Construction loans post slow growth: central bank

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 - Page 13

Construction loans grew at their slowest pace in nearly three years last month despite posting an increase for the second consecutive month, reflecting the construction sector’s conservative attitude toward the market, statistics compiled by the central bank showed.

The outstanding balance of construction loans was NT$1.45 trillion (US$48.71 billion) at the end of last month, up NT$1.7 billion, or 3.85 percent, from the end of February, the bank said on Friday.

The 3.85 percent increase marked the slowest pace of growth since April 2010, the data showed.

The slowing pace of expansion reflected lenders’ conservative attitude toward construction loans, as well as the sluggish sentiment in the housing market, said an official at the bank’s economic research department, who declined to be named.

Meanwhile, the outstanding balance of housing loans reached NT$5.413 trillion at the end of last month, posting a NT$1.7 billion increase from the end of February, the bank’s data showed.

Although the housing loans’ outstanding balance returned to growth following the month-on-month decline recorded in the previous month, the pace of growth remained slow, the official said.

However, the outstanding balance of mortgages with preferential interest rates for first-time homebuyers rose by NT$7.4 billion to NT$255.8 billion last month from a month earlier, indicating that the majority of buyers in the housing market were young, first-time buyers, the bank said.