Ghana: Reduction in Interest Rates to Ease Access to Property Acquisition - First National Bank

4 November 2021

First National Bank says initiative to reduce interest rates on its home loan products is yielding positive results as the Bank has received a lot of applications for the products.

The Bank declared 2021 as the 'Year of Home Ownership' (YOHO2021) to help make home ownership a reality for many Ghanaians.

Announcing the initiative in Accra, the bank described this as a catalyst in driving greater interest in property ownership using home loans (mortgages).

It will be used to thoroughly engage consumers with relevant advice on home ownership options, introducing them to First National Bank Ghana's innovative market-leading home loan solutions.

Mr Delali Dzidzienyo, the Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, First National Bank said the response to the initiative had been overwhelming as many applications have been received after the YOHO initiative was launched earlier this year.

He said, "We are thrilled by the many applications that have come through since we made that bold declaration to help Ghanaians both home and abroad to acquire a property with our suite of home loan offerings. Even though we are aware of the huge housing deficit and the fact that property acquisition is relevant to many people, the massive adoption of this initiative reinforces the need for all within the housing sector to trigger some actions to fix this. "

He said conversation on the housing deficit in Ghana was still topical as the demand for homes were unmet, partly due to the availability of resources to scale up supply, and then the inability of the wider population to access funds to either build or buy.

"For all players in the entire value chain of housing, the availability of funds is a crucial need, but the expense of borrowing these funds depends on interest rates," he said.

Higher interest rates can add to the overall cost of both the provision and acquisition. Lower interest rates can reduce the overall cost of these expenditures. This means that changes in interest rates can impact changes in consumption and investment spending, and thus aggregate demand.

"Typically, interest rates are influenced by inflation and the overall economic conditions within the country. While the government may be doing a lot to ease the fragility of the economy; volatile interest rates and high-risk investment within the economic ecosystem, players within the real estate financing, suppliers, and property acquisition will need to take measures and enact initiatives to ease the burden on the wider demand public," he said.

He said" One such player within the financial system is First National Bank, who recently announced the reduction in interest rates on all home loan products as part of the yearlong Year of Home Ownership-YOHO campaign. Applicants of any of the bank's home loan product can now get up to 1.5 percent interest rate discount on any amount. This was confirmed as one more approach to make it even easier for more Ghanaians to get onto the property ladder as the bank closes the curtains on the Year of Home Ownership-YOHO 2021."

Mr Dzidzienyo said while there were interventions like the optimisation of the process in acquiring a property, innovations with building materials such as NELPLAST's plastic waste brick production can bridge the gap of the housing deficit.

"Ultimately, tackling the hurdle of high interest rates, for instance, will immediately impact property acquisition in Ghana," he said.

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