EghtesadOnline: The state-run agent bank of Iran's housing sector has doled out loans worth $2.6 billion since the start of the second tenure of President Hassan Rouhani in August 2017, the bank's chief executive said.
Bank Maskan CEO Abolqasem Rahimi Anaraki said the lender has allocated 885,509 loans amounting to 323. 25 trillion rials ($2.58 billion) in the 15-month period, the official news website of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development reported.
Home purchase has become the main focus for the state lender, especially since home prices skyrocketed in recent months.
According to Rahimi, a total of 147,227 loans worth 75.64 trillion rials ($605.12 million) were handed out to home purchase applicants during the last eight months of the previous fiscal year that ended on March 20, 2018, Financial Tribune reported.
"During the first seven months of the current year that ended on Oct. 22, 134,918 loans worth 65.73 trillion rials ($525.84 million) were extended to homebuyer applicants," he said.
In the area of home renovation, Bank Maskan allocated 82,830 loans worth 12.06 trillion rials ($96.48 million) in the last eight months of the previous fiscal year.
In the first seven months of the current year, the bank handed out 80,578 loans valued at 12.92 trillion rials ($103.36 million).
During the second tenure of President Rouhani, Bank Maskan allocated 163,408 home renovation loans worth 24.99 trillion rials ($199.92 million) and 187,815 loans worth 73.88 trillion rials ($591.04 million) in participatory loans.
Other facilities handed out by the bank in the 15-month period were worth 34.62 trillion rials ($276.96 million) given in the form of 147,444 loans.
Last month, Rahimi announced that the total number of loans allocated by Bank Maskan during the first half of the current fiscal year that ended on Sept. 22 increased by 54% compared with the similar period of last year.
Masoud Izadi, the head of communications management at Bank Maskan, also provided further details about the loans.
He linked the rise in the volume of loans in spite of a recession in Tehran's housing sector to two factors: the bank’s increased drive to facilitate home purchases and an increase in the ceilings of some of the allocated loans.
“While Tehran’s housing market is in recession in terms of home deals and construction, in other cities, especially small- and medium-sized cities, the housing market shows a positive trajectory,” he said, adding that the number of people turning to Bank Maskan loans has increased this year.
The bank official pointed out that a majority of people seeking facilities from Bank Maskan in the current year have favored home purchase loans.
According to Izadi, the Housing Savings Account has been the main driver of higher home purchase loan allocation.
Housing Savings Account is Bank Maskan’s flagship initiative launched more than three years ago with the aim of boosting the purchasing power of first-time homebuyers and those living in distressed urban areas. It requires applicants to make down payments and wait for a year to become eligible to receive loans amounting to double their deposits.