The last quarter of 2012 brought more stringent housing loan granting criteria and almost unchanged demand for them. Such a picture of the market was presented in the latest NBP report “Situation on the credit market”. According to surveyed representatives of banks, in the first quarter of this year lending policy will be tightened only to a small extent, and its easing is limited by adverse economic outlook.
As the main reason for the tightening of lending policy, bank representatives cited the risk related to the expected economic situation. Borrowers felt this the most in terms of higher loan costs. An increase in margins was confirmed by 36% of the banks (net), and a quarter of the banks increased their margins on loans with higher risk. At the same time, banks also increased non-interest costs (e.g. commissions) and increased the criteria for own contribution.
Our calculations also confirm this
Average loan spreads have increased in recent months. For a loan in the amount of $ 250 thousand, assuming a 20% own contribution at the end of the year, the margin was 1.79 pp and was higher by 0.15 pp than 3 months earlier.
In the last quarter, in net terms, the banks did not experience a significant change in the demand for housing loans, however, the NBP indicates a large variation in responses. As many as 40% of all banks indicated an increase or decrease in demand in their assessments. Banks that experienced a drop in interest in housing loans indicated the housing market forecasts as well as factors related to the economic situation and changes in household expenditure as the most important reasons. In turn, the increase in demand in some banks was primarily favored by the completion of the “Rodzina na Swoim” program and the tightening of lending policy at other banks.
The first months of 2013 should not bring any significant changes in banks’ lending policy regarding housing loans. In addition, banks expect demand for housing loans to fall in the first quarter.
One of the reasons for the drop in demand will be the end of the “Rodzina na Swoim” program. Wanting to receive additional payments, many customers accelerated the decision to buy real estate by signing the contract and submitting the application in the old year. Accumulation of a large number of applications at the end of 2012 will mean a reduction in lending at the beginning of 2013. The seasonal factor will also play a role. Almost every year, the first quarter is a weaker period on the credit market and a decrease in demand and lending is noticeable. It is not until the spring that the market revives.
It is also harder to obtain credit in other segments
A similar tightening of lending policy also occurred in the segment of loans to enterprises and consumer loans. Here too, banks increased their margins and expected better collateral. In contrast to housing loans, net demand for consumer and corporate loans also fell. The year 2013, or at least its first quarter, will not bring any increase in interest in such loans. Restrictions on consumer spending and adverse economic forecasts will limit demand and will not encourage the liberalization of lending policy.