August 15, 2019 / 3:43 PM / 2 months ago

Thai central bank eases housing loan rules

BANGKOK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Thailand’s central bank relaxed mortgage lending rules slightly on Thursday to help some borrowers hit by tighter regulations introduced in April.

A co-borrower who is not the registered owner of a property will not be considered the borrower of that property, the Bank of Thailand said in a statement, adding that will help such a person get other loans.

The central bank, concerned about rising bad property loans and high household debt, in April imposed tightened mortgage lending rules, setting downpayments on home buying.

Strong competition among banks for mortgage business had led to looser lending for property purchases. Since the rule changes in April, growth in new housing loans has slowed, to 7.8% in the second quarter, compared with a year earlier, from a 9.1% increase in the first quarter.

Many people in Thailand take out a mortgage jointly with someone else as that makes it easier to get a loan.

Non-performing home loans amounted to 3.34% of total mortgage loans at Thai banks as of the end of June. (Reporting by Orathai Sriring Editing by Susan Fenton)

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