EghtesadOnline: Housing facilities allocated during the first eight months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Nov. 21) increased by 30% compared with the same period of last year, the managing director of Bank Maskan, the state-run agent bank of the housing sector, said.
Abolqasem Rahimi Anaraki added that Bank Maskan provided home buyers with 380,398 loans worth 132.9 trillion rials ($1.25 billion) over the period, the bank’s official news outlet HIBNA reported.
Loans allocated for purchasing homes rose 45% in the eight-month period, he added.
The bank said earlier "the volume of growth in the coverage of home purchase applicants has been unprecedented in recent years".
Bank Maskan, which is owned by Maskan Investment Group, accounts for almost all housing loans allocated to Iran's housing and construction sector, according to Financial Tribune.
The Central Bank of Iran does not prohibit other banks from extending facilities to the sector. However, all of them, except the state-run Bank Melli Iran, have refrained from entering the sector due to its many current challenges, including a hefty credit crunch.
Bank Maskan allocates specialized housing loans for purchasing homes, renovating residential units, rent-to-own facilities, participatory loans, Islamic Murabaha loans and Qarzol-Hassaneh (interest-free) loans in addition to the so-called Housing Savings Account.
HSA is the bank's primary and most successful initiative created over three years ago, which requires applicants to make down payments and wait for a year to become eligible for the cheapest home loans in the country. Target applicants mostly constitute first-time homebuyers and people living in distressed urban areas.
The growth in the volume of loans for purchasing homes has coincided with a recession gripping the housing sector.
Latest data released by the Statistical Center of Iran show the average price of each square meter of residential floor area surged by 44.4% in the second quarter of the current fiscal year (June 22-Sept. 22) on a year-on-year basis. Compared with the previous quarter, prices indicate a growth of 14.9%.
The minimum price of each square meter of residential floor area across urban areas in summer stood at 865,000 rials (about $8.2) with a maximum price registered at 380.8 million rials ($3,600). The average price was about 22.26 million rials ($210).
In terms of the number of deals for residential floor areas, the current year's Q2 saw a rise of 15.8% compared with last year's corresponding period. Against the Q1 of this year, the number of deals registered a rise of 11.3%.
SCI put the average dealt floor area at 106 square meters while putting the average age of residential units at 11 years.
A more recent CBI report on home deals and prices in the capital showed home prices increased while the number of property deals declined in the ninth month of the current Iranian year that ended on Dec. 21.
According to this report, only 6,814 homes were sold in the capital during the ninth month, signaling a year-on-year decrease of 61.7% compared with the 17,776 deals of the corresponding month of last year.
The number of property deals declined by 0.6% compared to the preceding month.
The average price of each square meter of a residential unit in Tehran stood at 95.5 million rials ($905) during the ninth month, showing a YOY surge of 91.8%. Home prices in the capital grew by 4.1% compared to the preceding month, CBI said.
The trend of rising prices in tandem with the falling number of deals in Tehran emerged from the third month of the current year that ended on June 21, when prices grew by 45.8% and deals fell by 3.1% on an annual basis respectively. It has only exacerbated in the following months.
Tehran accounts for more than one-third of all home purchase loans allocated to Iranian provinces. The province absorbs a major portion of total home purchase loans because it houses an equally bigger portion of prospective homebuyers.