FNB has welcomed the Finance Ministry’s announcement that first-time home buyers will benefit from a R950 million subsidy over the next three years. This is part of the Government’s ‘Our Help To Buy’ initiative to help first-time buyers to own a home.

While government has made some inroads into addressing the demand for affordable housing, the supply of well-located, zoned and serviced land, with suitable top structures and acceptable amenities continues to significantly lag behind the fast-growing demand.

Adding to the problem is the fact that, where affordable housing opportunities exist, or have been created, the combination of a lingering lack of access to a fully functional mortgage market for low income earners, massive backlogs in most deeds transfer offices, and very prohibitive home loan credit rating criteria is still preventing the majority of low-income households from achieving the formal home ownership that is needed to fully unlock the value of their properties and serve as a stepping stone to poverty alleviation.

Against this backdrop, it is imperative that all stakeholders in the affordable housing sector come together to develop and deliver workable solutions that not only address the housing backlog, but also help owners of affordable homes to leverage the value of their properties to raise their financial and social wellbeing over time.

For FNB, achieving this objective requires that affordable housing solutions adopt a much broader focus than just the end user or occupier of low-cost homes. It also demands that role players collaborate and innovate around property developer finance structures and ensuring greater access to realistic home finance solutions for low income earners.

Property ownership is the vital foundation on which socio-economic transformation can take place. However, this can only happen if the challenges of affordability, availability and the realisation of long-term value are adequately addressed – and this will only happen through partnership, collaboration, and the shared vision of all affordable housing industry stakeholders.

FNB Home Finance offers home loans of up to 110% of the property value, including FNB-approved new developments. In addition, we help by granting eBucks rewards of 50% of the value of the first repayment (for customers using our digital platform nav» for their application), 50% discount on attorney fees, competitive interest rates, and additional interest rate discounts for customers who have their transactional accounts with FNB.

By Dr Christoph Nieuwoudt; CEO of FNB Consumer