Newsgate360 – Riyadh: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), wholly owned by the Saudi Public Investment fund (PIF), today announced a mortgage forbearance programme in collaboration with its servicers. In line with SRC’s social responsibility and its commitment towards the measures taken by the government and SAMA to continue supporting the economy amid the challenging environment, the forbearance programme benefits employees working in the private sector (excluding financial institutions), healthcare sector and self-employed citizens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing them to exercise the option of deferring mortgage payments for at least three months without any additional cost.
Fabrice Susini, CEO of SRC, said: “We have introduced this initiative In light of our wise leadership’s direction and guidance to ease financial burdens on Saudi citizens during the current situation and as part of our ongoing efforts to highlight SRC as a responsible refinancer of mortgages. SRC is committed to being one of the initiators of this initiative and doing its part in relieving the burdens Saudi families bear during the current period and aiding them by postponing their mortgage installments for a period of at least 3 months.”
He added: “COVID-19 is putting short-term and long-term financial strain on the national and global economy, which in return is affecting several Saudi households working within certain sectors. However, under the guidance of its visionary leadership, the government has responded swiftly through robust relief measures and stimulus packages. In line with the support programmes provided by SAMA, SRC is committed to doing its part by providing assistance to mortgage beneficiaries, helping them navigate the broader financial effects of this pandemic through this initiative.”
Homeowners in the forbearance programme will not incur late fees or any other hidden charges with the mortgage tenure increasing by the same period as the deferment period i.e. three months. Eligible beneficiaries who do not wish to participate in the programme may opt out whereas homeowners that may require longer term relief measures will be dealt with on a case by case basis. In these cases, SRC, along with servicers, will conduct an assessment, and in accordance with SAMA guidance, a six-month deferral period may be granted.
The announcement comes shortly after SRC reduced lending rates by more than 15 bps for its long-term fixed-rate (LTFR) mortgages, making it among the lowest rate mortgage product in the region. Since its establishment in 2017, SRC has been working relentlessly to promote the development of a thriving housing finance market as well as a robust secondary mortgage market.