Housing finance remains flat

Updated January 16, 2019

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The number of borrowers also slightly increased to 62,399 by 1QY19 end versus 62,062 in at the close of previous quarter. ─ File photo
The number of borrowers also slightly increased to 62,399 by 1QY19 end versus 62,062 in at the close of previous quarter. ─ File photo

KARACHI: The outstanding housing finance inched up 1.8 per cent to Rs89.79 billion in the first quarter of 2018-19, from Rs88.18bn in same period last year.

Latest data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) show that despite government’s willingness to boost housing projects on large scale, both the financing for housing and number of borrowers only showed modest growth in July-Sept FY19.

The number of borrowers also slightly increased to 62,399 by 1QY19 end versus 62,062 in at the close of previous quarter. The government had promised to build five million low-cost houses across the country in its manifesto and soon after forming the government, launched a Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.

Housing is an acute problem in country with current estimates suggesting a shortage of 10m units. According to a previous study by the SBP on low-cost housing, the annual demand for new homes is approximately increasing by 0.7 million a year while only about half that demand is currently being met.

It added that financing for housing was just 0.5pc of GDP. One of the key constraints hampering the supply of housing units is the unavailability of financing, the central bank believes.

The latest report shows the non-performing loans (NPLs) of the housing sector stood at 12.74pc by the end of September 2018, recording no change since June 2018.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019