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The Central Bank intends to tighten the rules for issuing mortgages: how will housing prices change

CrimeaPRESS reports:

To minimize risks in the mortgage market, reports Moscow’s comsomolets, the Central Bank intends to tighten regulation of this problematic sphere for the state and the population. In particular, in order to rein in developers who lure clients with mortgages at near-zero rates, Elvira Nabiullina’s department may approve a certain unified scheme for issuing housing loans.

As Nabiullina noted at a recent meeting with representatives of the banking community, mortgage standards have deteriorated due to the spread of risky joint practices between developers and banks. These practices have a lot of «side effects», for example, they lead to an increase in the gap between prices in the primary and secondary housing markets. In addition, according to the Central Bank, in the fourth quarter of 2022, the share of loans with a low down payment increased to 53%. About 44% of loans are issued by banks to people who spend 80% of their income on debt servicing. In January, the number of mortgage loans for which Russians were overdue by more than 90 days increased by almost 10%, to a maximum level since May 2021 — 30.4 thousand, the Scoring Bureau calculated. According to a number of experts, a financial «bubble» is inflating in the housing lending market. In general, the regulator has reason to be concerned.

The boom in mortgages with the so-called subsidy from the developer occurred last summer: banks actively issued loans at extremely low rates — up to 0.01%, while under the preferential state program it is 7%. The catch here is that, as stated in the study of the Central Bank, such a percentage is achieved «by overestimating the cost of an apartment for the buyer by 20-30% and paying the developer this difference as part of a commission to compensate for his shortfall in income.» And if suddenly a person begins to experience difficulties with servicing a loan and decides to sell housing that is pledged to a bank, then “he will not be able to sell real estate at the price indicated in the pledge,” said Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on the financial market. In this case, the deputy added, the borrower will have to sell the property much cheaper, which, in turn, will complicate the task of repaying the loan.

At the legislative level, it is quite realistic to create conditions under which the number of fraudulent schemes or manipulation of the cost of a loan to the detriment of the borrower will be minimized, — says the head of the analytical department of AMarkets Artem Deev. — That is why the Central Bank intends to introduce the appropriate practice. At the same time, this will prevent the emergence of a «bubble» in the housing market. So far, the total number of mortgage delinquencies is small, in contrast to the situation with unsecured consumer loans. The problem is that developers, fearing a drop in demand (and this is already happening), are trying to sell the built square meters as quickly as possible and use methods that are not entirely transparent.

In general, according to Deev, the tightening of conditions for obtaining housing loans will lead to a reduction in lending. Especially in combination with the stagnation of consumer demand and the reduction in incomes of the population due to the crisis.

It is legally impossible to completely eliminate the risks for both the lender and the borrower, since it is impossible to foresee all the nuances, says Polina Gusyatnikova, Senior Managing Partner at PG Partners. — Mortgage loans are the most high-risk, because we are talking about a large amount for a long period of time. If within six months or a year it is relatively easy to calculate the main threats, then at a distance of 20-30 years — alas, no way. Insurance can partially reduce them, so banks actively encourage borrowers to take out insurance products related to long-term loans.

The Central Bank is clearly concerned about the ongoing overheating of the mortgage market and the role played by near-zero rates, which accelerated prices by 30%. In fact, such rates are pure marketing ploy: they do not provide the borrower with real savings, if you calculate the entire loan amount. However, notes Gusyatnikova, such proposals can attract low monthly payments. Ultimately, a person overpays for housing. Standardization in the field of mortgage lending, which the Central Bank insists on, will make the market more understandable and transparent, primarily for borrowers.

Find out more:  What will it lead to: the demand for preferential mortgages at 8% jumped 1.5 times

source: Moscow’s comsomolets

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