The home finance market is heating up, with the country's banks jostling to lure potential homeowners with more attractive loan terms and rates.
Standard Chartered is the latest lender to jump on the property bandwagon, announcing that it has dropped its mortgage lending rate to a fixed rate of 4.99 per cent for the first 12 months of the loan.
The London- and Hong Kong-listed lender has also extended its mortgage repayment tenure to 30 years, from 25 years previously. Homebuyers can borrow up to Dh18 million at a loan-to-value ratio of up to 80 per cent.
"This offer coincides with the holy month of Ramadan, which is an ideal period for us to fulfil the desire of those planning to own their dream home," says Syed Hammad Haidar, Standard Chartered's general manager of retail products and new business.
"Our offer is one of the most competitive and value-added housing loan offerings in the UAE."
Standard Chartered's one-year fixed rate matches United Arab Bank's current mortgage rate of 4.99 per cent, announced last month. It is currently the lowest mortgage rate on the market.
HSBC Middle East is offering a 5.49 per cent interest rate for 25-year mortgages, while Barclays is offering 5.99 per cent.
Standard Chartered's base lending rate plus the prescribed rate will be applied to the mortgage at the end of the first 12 months of the loan. The promotion is available until the end of of Ramadan.
For more information, go to www.standardchartered.ae
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First Gulf Bank (FGB) is doing its bit to educate the population on how to manage their money responsibly, this week launching a personal finance app that will help people to keep track of their expenses.
The Personal Budgeter Savings Application aims to teach customers the importance of saving and provides a user-friendly interface that will help them to organise their income and expenses efficiently.
"It is our responsibility as a community-based bank to educate all our customers on the importance of continuous and consistent fiscal management, saving and other important banking practices," says Abdulwahed Juma, the head of corporate affairs at FGB.
"With its interactive and easily accessible interface, customers are able to effectively manage their finances in a swift and efficient manner. The many budgeting tools will also help them to plan for their future financial needs."
Users can track their expenses as well as manage their finances through a range of tables and graphs.
The app, which is compatible with iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys, also allows users to predict their savings on a monthly or yearly basis.
FGB's app can be downloaded for free from iTunes and the BlackBerry App World.