks and saccos cash for onward lending to households.

 

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KMRC will lend to banks and financial co-operatives at an annual interest of five percent, enabling them to write home loans at seven percent—lower than average market rate of 11.94 percent or 42 percent cheaper.

 

 

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