BCR targets low, middle income earners in new mortgage product
Rwanda Commercial Bank (BCR) has revamped its mortgage product to cater for low to middle income earners, the lender announced last week.
BCR launched its first mortgage product in 2007. However, under the facility, each house cost Rwf55m and mainly high income clientele.
According to BCR’s Managing Director, Sanjeev Anand, there was a missing link with middle to lower income borrowers unable to make the mandatory deposit of 20 per cent yet they were able to repay the mortgage.
With the new product, the lender has partnered with local insurer SORAS, and Home Finance Guarantors Africa Reinsurance (HFGA) to facilitate low income earners to make the 20 per cent deposit to qualify for the mortgage.
“BCR will purchase insurance cover from SORAS to cover up to the 19 per cent deposit required while the BCR customer will have the ability to borrow up to 99 per cent of the property price” Anand explained.
BCR has three products under its mortgage platform, including BCR mortgage which is a long term credit facility payable in 20 years, construction mortgage refunded in 15 years and the home equity loan refundable in seven years.
Anand further explained that the beneficiary would be required to contribute 1 per cent of the total property price.
Eligible clients must be earning a gross income of up to Rwf2 million per year and the property value should not exceed Rwf55 million.
“CRI cover applies only to mortgage with a possibility to extend to construction loans very soon,” Anand noted. The country needs between 20,000 and 25,000 house units annually to serve the housing demand countrywide, but only between 300 and 500 are built.
According to HFGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Charlene Lea, the product has been a success in South Africa, expressing optimism that the system would be equally successful to meet the ever rising demand.
Anand explained that the lender managed to raise the money through a corporate bond and the lender’s usual loan equity.
“The interest rate will be charged on a case by case basis and it will be market driven,” Anand noted.