Housing loans shrink as buyers avoid Ghost Month

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 25, 2013 - Page 14

New housing loans from the nation’s five major lenders shrank 14.53 percent last month from a month earlier, as some home buyers avoided completing real-estate transactions during Ghost Month, the central bank said yesterday.

The five 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) — lent NT$43.03 billion (US$1.5 billion) for new mortgages last month, the central bank said in its monthly statement.

New housing loans fell 2.18 percent, or NT$2.75 billion, from NT$45.78 billion in August last year, the bank said.

“Because of the seasonal factor of Ghost Month, housing loans showed a decline last month from a month ago,” Chen E-dawn (陳一端), deputy head of the central bank’s economic research department, told a press conference.

Ghost Month this year lasted from Aug. 7 to Sept. 4.

Potential property buyers stayed on the sidelines last month, waiting for the outcome of the ongoing review of the luxury tax, Chen added.

The average interest rate on home loans dropped to 1.947 percent last month, from 1.95 percent in July, according to a statement issued by the central bank.