EghtesadOnline: Down payments by applicants in Bank Maskan’s three-year-old mortgage scheme that targets first-time home buyers have increased 70% in value over the year ending June 21.
“Deposits made into the Housing Savings Account totaled 68,740 billion rials [$1.58 billion] in the form of 339,305 accounts at the end of the third Iranian month, registering a 70% rise in value compared with the same period of last year,” Bank Maskan’s Public Relations Officer Mehdi Ahmadi said.
The jump reflects the growing popularity of the initiative, Ahmadi said in an interview on Wednesday with HIBNA, Bank Maskan’s news website.
HSA is aimed at lending support to first-time homebuyers by offering facilities at low interest rates in return for an initial deposit held by the bank for at least a year, according to Financial Tribune.
Individuals will be eligible for loans valued at 800 million rials ($19,050) in Tehran, 600 million rials ($14,285) in urban areas other than Tehran and 400 million rials ($9,523) in towns with a population of less than 200,000 people. Couples will be able to receive double those amounts.
HSA provisions have been amended on several occasions to offset the impact of runaway inflation in the housing market.
Those amendments included cutting the loan interest rates for homes located in distressed and non-distressed urban areas from 8% and 9.5% to 6% and 8% respectively.
Ahmadi said the latest figures also point to a 7.9% rise over the one-year period in the value of resources absorbed by another savings fund aimed at bolstering people’s purchasing power in the housing market.
“Deposits into another savings account topped 90,970 billion rials [$2 billion] at the end of the period, indicating a 7.9% rise,” he said.
Among the lender’s other home loan packages gaining in popularity is one especially aimed at the youth, called Javanan, the bank official said.
“Deposits in this account hit 16,980 billion rials [$390 million] in the last Iranian year [ended March 20, 2018], recording a 2.7% jump,” he said.
The latest performance report by Bank Maskan, the operator of HSA and the agent bank of housing sector, showed the number of loans it allocated in the first quarter of the current fiscal year that ended on June 21 increased by 82.2% compared with the similar period of last year.
According to the report published last week, the bank handed out 85,140 counts of loans, considerably higher compared to the 46,718 loans extended in the first quarter of the last Iranian year.
Iran’s property market has been beset with a supply-demand imbalance and a sharp depreciation of rial against the US dollar in April, which squeezed the consumer purchasing power.
In addition to easing the loan terms, the bank’s response to spur the stagnant market involved policy revisions aimed at persuading developers to observe the housing consumption pattern wherein units under 100 meters enjoy the highest demand.