Slashed interest rates, free materials part of massive support for home builders

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Scores of home builders across the country are expected to benefit from reduced interest rates and free building materials as the government pushes its massive housing drive, President Dr. Irfaan Ali announced on Friday.

The Head of State, speaking at the opening of the International Building Expo 2022 at the National Stadium, Providence, said that the government intends on continuing its “aggression” in the housing sector.

In doing so, he announced that the government will provide key building materials free of cost to home builders, in the new week.

President Ali said that for homes that cost $6 million or less, every builder will get the steel needed for construction and one sling of cement.

For every home that costs more than $6 million and up to $25 million, the government will provide two slings of cement.

Beyond direct governmental support, he announced that the private sector has agreed to also provide relief to home builders.

“The banks have agreed that there will be no percentage requirement for loans below $6 million because of this policy of the government.

“Once you qualify through the joint window system, the government is with you now (and) the commercial banks are with you,” President Ali told the massive gathering at the National Stadium.

Importantly, he also said that the local commercial banks have agreed to slash the interest rate for housing and building up to $9 million. The interest rate has been reduced to just 3.8 per cent.

“This is coming at a time when the world is increasing interest rates,” President Ali happily related.

These key relief measures come as the government pursues its plan of distributing 50,000 house lots before the end of its first term in office, in 2025. Already, thousands of house lots have already been distributed throughout the country.

The government is also providing housing units. These have all led to a significant housing boom- evidenced by a changing physical landscape and even the shortage of labour.

But he said it is not just that the government is wishfully hoping that the housing sector will advance. Instead, he said that there are key figures evidencing this.

Loans to households increased to 13 per cent of the total loans amid the 20 per cent growth of total loans in the country. That substantial growth, he explained, carried a figure of a whopping $310 billion.

“That is what confidence people have in the economy, loans grew by 20 per cent to $310,” he said for emphasis.

With the government’s homeownership push, he said that mortgages also grew by $16 billion or 21 per cent. Total lending to the construction was $15.6 billion as of May 2022- a 50 per cent growth since August 2020.

With these already evidencing the gains in the housing sector, the President assured the public that his government was aggressively striving towards its promise of providing housing solutions to thousands of Guyanese.

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