EconomyThe rules for granting real estate loans will become...

The rules for granting real estate loans will become binding

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The criteria for granting mortgage loans will become binding: if the banks could so far dispense with these rules, relaxed in 2020, the financial authorities will make them mandatory under penalty of sanctions. Without however that upset the market, according to professionals in the sector. This decision announced on Tuesday is hardly a surprise since the High Council for Financial Stability (HCSF), which associates among others the Ministry of the Economy and the Bank of France, had warned last year that its recommendations in the material were soon to prevail, which will be the case on January 1, 2022.

These rules consist of an effort rate, that is to say the total amount of expenditure related to housing in relation to income, of 35% maximum, a debt period of 27 years at most in certain cases and the possibility of derogating from these criteria for 20% of the appropriations. These exemptions must concern 80% the acquisition of a main residence and 30% of first-time buyers. For its part, the maximum duration of 27 years will apply to households which will have, for example, work to be done before being able to move in. They will then have the option of getting into debt over 25 years and defer the start of their repayment by two years.

Criteria already globally respected

On average, 20.9% of loans granted by major banking networks are currently non-compliant with recommendations. “We were led to take measures on what were the risks for borrowers” with “loans too long” and effort rates above 35%, defended this Tuesday on France 2 François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France, adding that “household access remained wide to mortgage loans”

Laurent Vimont, president of Century 21 France, also relativized the scope of this measure: “it will not concern many people. Loans that are over 27 years old are almost no longer there today. And then, on the effort rate of 35%, overall, the rules have been respected for years. The French Banking Federation indicated that it had taken note of this change, recalling that “banks were responsible for financing their clients’ projects” and that they would continue to do so.

A risk of fracture between older and younger

Jean-Marc Torrollion, president of the National Federation of Real Estate, fears all the same that the binding character penalizes rental investment “for those who were already in debt”. On the brokerage side, Maël Bernier, Meilleurtaux’s communications director, sees a “risk” of “a divide between, on the one hand, the wealthier or older with good savings, and on the other the youngest with good savings. of a less important contribution ”.

In 2020, 192.7 billion euros in mortgage loans, excluding buybacks and renegotiations, were granted, almost as much as the 2019 record (193 billion euros). As for the first half of 2021, the figures also show sustained production. According to the HCSF, the distribution by income bracket of these new mortgage loans has remained “stable”.

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