Mort­gages is­sued by Greek banks de­clined 99 per­cent in past decade

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - ALEKOS LIDORIKIS

Cash was the pre­ferred from of pay­ment for the few peo­ple who de­cided to pur­chase real es­tate in the first half of the year in Greece, bank of­fi­cials have sug­gested.

Con­verg­ing es­ti­mates by bank of­fi­cials con­tacted by Kathimerini show that eight out of 10 prop­erty buy­ers opted for the trans­fer of cash be­tween de­posit ac­counts in­stead of a loan, a trend that started with the im­po­si­tion of cap­i­tal con­trols by the gov­ern­ment just over a year ago and con­tin­ues to date.

The same trend is also dom­i­nant in con­sumer credit.

Ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Kathimerini, the new loans is­sued in H1 came to 75 mil­lion eu­ros in mort­gage credit across the bank­ing sys­tem and to 150 mil­lion in con­sumer credit. This sum con­sti­tutes a his­toric low for the last few decades at least.

Com­par­isons with a decade ago are stag­ger­ing: The num­ber of mort­gages is­sued in Jan­uary-June 2016 – also af­fected by the lawyers’ strike – came to just 800, against about 80,000 in the same pe­riod in 2006.

A Bank of Greece anal­y­sis re­cently said that the course of loans to house­holds is mainly de­ter­mined by de­mand, and in the last cou­ple of years the drop in house prices has played a de­ci­sive role in the re­duc­tion of loan is­sues.

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