Sat, Dec 30, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Loan tallies grow as people build, buy more properties

Staff writer

The latest monthly data on mortgages and construction loans showed a steady increase last month from October, with both hitting record levels.

Housing loans last month grew at their fastest pace in three months after posting an increase for the ninth consecutive month, reflecting consumers’ positive attitude toward the real-estate market, statistics compiled by the central bank showed on Tuesday.

The outstanding balance of housing loans was NT$6.61 trillion (US$221.5 billion) at the end of last month, up NT$35.847 billion, or 0.54 percent, from the end of October, the bank said.

Compared with the same period last year, housing loans grew 4.51 percent, marking the largest pace of growth since August, the bank’s tallies showed.

The fourth quarter is traditionally a peak season for the property market and market demand tends to become even stronger at the end of the year, as consumers like to buy new houses before the new year.

So far this year, housing loans have seen a persistent annual increase of more than 4 percent every month, indicating a steady growth in the property market, Chinese-language media quoted the central bank as saying.

Market sentiment also improved because some developers in New Taipei City were willing to cut prices in new housing projects in a bid to strike quick year-end deals, which also kept a lid on the prices of many second-hand houses, the bank said.

Meanwhile, the outstanding balance of construction loans, indicative of the construction sector’s attitude toward the market, reached NT$1.71 trillion at the end of last month, posting an increase of NT$8.073 billion, or 0.47 percent, from the end of October, the bank’s data showed.

On an annual basis, loans for construction expanded 4.13 percent last month, an increase for the 10th consecutive month and the second-highest pace of increase this year, data showed.

The faster pace of expansion reflected a low comparison base last year and lenders’ positive attitude toward the construction sector, the central bank said.

The bank’s construction loan results were in line with a business sentiment gauge for the sector last month — hitting a 55-month high after a significant rebound in residential and commercial housing transactions in the nation’s six municipalities last month, according to the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research’s (台灣經濟研究院) report released on Monday.

Transactions of homes, shops and offices in the six special municipalities rose 13 percent to 18,841 units last month from October, when housing sales fell 12 percent from a month earlier, according to statistics compiled by local governments earlier this month.

In the first 11 months of the year, transactions nationwide reached 241,000 units, up 9.6 percent from the same period the previous year, according to tallies compiled by the Ministry of the Interior.

For the whole of this year, transactions are likely to total between 265,000 and 270,000 units, compared with last year’s 245,000, First Capital Management Inc (第一金投顧) said in a note on Thursday.

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