The Guardian newspaper in the UK describes in detail the different types of Shari’ah-compliant home financing available in the country. There were a few very interesting facts presented. First, a small minority of customers using the Shari’ah-compliant home financing are non-Muslims; currently about 2 percent of the Islamic Bank of Britain’s customers are non-Muslims who turn to Islamic home finance for ethical reasons. Second, and this may provide a way for Islamic banks to broaden their interest beyond the Muslim market, is that in some cases, Islamic home finance is cheaper than traditional mortgages.
« If you bought a property for £250,000 using a diminishing Musharaka plan from HSBC Amanah, you would pay around £1,553 a month (made up of £1,246 in rent and £307 in contribution payments to increase your share), based on the bank buying 90 per cent and you putting down a 10 per cent deposit. If you took out a conventional two-year fixed-rate loan with HSBC (at 6.29 per cent and with a £799 fee) on £250,000, you’d pay around £1,655 a month over 25 years. »
There are of course differences in availability and structure that could negate the difference, the development of cost competitive Islamic home financing is a good thing for the industry as it seeks to expand beyond its current niche role.
Sharia-compliant mortgages are here – and they’re not just for Muslims
Huma Qureshi explains the ins and outs of the Islamic home loan market
Imagine a mortgage lender who allows you to take all the increase in the price of your home when you sell, but is prepared to share any loss if the property has fallen in value. Such a deal may seem too good to be true in the current property market, but it is exactly what a handful of banks specialising in Islamic home loans are offering.
Islamic mortgages have been in the mainstream market in the UK for some years but it can often be difficult to get to grips with sharia-compliant financial products, which can seem confusing. In Islam, making money from money by charging interest is deemed unfair and is not permitted. So where do you start when choosing an Islamic mortgage?
There are three models of Home Purchase Plans (HPPs): Ijara, which means ‘lease’ in Arabic; Musharaka, which means ‘partnership’; and Murabaha, meaning ‘profit’. Depending on the model, the lender will levy rent or add profit to the amount you pay back instead of charging interest.