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Housing loans prove difficult to unlock

Update: October, 24/2013 - 09:07
Phu Hoa Apartment Building - a low-cost housing project in HCM City. The city is taking measures, including simplifying procedures, to help low-income earners access preferential loans to buy houses. — VNA/VNS Photo Quach Lam

HCM CITY (VNS)  — The HCM City People's Committee has directed district, commune and ward administrations to simplify formalities for home buyers in their respective localities.

The directive comes following residents' complaint about cumbersome procedures that are preventing them from accessing preferential loans designed to help low-income people buy their own homes, thereby enabling a real estate market revival.

To apply for an apartment under low-income housing projects, the applicant needs a housing-status paper certified by authorities in her/his locality.

However, many district and commune officials in HCM City and other localities have refused to provide the house-status certificate to prospective home-buyers, saying they are not aware if the applicant has any other housing property in other localities.

This has become a major hindrance in the disbursement of loans from the VND30 trillion (US$1.42 billion) package announced by the government.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Viet Nam's HCM City branch, said that as of September 2013, just 137 individual clients had signed contracts for loans of VND78.46 billion.

Of this, VND22.6 billion has been disbursed to 58 applicants, he said.

No business has signed a contract for loans from the VND30 trillion package, Minh added.

Many applicants are unable to access loans from the package because they do not have assets to mortgage, thereby defeating the purpose of the loan package, local reports have said.

Although commercial banks have agreed to accept houses built under the VND30 trillion package as mortgage, notary public offices are not notarising the relevant papers.

Commercial banks also want applicants to show their capacity to repay their loans, but for most prospective buyers, the short 10-year term offered for the loans would exert considerable strain on limited financial resources. —VNS

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