Banks still unaffected by home sales decline
The stalemate on the real estate market has sent the amount of credits engaged for residential purchases 2% down in July – in an unprecedented move – at a time when prices for old apartments have decreased.
Although the bankers reported significant growth in the credit activity for the first half of the year, July’s results point to a setback in housing credits and the forecast for the next months, when the new central bank regulation will be applied, are not quite optimistic.
In the last 6 months, prices for the residential sector shrank by over 10% for old apartments and stagnated for new apartments, in evident opposition to previous years when they had grown by a yearly 30%.
At the end of H1, BCR’s credit portfolio stood at 11.18 bln euros, of which retail credits accounted for 54%.
In the opinion of the BCR official, the new, more restrictive regulations on retail lending might affect the advance of consumer loans.
In July 2008 Volksbank Romania topped the three-billion euro line in retail and corporate
financing; at the end f August, the bank’s loan portfolio stood at some 3.15 billion euros. Volksbank retail credits accounted for more than 75% of the bank’s total financing. On the retail segment, mortgage loans accounted for over 90% of the portfolio.
The bankers are currently counting on the Romanians’ enhanced appetite for credits, given the fact that there is just one month left before the new, more restrictive BNR regulations are implemented.