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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, is imploring stakeholders in the housing sector and financial institutions, in particular, to take advantage of the recent amendments to the Mortgage Insurance Act.
  • He pointed out that large deposits required by developers and the additional closing costs incidental to the purchase of a home, have been major hurdles faced by Jamaicans in their effort to acquire a home, and the amendments should assist in that regard.
  • The amendments to the Act facilitate a reduction in the amount required for a deposit on a home from as high as 15 per cent of the purchase price plus transfer tax and registration fee to as low as three per cent deposit plus transfer tax and registration fee.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, is imploring stakeholders in the housing sector and financial institutions, in particular, to take advantage of the recent amendments to the Mortgage Insurance Act.

He pointed out that large deposits required by developers and the additional closing costs incidental to the purchase of a home, have been major hurdles faced by Jamaicans in their effort to acquire a home, and the amendments should assist in that regard.

The amendments to the Act facilitate a reduction in the amount required for a deposit on a home from as high as 15 per cent of the purchase price plus transfer tax and registration fee to as low as three per cent deposit plus transfer tax and registration fee.

Dr.  Guy was speaking at a recent stakeholder forum, hosted by the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB), in Kingston.

The Minister pointed out that the need for mortgages has increased as more Jamaicans have been given increased opportunities to access housing solutions.

He pointed out that according to the 2013 Jamaica Economic and Social Survey, the total value of mortgages in 2013 amounted to $37.7 billion, an increase of $9 billion over the previous year.

“The survey also shows that the volume and value of mortgages distributed by building societies have increased by 28.7 per cent and 65.8 per cent, respectively. Disbursements from the building societies accounted for 32.5 per cent of the total value of mortgages translating to $16 billion. In light of this, the private sector is of vital importance as the Government cannot do it alone,” the Minister said.

The JMB has begun to engage stakeholders in conversations on the ramifications of the recent amendments to the Act that will also facilitate an increase in the percentage of the appraised value of a property on which mortgage indemnity insurance can be granted from 90 per cent  to 97 per cent.

Amendment to the Mortgage Insurance Act was last done in 2008, which facilitated a significant increase in the number of mortgage insurance policies that could be issued by the bank