LL20 billion for 100 homes
First National Bank (FNB) has approved more than 100 housing loans worth over LL20 billion ($13.3 million) at an interest rate of 4.5 percent, said Najib Semaan, General Manager of FNB.
“We intend to launch soon a similar package of approximately the same size,” Semaan said.
The interest subsidy cost will be assumed by FNB and the loans will be provided through the Public Corporation for Housing (PCH). The Central Bank (BDL) has approved the program. FNB and PCH have signed a protocol agreement to implement it.
These loans target homebuyers who had already disbursed their down payment but could not secure a subsidized loan because of the recent housing loan crisis, according to Semaan.
The loans will benefit from the national subsidy program when it is restored and their value will be deducted from FNB’s quota of subsidized loans.
Semaan said that these new packages that they are launching are completely unrelated to the subsidized loans approved before March 15, 2018 and that all banks must bear their subsidy costs.
Earlier this year, banks stopped providing subsidized housing loans after BDL-granted subsidies were completely used up. PCH, in turn, stopped accepting new loan applications on July 9.
The housing loan crisis worsened the existing slump that the real estate sector has been witnessing since 2011. According to data compiled by Credit Libanais’ ‘Weekly Market Watch’, the value of real estate transactions fell 14 percent to $3.87 billion in the first half of 2018, compared with the same period last year.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Jul 27, 2018