New housing loans by top five banks up again in April

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Fri, May 24, 2013 - Page 14

New housing loans granted by the nation’s five leading banks rose for a second straight month last month, driven largely by an increase in applicants for the preferential home mortgage program for first-time buyers, the central bank said yesterday.

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) granted a total of NT$41.38 billion (US$1.38 billion) in new housing loans last month, up 4.4 percent, or NT$1.74 billion, from March’s NT$39.64 billion, the central bank said in its monthly statement.

“We have seen more first-time buyers apply for the preferential home mortgage program last month,” Chen E-dawn (陳一端), deputy head of the economic research department, told a press conference.

The preferential home mortgage program totaled NT$9.9 billion last month, up from the NT$8.8 billion recorded in March, statistics showed.

The rise in the preferential house loaning program with a more competitive interest rate also dragged down the average interest rate on new housing loans last month, Chen said.

The average interest rate on new housing loans by the five banks dropped to 1.946 percent last month from 1.948 percent in March — the second straight month of decline.

However, banks are becoming more cautious because of the risks associated with housing loans, which may drag down speculative transactions in the market, Chen added.