November 9, 2018 / 8:39 AM / 7 months ago

Thai adjusts housing loan rules, effective in April

BANGKOK, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Thailand’s central bank, concerned about rising bad property loans, on Friday announced some changes to new planned mortgage lending rules and delayed an effective date for three months to April.

Last month, the central bank said it would require buyers of homes worth more than 10 million baht ($302,846) and of second homes to make downpayments of at least 20 percent.

But after a hearing, the Bank of Thailand will require buyers of first and second homes worth more than 10 million baht to make downpayments of at least 20 percent, Assistant Governor Jaturong Jantarangs told a briefing.

Buyers of second homes worth less than 10 million baht will have to make downpayments of at least 10 percent if their first homes have been paid for at least three years, otherwise a downpayment of at least 20 percent will apply.

Buyers of third homes, regardless of prices, will have to make downpayments of at least 30 percent.

“From the feedback we’ve got, there is a concern about adjustments of affected groups, and some say second homes are not always for speculation. It’s real demand,” Jaturong said.

The new rules comes amid elevated household debt and rising bad mortgage loans. Intensifying competition among banks for mortgage business has led to looser lending for property purchases.

Housing loans rose 6.2 percent in the end of the second quarter from a year earlier, while non-performing mortgages hit 3.39 percent of the total, the highest level since the end of the global financial crisis in 2009. ($1 = 33.02 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Kim Coghill)

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