Sixty-four people were granted a share of Maryland's $5 million low-interest home mortgage program yesterday, enabling them to acquire funding for a home purchase at a cost of only 6 percent.
Some of the people who received the loans waited up to six days outside the headquarters of the Maryland Home Financing Program, which has offered the loans at various times over a six-year period.
Alyce H. Heath, director of the program, said it is a "last resort" for low and middle income people to acquire loans, since most lending institutions now charge 11 to 12 percent interest on home mortgage loans.
The difference between a bank loan and a loan from the program is significant, she said. On a $40,000 loan, for example, a state loan would cost $239 a month while a bank loan would be $381 a month.
Meanwhile, the Texas Legislature has passed and sent to Gov. William P. Clements Jr. a bill to allow home mortgage interest rates there to rise from 10 percent to 12 percent, depending on the average long-term U.S. Treasury note rates.
Texas banks were cutting back on home loans because state usury laws had prohibited them to charge more than 10 percent on those loans. Consequently, the homebuilding industry in Texas had come to a near-halt. This bill will allow home loans to go up to 12 percent, although under the new formula they will now sit at slightly above 11 percent.
The upward trend of mortgage rates nationally pushed California savings and loan associations to raise their home mortgage rates to 11 1/2 percent this week.
Several S&Ls said they were raising their rates because they have been unable to reduce the strong demand with 11 percent mortgages.
Because of an insufficient inflow of regular savings, the banks have to turn to more expensive funds to meet the continually increasing demand, they said.