SBV set to extend $1.3b housing plan

Update: June, 02/2016 - 09:57
Illustrative Image. – Photo

HÀ NỘI – The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) on Monday instructed commercial banks to continue disbursement of the VNĐ30 trillion (US$1.3 billion) housing package for contracts signed before March 31, 2016.

Under the dispatch No 3955/NHNN-TD on programme to support housing loans according to the Resolution No 02/NQ-CP, the disbursement could be extracted from commercial banks while waiting for instruction from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

The document took effect yesterday. SBV will have a guiding document on extension of refinancing after receiving instructions from the PM.

In addition, the central bank also submitted a document No 3954/NHNN-TD to the PM to extend refinancing for credit contracts signed before March 31, 2016, for individuals and households borrowing money to buy, rent or repair their houses till the end of this year.

The total refinancing amount would be around VNĐ32.7 trillion including the current VNĐ30 trillion.

Wait for new policies

Property developers are awaiting new policies that could help low-income earners buy an apartment after the VNĐ30 trillion package is disbursed.

Nearly three-fourths of the VNĐ30-trillion low-interest home loan package for low-income buyers has been disbursed, according to the Department of Housing and Real Estate Market Management, under the Ministry of Construction.

Local banks have pledged a total of VNĐ24.2 trillion in loans for nearly 49,900 individuals and households. Of these, more than 16,200 households have borrowed VNĐ6.8 trillion to buy budget homes, 26,000 with some VNĐ13.9 trillion to buy commercial homes, and 7,500 with VNĐ3.5 trillion to repair or construct new homes.

Besides, banks have pledged loans to 60 projects with a combined value of VNĐ7.7 trillion, including 16 projects in Hà Nội worth VNĐ3.7 trillion, and eight projects in HCM City worth nearly VNĐ1.2 trillion.

Nguyễn Trần Nam, chairman of Việt Nam Real Estate Association (VNREA), said that the package was reasonable as the total amount had nearly been disbursed.

The State Bank of Viet Nam has assigned four commercial banks including Vietcombank, BIDV, Vietinbank and Agribank to issue conditions and methods for preferential loans after termination of the package. However, there has been no move from the banks as they have to disburse the remaining funds.

Some social housing projects which have been under construction have faced difficulties. For example, The Vesta project in Hà Nội’s Hà Đông District with 1,900 apartments is facing rough weather.

Phạm Minh Tuấn, deputy general director of Hải Phát Investment Company, the project’s investor, said the project was certified to be eligible for accessing the preferential loans at the end of the package.

Tuấn said that if they took commercial loans the prices of their apartments would rise, thus making homes unaffordable for low income earners.

"We have to await new policies from banks," he added.

Trần Thu Trang, from Đống Đa District, said that she was looking forward to some new policies from the government to own a home as her low salary was not enough for her to afford an apartment without support from the package.

Nguyễn Tiến Đông, the head of the central bank’s Credit Department said that the SBV had promulgated a document guiding the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) to set up a mechanism while submitting a plan to the government on financial resources and interest rates for new packages.

VBSP was expected to submit a plan for interest rate of less than five per cent to the government for consideration. – VNS