Credit continues to tighten in real estate sector in 2019

Credit will continue tightening for non-manufacturers, especially the real estate market, in 2019, according to experts from the annual seminar on the Vietnamese economy held on March 12 in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, in 2019, credit growth is expected to be kept at 14 per cent and investment flows into real estate and securities will continue to be controlled tightly, and interest rates will also be stable. In addition, in 2019, foreign credit will also be reduced, except for export and short-term loans.

Doctor Ha Huy Tuan, deputy chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC), said that the interest rate is expected to be stable for the rest of 2019, as oil prices and the USD exchange rate will not change much.

Together with the stable interest rate, in 2019, the pressure on the foreign exchange is not expected to be too strong because the international and domestic impacts have been softer than previous estimations.

According to Pham Dinh Tung, general director of Orient Commercial Bank (OCB), the decelerating credit growth will force commercial banks to adjust their business strategies to expand credit in safer sectors, such as increasing services for value-added services and services for individuals.

Meanwhile, general director of HSBC Pham Hong Hai said that credit flows into the real estate market remained strong in 2018 and are on a good track in 2019.

“This stability is based on the GDP growth target set by the government from 6.6 to 6.8 per cent and inflation controlled below 4 per cent,” Hai said.

“As the economy grows at a good pace, the real estate market in 2019 will also develop stably with a range of tools to control the market such as taxation and credit policies, land use plans, and an effective policy on investment projects,” Hai said.

He added that the interest rate for buying a house in 2019 is expected to remain the same or increase slightly against 2018.

According to figures from the NFSC, average lending interest rate in 2018 was around 8.91 per cent, slightly up against the 8.86 per cent in 2017.

However, Hai cited that inflation in the first two months of 2019 increased to 2.64 per cent, and the adjustment of power prices in March 2019 will remarkably impact inflation in the coming months.

According to Circular No.19/2017/TT-NHNN issued by the SBV, from January 2019, commercial banks are only allowed to use 40 per cent of short-term deposits for medium- and long-term loans, including for real estate.

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