50-year mortgage won't affect public housing

50-year mortgage won't affect public housing

The government said yesterday that a novel 50-year mortgage is unlikely to be popular and will not have significant impact on the public housing market.

The 50-year housing loans will cost the borrowers more, besides imposing a longer-term financial. Since the United Overseas Bank (UOB) launched its 50-year mortgage last month - the longest loan in the market - the government has criticised the product, and warned borrowers not to fall for it and overextend themselves.

MND said: "While some borrowers may be attracted by the lower monthly instalments, we do not expect 50-year housing loans to be popular."

It added: "Their impact on the public housing market is unlikely to be significant."

HDB does not offer 50-year loans as they are not necessary and BTO (build to order) flats are priced to be affordable, well within one working lifetime, said MND.

The maximum loan tenure for HDB housing loans is 30 years, with an age ceiling of 65. In practice, the average loan tenure taken up is lower, at 24 years. At this loan tenure, the monthly housing loan instalment constitutes about a quarter of the monthly household income, and can be mostly paid for using CPF contributions with zero or minimum cash outlay, said MND.

CIMB head of research Kenneth Ng said the product is a marketing gimmick by banks to gain some loan volume in an environment where loan growth is diminishing. "Mortgage is one of the lowest loss history products and it is no wonder banks want to hold on to their loan share.

Source: Business Times – 14 August 2012