Fri, May 25, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Housing loans at highest since July

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

New housing loans last month from five leading banks in Taiwan reached their highest level since July last year, an indication that pent-up demand has improved buying sentiment in the housing market, the central bank said yesterday.

Five leading domestic banks — Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行), Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南商業銀行) and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) — made NT$51.56 billion (US$1.74 billion) in new housing loans last month, the central bank said in its monthly statement.

The NT$51.56 billion in loans was higher than the NT$48.42 billion posted in March and above the NT$50 billion level for the first time since July last year, the bank said.

“Many people took a wait-and-see attitude to home purchase in the first two months of the year, as weak seasonal demand from the Lunar New Year holidays and uncertainties over the presidential election dragged down market sentiment,” Chen E-dawn (陳一端), deputy head of the bank’s economic research department, told a press conference.

These uncertainties deferred some buying momentum into last month, she said.

Data from the Ministry of the Interior showed the volume of housing transfers in Taipei City last month rose to 3,228, from the 2,960 posted a month earlier, while those in New Taipei City (新北市) totaled 6,043 last month, up from 5,372 in March.

Chen said it was hard to link rising housing loans to rising consumer prices, but she did not deny that some people might have considered “buying a house to resist inflation.”

The central bank will continue to watch local banks’ property finance, Chen said, adding that they have reminded local banks to carefully control risks.

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