New home loans ‘lowest in four years’

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - Page 13

The nation’s five major home-loan providers last year registered the lowest number of new home loans in four years, after a series of new measures to rein in the property market came into effect, the central bank said yesterday. These included selective credit-tightening measures imposed by the bank, it said in a statement.

The five banks lent a total of NT$45.42 billion (US$1.56 billion) in new housing loans last month, up 8.72 percent from a month earlier, the central bank said in its monthly statement.

That brought the total amount in home loans issued by the five banks last year to NT$539.3 billion, down nearly 10 percent from the previous year, the central bank’s statistics showed. The figure marked the lowest level since 2008, according to the statement.

“Demand for housing loans pick up last month, but demand for the full year declined [last year],” Chen E-dawn (陳一端), deputy head of the bank’s economic research department, told a press conference.

Real-estate buyers have been maintaining a wait-and-see attitude after the price registration rule went into effect Aug. 1 last year, the central bank said.

Chen added that the housing market was stabilizing gradually, as reflected in a decline in the average interest rate on home loans.

The average interest rate on home loans dropped for the second consecutive month last month to 1.912 percent.