Employing the potentials of the capital market and leasing facilities will be two of the new approaches of Bank Maskan, the agent bank of the housing sector, in the next fiscal year (starting March 21) to finance the ailing sector as it struggles to come out of the stagnating waters.
According to Abolqasem Rahimi Anaraki, the newly-appointed chief executive of the state-run bank, close to 10,000 residential units are to be financed in the fiscal 2018-19 using certificates of deposit, real-estate investment trusts and mortgage-backed securities.
“Financing 8,500 residential units by establishing rent-to-own schemes is one of the future programs of Bank Maskan to finance the housing sector next year,” he was also quoted as saying by Hibna at a seminar on Sunday.
As the CEO said, the Housing Savings Account, the scheme aimed at first-time homebuyers who are required to make deposits and wait for a year to receive double the amount in low-interest loans, is one of the main programs spearheaded by the bank to boost the purchasing power of people in the next few years.
“More than 357,000 accounts have been opened as part of the scheme while more than 33,000 home purchase loans have been doled out,” he said.
But the official also warned that as the number and value of allocated loans are fast rising due to strong demand, the scheme might face a shortage of resources.
Anaraki proposed that Bank Maskan be allowed to tap into the resources of the National Development Fund of Iran, adding that if the parliament approves such a move, the flow of loans aimed at the renovation and purchase of homes in distressed areas will rise significantly, as fund shortage will be no longer be a concern.
As the official outlined, five major factors, namely newly-built residential units, oil revenues and economic growth, consumer demand based on bank loans, yields in competing markets and the volume of housing investments, will exert a tangible influence on the housing sector next year.
“As a result, what seems likely for the outlook of the housing sector in the fiscal 2018-19 is that the volume of home sales will grow and price hikes will be in line with the inflation rate,” he said.
According to Bank Maskan’s CEO, 354,000 loans for the purchase and construction of homes were allocated by the bank last year while the number will increase to 474,000 next year.
A recent nine-month performance report published by the bank showed that it handed out 260,000 such loans by the end of the ninth month of the current fiscal year to Dec. 21, indicating a 25% year-on-year hike.
A majority of the loans were allocated for the purpose of purchasing homes while the volume of loans indicated that the bank has had a share of higher than 40% in financing the housing construction sector, a share that the lender aims to increase to at least 50% in its roadmap for the next four years.
“The number of loans aimed at purchasing homes is to stand higher than construction loans in the next fiscal year. Next year, Maskan savings funds will extend 79,000 loans for home purchasers,” Anaraki concluded.