BUSINESS

Mortgages issued by Greek banks declined 99 percent in past decade

ALEKOS LIDORIKIS

TAGS: Banking, Economy

Cash was the preferred from of payment for the few people who decided to purchase real estate in the first half of the year in Greece, bank officials have suggested.

Converging estimates by bank officials contacted by Kathimerini show that eight out of 10 property buyers opted for the transfer of cash between deposit accounts instead of a loan, a trend that started with the imposition of capital controls by the government just over a year ago and continues to date. The same trend is also dominant in consumer credit.

According to data compiled by Kathimerini, the new loans issued in H1 came to 75 million euros in mortgage credit across the banking system and to 150 million in consumer credit. This sum constitutes a historic low for the last few decades at least.

Comparisons with a decade ago are staggering: The number of mortgages issued in January-June 2016 – also affected by the lawyers’ strike – came to just 800, against about 80,000 in the same period in 2006.

A Bank of Greece analysis recently said that the course of loans to households is mainly determined by demand, and in the last couple of years the drop in house prices has played a decisive role in the reduction of loan issues.

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