Acleda Bank has announced that housing loans are up 22 per cent in the first three quarters of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
So Sophonnary, executive vice president and group chief operations officer at Acleda, attributed the growth to an increase in the number of branches, population increase, economic growth and more choices for homebuyers. The growth, she said, was expected to continue to rise through the rest of the year.
“More houses are available for sale at present, and the buyers find it easy to find the houses that they prefer,” she said, adding that the total loans for the first three quarters amounted to $127 million in 2014 compared to $104 million last year.
Loan terms have also become more convenient, added Sophonnary, with a maximum period of 10 years.
The required down payment is only 25 to 30 per cent of the total property cost, with the rest provided on credit.
Sorn Seap, director of KEY Real Estate, said that the increase in housing loans at the nation’s largest commercial bank was a good sign for the Cambodian economy. The data indicated that individual income is rising, he said, as well as becoming more stable.
“The interest rate recently saw more improvement with the long-term down payment, and that’s the factor that makes people like the loans,” he said.
Sorn Seap cautioned, however, that the interest rate was still higher compared to other countries, despite improvement.
Lower interest rates, he explained, would cause more people to invest in housing, which would in turn boost the property sector as well as the overall economy.
Po Eavkong, managing director of Asia Real Estate Cambodia, said that the finance sector played a key role in the wellbeing of the property sector. A potential homeowner without the funds to buy a property in cash up front can still make for a good buyer if they have a reliable income and access to credit.
“The interest rate in Cambodia for the housing loan compared to other countries is higher, but if compared to the last few years, it’s recently seen an improvement,” he said.
“In order to avoid any failures, loan providers should have a clear management or administration, and if home loan provision becomes too big it can lead to a financial problem.”