Minister of Construction predicts record mortgages in 2017

13 April 2017

Minister of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Mikhail Men said in an interview with Izvestiya newspaper that a record number of mortgages will be issued in 2017.

Mortgage lending increased by almost 25% in 2016 as Russians took out almost RUB 1.5 trillion in mortgages, he said.

“I think we could see a record this year in terms of the volume of mortgage lending and mortgages will increase”, he said.

Men said that 6 million families have acquired housing over ten years using mortgage lending. He added that RUB 150 billion worth of mortgage loans were issued in March 2017, an increase of 26% from the 2016 level, even though “many experts were sounding the alarm bell” that mortgages had declined by almost 20% over the first two months of 2017.

The minister described this slump as “natural” and “temporary” and explained that there is “traditionally deferred demand” over the first months of the year. Men noted that mortgage rates have also decreased, in particular by 10.4% in Sberbank and by 10.6% at VTB.

Citing data from the Central Bank, RBK notes that the number of mortgage loans issued in February 2017 decreased by 28% in annual terms. As of the end of the month, housing loans had been issued for RUB 103.6 billion versus RUB 143.2 billion in the same period of 2016.

The Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending (AHML) said in a press release obtained by RBK that housing lending was influenced by “the effect of a high comparative base from February” 2016. The AHML notes that diminished demand for mortgages was also connected with the expected end of the subsidy programme, which expires on March 1. The agency notes that demand was also impacted by the fact that some borrowers decided to postpone transactions until March and wait for more favourable conditions.

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