The pace of mortgage lending is now unbalanced and leads to a rise in housing prices, so they need to be slowed down, Central Bank Chairman Elvira Nabiullina said at a press conference.
“The pace of mortgage development is not balanced now, in our opinion. Such rates were just one of the key factors in the growth of housing prices. Therefore, they should be smaller,” she said.
Nabiullina expressed hope that the monetary policy of the Central Bank and changes in the conditions of the preferential mortgage program will help reduce the pace of housing lending in the country. In particular, today the regulator raised the key rate by 1 percentage point for the second time in a row. Now it has reached a record 9.5% per annum since April 2017. Usually, following the key, bank rates on loans and deposits grow.
Nabiullina has repeatedly spoken about the need to change the terms of the State Support 2020 benefit program, making the measure targeted – extending it to certain regions or categories of the population. The program was launched in April 2020 to support citizens and the construction market during the pandemic. Initially, the measure allowed to take out a mortgage on new housing at a rate not exceeding 6.5% per annum. The maximum loan amount was 12 million rubles. for Moscow, St. Petersburg and their regions and 6 million rubles. for other regions.
Against the backdrop of high demand for real estate and, as a result, the accelerated rate of increase in housing prices, the government changed the terms of the program from July 1, 2021. Now the rate is 7% per annum, and the maximum loan amount is 3 million rubles. for all regions. While the measure is valid until July 2022.
According to analysts of the Cyan real estate search service, over the past year, a square meter of housing in a new building in Russia in cities with a population of 500,000 people has risen in price by 33% to 102,300 rubles. The indicator of housing affordability on the secondary market in Russian cities with a million population in 2021 fell to the level of 2015.
According to the Central Bank, in 2022, housing in Russia will rise in price by 15-19%. In the next two years, the figures will be 14-18% and 12-16%, respectively, which will allow more citizens to take out a mortgage without accumulating risks for themselves personally and for the entire system, Nabiullina noted.
On January 28, the Central Bank announced that in 2021, Russian banks provided mortgage loans to the population for a total amount of 5.7 trillion. This was a historical record and was 30% higher than in 2020, which was also the highest.