The growth of housing loans has dropped to its lowest level in a year.

However, experts believe that a larger dip may be on the way, as the full impact of January’s property cooling measures is yet to be seen in the latest numbers.

The total value of outstanding mortgages climbed 0.95 percent to an estimated S$115.3 billion at end-February, from S$114.2 billion at end-January.

This is the lowest month-on-month growth rate since February 2010.

CIMB analyst Kenneth Ng said most of the effects of the January cooling measures on mortgage numbers are expected to be evident next year.

Greg Zeeman, Head of Personal Financial Services at HSBC Singapore, said, “The effect of the cooling measures may be evident only later as the data captures home loans booked two to three months ago.”

These monthly loan numbers might have been affected by seasonal factors during the Lunar New Year, which recorded a month-on-month growth of 0.93 percent.

Total bank lending increased 1.6 percent to S$334.2 billion in February, from S$328.8 billion in January, according to figures released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Experts believe that one factor of the slowdown in mortgage growth was the dip in the number of resale transactions, due to the impact of the 13 January cooling measures.

“Many buyers have adopted a ‘wait and see’ attitude, especially since the new rules, in anticipation of declining property prices,” said Mr. Alvin Lee, Head of Mortgages at Stanchart Singapore.

POST COMMENT