Big mortgage suppliers OK more loans in Nov.


TAIPEI–New loans extended by five major mortgage suppliers in Taiwan grew slightly last month, as the local real estate market cooled after the government imposed a luxury tax to cap rising property prices, the central bank said.

According to the central bank, new mortgages provided by the five lenders for November totaled NT$44.71 billion, up about NT$687 million from October, although the figure was the second- lowest level in nine months.

The five major mortgage lenders were Bank of Taiwan, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Land Bank of Taiwan, Hua Nan Commercial Bank and First Commercial Bank.

The central bank said that with speculators retreating from the market due to the luxury tax, home transactions fell 34.08 percent to 3,428 units in Taipei in November, while the figure in New Taipei fell 43.82 percent to 5,650 units.

As a result, new loans extended by the five lenders posted only a mall increase last month, the central bank added. The luxury tax went into effect in June, with a 15 percent tax on non-self-use homes sold within one year of purchase and a 10 percent tax on properties sold in the second year of purchase.

The Taipei city government said earlier this month that property prices in the capital were rising but not as sharply as before the introduction of the luxury tax.

According to a recent survey conducted by Yung Ching Realty Group, the local home market is expected to post the lowest number in transactions in eight years, and might fall below 360,000 deals this year.

Meanwhile, loans extended by the five lenders to meet the need for capital investments in November totaled NT$40.91 billion, up NT$2.41 billion from a month earlier, while consumer loans during the period rose NT$7.27 billion from October to NT$11.30 billion in November, the central bank said.

In November, loans provided by the five banks as working capital rose NT$88.8 billion from the previous month to NT$598.7 billion, the bank said.

The average lending rate of the five banks fell 0.094 percentage points from the month-earlier level to 1.511 percent, the bank added.