INTEREST WAR ON HOME LOANS

High home loan demand triggers interest rate war

Banks say that home loans are a safe bet and this is the only segment growing in double digits. Demand has been triggered because of work from home (WFH) needs, discounts by builders, reduction in stamp duty rates and interest rates being at an all-time low. The frequent changes in pricing among lenders seem to indicate that a rate war is brewing.

 

 

A surge in demand for home loans in October has triggered a rate war. Kotak Bank is now offering home loans at 6.75% — the second reduction in less than a month. A host of banks are offering loans at 6.8% to 7%, resulting in the spread between these and government bonds narrowing down to 80 basis points (100bps = 1 percentage point).

Banks say that home loans are a safe bet and this is the only segment growing in double digits. Demand has been triggered because of work from home (WFH) needs, discounts by builders, reduction in stamp duty rates and interest rates being at an all-time low. The frequent changes in pricing among lenders seem to indicate that a rate war is brewing.

Speaking to TOI, Kotak Bank group president (consumer banking) Shanti Ekambaram said that the lender was seeing an increase in demand for housing as the shift to WFH had resulted in homeowners looking for larger accommodation. Also, developers and state governments were offering additional incentives to home buyers.

 

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PNB MD & CEO S S Mallikarjuna Rao said that home loans have gained momentum and are heading to pre-Covid levels. Home loans have been a major driver of credit, growing nearly 10% on a year-on-year basis to Rs 84,000 crore.

For HDFC, home loan disbursements in October 2020 have been the second-highest in any month in the institution’s history. Mumbai saw the highest demand followed by Delhi and Bengaluru, while Hyderabad and Chennai were a bit slow. “The demand that we are seeing is largely transactions that were initiated post-Covid and is not pentup demand,” said HDFC VC and CEO Keki Mistry.

Ekambaram says that the renewed demand for housing is an opportunity for Kotak Bank, which was not part of the top-five home loan lenders. The bank now offers home loans at 6.75% for salaried borrowers with a Cibil score of over 750 and loan-to-value of 80% and below. For self-employed borrowers, the rate is 6.85%, all other conditions being similar. 

 

SOURCE:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/personal-finance-news/high-home-loan-demand-triggers-interest-rate-war/articleshow/79035338.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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