Home loans boost Singapore bank lending in December: MAS data

Loans through the domestic banking unit climbed 0.3 per cent to $678.72 billion in December.
Loans through the domestic banking unit climbed 0.3 per cent to $678.72 billion in December.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore's bank lending rose for the second straight month in December on continued growth in housing loans, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Friday (Jan 29).

Loans through the domestic banking unit - which captures lending in all currencies, but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending - climbed 0.3 per cent to $678.72 billion in December, compared with $676.67 billion in November.

Consumer loans were up 0.5 per cent month on month to $259.62 billion in December, mainly driven by a steady uptick in housing loans for the fourth straight month to $201.36 billion. This comes on the back of rising private home prices in Singapore.

Recent data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that prices of new private homes rose 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the previous three months, marking their steepest quarterly increase in over two years.

For the whole of 2020, the price index was up 2.2 per cent, slightly slower than the 2.7 per cent increase in 2019.

Loans to businesses also rose in December, up 0.2 per cent month on month to $419.12 billion.

Year on year, total bank lending in December declined 2 per cent.