Mortgage scheme to permanently run

The Mortgage Corporation today announced that the Fixed-rate Mortgage Scheme will be converted into a permanent product starting November 1.   The current fixed interest rates per annum under the scheme for 10, 15 and 20 years are 1.99%, 2.09% and 2.19%. They will be maintained until end-January 2022.   As from February 2022, the corporation will determine the fixed interest rates per annum from time to time in accordance with factors such as its cost of funds, business risks and market conditions. The rates will be announced monthly.   Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the scheme has approved loans totalling around $400 million in the past year and a half, reflecting a certain market demand for fixed-rate mortgage products.   “The scheme has filled a market gap, and its permanent offer will continue to provide an alternative financing option to homebuyers for mitigating their risks arising from interest rate volatility, thereby enhancing banking stability in the long run."        Under the Fixed-rate Mortgage Scheme, the maximum loan amount of each residential mortgage is $10 million. At the end of the fixed-rate period, the borrower may either re-fix the mortgage rate under the fixed-rate mortgages or convert the mortgage to a floating rate loan.   As the borrowers will be insulated from interest rate movements under the fixed-rate period which is 10 years or longer, an agreement has been obtained from the Monetary Authority that they will not be required to meet the stress testing against interest rate rise, but the current debt-to-income ratio will still be applicable.

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