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Tailor-made home loan packages for customers

Manasa Kalouniviti
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

FIJI'S locally owned bank — HFC Bank — has introduced home loan packages for its customers and have options available at their bank that enables the provision of affordable homes for Fijians.

HFC Bank Suva branch manager Joseph Reece said although the bank did not have any written policy for the options they went out of their way to assist people to be able to own a home.

"What we do here at HFC Bank in the front line is to help people buy the homes that they can afford; we put them in touch with real estate agents and we will call around for the right property," he said.

Mr Reece said if needed they would take the customer for the house inspection.

"We create a network between the buyers and the sellers and buyers can talk directly with owners to minimise that real estate mark-up which is causing real estate prices to soar.

"And the real estate market will continue to rise and I sincerely hope that all individuals who come to us can own a home. It's a bit sad if you call yourself a Fijian but you don't own a home," Mr Reece said.

He said their new super dream home loan packages launched early last month, which came with a 4.25 per cent fixed interest rate for the first five years, were creating a hype out in the market right now.

"No other commercial banks in Fiji are offering this fixed interest rate.

"The reason HFC Bank is doing this is to assist the low income earners afford properties as the product is targeted at people with annual combined annual turnover of $50,000 or less."

He said because of the increasing real estate prices and the competitive interest rates now in the market it has become quite difficult for ordinary individuals to own a property in Fiji.

"Also we are only asking for a 10 per cent deposit while most other banks ask for 20 per cent because there is very little savings culture in Fiji with our traditional and cultural obligations where most of our savings go."

He said these made their home loan products affordable to low income earners, new graduates, whose FNPF and savings are small can start off with a family with a property and pay off the mortgage and not pay rent.

On other affordable housing options offered by HFC Bank he said they had other home loan packages specifically tailored for each and every individual in the market but their fixed interest rates fluctuates between 4.25 per cent and 5.5 per cent depending on the level of income.

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