Despite new selective credit controls imposed by the central bank on local lenders, new mortgages granted by Taiwan’s five major state-run banks last month increased by NT$19.17 billion (US$681.9 million) from February to NT$56.88 billion, central bank data released on Thursday showed.
The average interest rate on new housing loans decreased 0.01 percentage points to 1.357 percent, the data showed.
New mortgages granted by Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行), Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行), Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行) and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) increased 50.81 percent month-on-month and 5.95 percent year-on-year, it showed.
The central bank said that the increase in new mortgages was mainly due to having more working days last month than in February.
Other factors, including new housing projects and an increase in batch-processing mortgages, also boosted the increase, it added.
The fall in the average interest rate was due to lower interest rates on batch-processing mortgages, the central bank said.
In addition, some banks adjusted mortgage interest rates to vie for market share, which also had an effect on the average interest rate, it said.
In the first quarter, new mortgages granted by the five banks totaled NT$152.67 billion, the highest in 10 years, up 10.4 percent from a year earlier, the central bank said.
The rise in new mortgages was in line with the latest housing transaction data for Taiwan’s six special municipalities released by the Ministry of the Interior earlier this month, it said.
Combined transactions rose 45.4 percent month-on-month and 13.9 percent year-on-year in the six cities to 22,576 units last month, the highest in 10 years, ministry data showed.
Among the six cities, Kaohsiung posted the highest monthly growth of 58.2 percent and New Taipei City reported the biggest annual growth of 19.6 percent, it showed.
In the first quarter, Taichung registered the most transactions in the nation (12,630 units), up 20.9 percent from a year earlier; Kaohsiung posted the most in seven years (9,626 units), up 20.1 percent annually; Taipei posted 7,825 transactions, up 16.1 percent; New Taipei posted 15,233 transactions, up 14.9 percent; and Taoyuan posted 11,318 unit sales, up 16.8 percent, it showed.
The figure for Tainan grew 6 percent year-on-year to 5,525 transactions, the highest in 14 years, it showed.
Lending rates at the five state-run banks last month increased to 1.215 percent on average, up 0.022 percentage points from 1.193 percent in February, the central bank said, attributing the overall rise to increased rates on loans to firms for working capital and capital expenditures.
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