Housing finance sees a record 36% spike

Housing-finance

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), on Tuesday, said that housing and construction finance has witnessed a historic growth of 36 per cent during 2020-21.

The central bank issued a joint statement with the Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA) where it explained the efforts to bring growth in housing finance and recounted the steps taken to create awareness about the best use of the offers introduced.

As per the statement, housing and construction finance has seen significant momentum and has picked up space despite the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The statement details that banks housing and construction finance portfolio has surged from Rs148 billion in June last year to Rs202bn in March 2021. “This shows a growth of Rs54bn, or 36pc, in the first nine months of FY21 compared to the corresponding period last year,” it said.

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State Bank said such growth in housing and construction finance has never been witnessed in the country’s history. Banks have been directed to increase their housing and construction finance portfolios to 5pc of their private sector advances by the end of December 2021.

The State Bank started taking measures from July 2020 to support housing finance by giving banks incentives and targets.

In October 2020, the government launched the Government Markup Subsidy Scheme, now known as Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar Housing Finance Scheme. 

This scheme targets low- to middle-income households by enabling banks to provide financing for construction and buying of a house at low markup rates.

State Bank has predicted that banks’ overall financing to the housing and construction sector is likely to increase significantly as mortgage finance activity under schemes like Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar is picking up pace.

However, construction experts find this figure of Rs54bn financing very low for the sector and claim that growth is extremely poor in bigger cities like Karachi.

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