THE Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, observed an increase in real estate loans in Cebu for the first half of 2017 on the back of more affordable interest rates for borrowers.
Lawyer Lovella Albina, assistant department manager at the loans origination department of HDMF’s Cebu housing hub, said they measure their performance in terms of loan value and the number of units loaned for.
“For corporate, in the first semester of 2017, we recorded a total loan value of P28.8 billion versus P24.7 billion in the same period in 2016. In terms of takeout, we had 36,139 units in the first half of this year versus 34,041 units in the same period last year,” she said during the Kapihan sa PIA at the WT Corporate Center on Monday.
Albina said that due to the increasing demand for real estate in recent years, HDMF has always been able to hit its housing loan targets.
She said interest rates for housing loans used to be as high as 18 percent per annum but can now be as low as 5.5 percent every year for a given number of years.
“That is really a come on for those who want to have their own homes. Pag-IBIG tries to give affordable interest rates when lending to its members,” said Albina.
Albina explained that HDMF also offers a loan program for affordable housing, particularly for those whose income is up to P12,000 or P14,000.
Those earning up to P12,000 may avail of loans up to P450,000 with an interest rate of 3 percent for five years and then the prevailing interest rate for the years that will follow.
For those with an income above P12,000 and up to P14,000, the fund offers loans up to P750,000 with a fixed 6.5-percent interest rate for 10 years.
Albina clarified that those earning above P14,000 can only avail of the regular home loan since the affordable housing program is subsidized by the corporation.
She said affordable housing loans comprise only 5 percent of their total loan portfolio for real estate, but it is steadily rising.
Albina added that even though this segment makes up only a small portion of the whole loan portfolio, more borrowers would still help them and push them toward meeting their targets.
While they are encouraging more members to take advantage of this offering, the challenge is whether there are still housing units that cost between P450,000 and P750,000 in Cebu City.