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EghtesadOnline: Affordable loans allocated to first-time homebuyers through the Housing Savings Account have so far attracted more than 440,000 applicants, a deputy roads minister said.

“At present, on average, 1,200 applicants daily join the list of HSA and previous depositors,” Hamed Mazaherian, deputy for housing and construction at the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, also told HIBNA, the official news website of Bank Maskan.

Bank Maskan is the operator of HSA and the agent bank of the housing sector, which is currently experiencing a much-anticipated boom following almost six years of recession.

HSA requires first-time prospective homebuyers to make a down payment and wait for a year to become eligible to receive double the amount of their investments as loans. The interest rate on the loans was brought down to 6% recently and the repayment period was increased, making the facilities the most affordable in the country, according to Financial Tribune.

Houshang Ashayeri, chief executive of the Urban Development and Revitalization Organization of Iran, also mentioned on Saturday that the condition of being a first-time homebuyer has been eliminated for people looking to obtain loans in distressed urban areas.

“The people have really welcomed HSA,” Ashayeri, who is also a deputy roads minister, said. “People who use its loans are those with real needs.”

Mazaherian further said on Saturday that HSA applicants represent real homeownership demand, which is especially important since speculative demand has hurt the housing market during both periods of stagnancy and boom by jacking up prices.

“The government will continue its policy of supporting real housing demand in the current [fiscal] year [started March 21] and beyond,” the MRUD official said. 

“In addition to previous policies, the government has put new policies on its agenda, the most important of which aim to boost home deals in distressed urban areas through the urban revitalization scheme.”

Data show that the number of home deals in Tehran declined in the first month of the current year as is the norm. The second month, however, registered a 16.7% year-on-year increase of home deals. Prices, however, indicated a significant jump of 34.8% while general inflation is still in the single digits. 

A majority of housing experts believe that the housing sector will continue its boom phase at least until the end of summer. Some have predicted that the sector will once again fall back into recession by the end of the year. 


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