LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, Taiwan

Taiwan's bank home loans show big decline

New housing loans from five leading banks In Taiwan reached their lowest levels since February.

This was caused by the avoidance of many home buyers to avoid the government’s new price-registration policy.

The home owners rushed to complete real-estate transactions in July.

“Many people rushed to finish their real-estate transactions before Aug. 1 to avoid registration for real-estate transaction prices,” said Chen E-dawn, deputy head of the bank’s economic research department.

The government launched registration of real-estate transaction prices on Aug. 1, a move it views as a first step in enhancing transparency in the real-estate market.

Chen said the move made housing loans in July higher than normal case, while those for last month were much lower.

However, the average interest rate of new house-purchasing loans from the five leading banks reached 1.903 percent last month, the highest level since January 2009, an indication the government has been continuing to cool down the speculations in the house market, central bank data showed.

The banks — Bank of Taiwan, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Land Bank of Taiwan, Hua Nan Commercial Bank  and First Commercial Bank — made NT$45.78 billion or US$1.55 billion in new housing loans last month, according to the central bank.

The NT$45.78 billion in loans was NT$9.95 billion lower than the NT$55.73 billion posted in June, the bank said.

In a bid to cool down property speculation, the government also asked local lenders not to pursue high housing loans by further lowering their interest rates, Chen said.

This made the average interest rate of new house-purchasing loans from five leading banks rise to 1.903 percent last month, from the 1.892 percent that was recorded in July, the central bank’s data showed.

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