The director of Bank Maskan’s department of planning says the recent cut in Housing Savings Account mortgage rates has increased the appeal of the scheme among first-time homebuyers.
“Since interest rates for this special account for mortgages were first lowered to 13% and subsequently to 11%, the number of people seeking to open accounts increased significantly,” said Mohammad Hassan Moradi as reported by banker.ir.
The scheme aims to provide housing for first-time homebuyers and requires applicants to make an initial deposit and wait for a year to become eligible for the loan. In late June, Bank Maskan – Iran’s main housing bank and the agent bank of the scheme – announced that it had lowered the interest rate of its mortgages by two percentage points in a bid to help resuscitate the dull property market.
Regarding specific schemes such as the Housing Savings Account, the bank announced they will be offered at an interest rate of 11%–the lowest of its kind.
Moradi said from June 8h of last year [the date the scheme was launched] to July 28 of the current year, “The Housing Savings Account had 58,110 new entries worth 11,8 trillion rials ($383,4 million). As of July 27, 5,580 applicants had completed their one-year waiting period out of which 1,456 received the loans”
While in towns with a population over 200,000 the cap on the loans has been set at 600 million rials ($19,930), a ceiling of 800 million rials ($26,500) has been devised for applicants in Tehran. Buyers in towns with a population of less than 200,000 can apply for a maximum of 400 million rials ($13,290).
Culture of Saving
Bank Maskan’s planning head called the scheme “one of the main priorities of the bank”, saying Maskan is doing all it can to revive the culture of savings in the housing sector.
The saving scheme is a reliable method for homeownership and is also one of the goals set by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, he said.
The implementation and promotion of the culture of saving has been “a successful experience throughout the world” according to Moradi, who said in light of Iran’s current economic situation, saving is the best and surest way of reviving the housing sector.
“The bank’s previous experience in the matter is telling of the fact that a significant number of Iranian households have managed to buy their homes with their own savings.”
Reiterating the point that the trend of opening new Housing Savings Accounts has been highly influenced by Bank Maskan’s 2% decrease in the mortgage scheme’s interest rates, the bank’s bank official said June 21 was the date the scheme experienced the “strongest surge in the number of applicants.”