'Shadow' homes could burden US housing agencies, report says

'Shadow' homes could burden US housing agencies, report says

Well over a million US homeowners are months behind on payments on government-backed mortgages, raising the risk federal housing agencies will face the cost of managing a fresh flood of foreclosed homes, two government watchdogs say.

Wednesday, 5 June, 2013, 4:40am

Mortgage foreclosures surge in Northern Ireland

The Ardoyne area in Belfast is becoming more and more popular as the Northern Ireland economy strikes hard times. Photo: Wikipedia

Belfast retail worker Chantal McCarthy never thought she would have to find a new home at the age of 57, but her husband lost his job as a builder three years ago and their finances have since spiralled downward.

5 Jun 2013 - 4:40am 1 comment

BOCHK lowers rate for mortgages

BOCHK lowers rate for mortgages

Bank of China (Hong Kong), the city's biggest mortgage lender, has cut mortgage rates for some clients in an attempt to arrest the plunge in loan volume. Its lowest rate is the Hong Kong interbank offered rate plus 1.9 percentage points.

29 May 2013 - 2:51am

US housing supply suffers with homeowners lacking equity to sell and buy elsewhere

Las Vegas is one the major metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest negative equity rates. Photo: Getty Images

Forty-four per cent of homeowners with mortgages owed more than their properties are worth or had less than 20 per cent equity in the first quarter, the Seattle-based real estate data company said in a report.

29 May 2013 - 3:21am

Prospect of property slump adds to risk

Prospect of property slump adds to risk

Rising property values have increased our equity in our Hong Kong home. We are thinking of increasing our current home mortgage to buy a property in Britain or Canada. We are in our mid-50s and plan to repay the loan from the sale of our Wan Chai investment flat when we retire at 65. This flat is mortgaged to about 70 per cent of its value. What do you think?

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm

Limits on Philippines property loans may be tightened further

Amando Tetangco, Philippines Central Bank governor. Photo: Bloomberg

The Philippines has cut borrowing costs, banned foreign funds from special deposit accounts and eased rules for outflows, striving to manage an investment influx lured by economic growth exceeding 6 per cent and improved credit ratings.

8 May 2013 - 2:33am

Hitachi Capital lures homebuyers with offer of 95 per cent loans

Hitachi sees a gap in the market.

Money lender Hitachi Capital (HK) is teaming up with mortgage broker mReferral to offer home loans of up to 95 per cent of the price of a flat, with the loan capped at HK$5 million.

The move comes after the Hong Kong Mortgage Corp's decision in February to tighten eligibility for payment protection insurance on home loans.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:56am

HKMA measures put Hong Kong in good stead to weather property plunge

Loan-to-value ratios are healthier than in the past. Photo: Bloomberg

With the Hong Kong economy heavily skewed towards property investment, the suggestion to increase rates would provide a substantial source of recurrent revenue for the government, unlike stamp duty and land sales, which can fluctuate greatly.

17 Apr 2013 - 5:31am

H7N9 bird flu not behind slowing Shanghai home sales, agents say

Shanghai buyers are worried about tighter mortgages. Photo: Reuters

Home sales in Shanghai have been hit by policy measures aimed at curbing demand, not by fears of another widespread outbreak of a new strain of bird flu, property consultants said.

10 Apr 2013 - 5:47am

'Modest' upward trend in UK house prices predicted

George Osborne. Photo: Reuters

Prices rose 0.2 per cent from the previous month to an average £163,943 (HK$1.95 million), the mortgage unit of Lloyds Banking Group said. From a year earlier, values were up 0.3 per cent.

10 Apr 2013 - 5:47am

Britain's Help to Buy homes plan a mixed blessing for Hong Kong

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Photo: AFP

As part of his latest budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne introduced Help to Buy, a combination of shared-equity loans for buyers and mortgage guarantees for lenders. The plan is open to first-time buyers and home movers, but not Hong Kong investors or other second-home buyers, although they will be indirectly affected.

27 Mar 2013 - 5:44am

UK home prices rise most in three years

Flats at the Riverside Quarter development in the Wandsworth district of London, where prices are on the up. Photo: Bloomberg

The Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) has helped ease credit conditions, while plans announced by the government last week to assist homebuyers will also support the market, Hometrack said.

27 Mar 2013 - 6:06am

Big banks worry as mortgage interest rate gaps opens with smaller lenders

The divide between lending rates at big and small banks means smaller operators can get more of a shrinking mortgage pie. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hong Kong's big banks are anxious to see smaller peers follow the rises in mortgage interest rates the largest operators announced earlier this month, after a gap opened up that could let smaller lenders poach business.

25 Mar 2013 - 5:38am

'Modest default risk' in property price slump

The ability of home-buyers to repay would be stable even if property prices dropped, given the low interest rates. Photo: AFP

The recent spate of rises in mortgage lending rates would improve banks' profit margins but they also reflected higher risks for the home-loan business, said Fitch's head of Hong Kong financial institutions Sabine Bauer. But the ability of homebuyers to repay would be stable even if property prices dropped, given the low interest rates.

22 Mar 2013 - 4:19am

Bank on it - doomsday not so nigh

Higher interest rates do raise risks for the city's property market but it's a long way from the end of the world.

I can paint the doom scenario as well as anyone can. Here we have a red-hot residential property market with prices propelled to record heights by four years of extraordinarily low interest rates. What will happen if interest rates now start to rise?

21 Mar 2013 - 5:20am 9 comments