Housing loans down in May for 5th straight month: MAS data

Housing loans declined for the fifth straight month in May as last July's cooling measures continued to work their way through the property market.

Mortgages and bridging loans came in at $202.54 billion, 0.1 per cent down on April and 0.3 per cent lower than May last year, according to preliminary Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) data yesterday.

Demand has slumped since the cooling measures were put in place last July and there may be no respite soon, as MAS managing director Ravi Menon said on Thursday that the curbs will not be lifted in the near future.

With housing lending down, it was no surprise that total consumer borrowing also declined, falling 0.3 per cent from April to $263.83 billion last month. Only two of the segments that make up consumer loans - credit card and share financing to professional and private individuals - were higher.

Apart from mortgages, which comprise about 75 per cent of total consumer loans, car lending and borrowing by professional and private individuals also retreated last month.

Auto loans were marginally lower at $8.95 billion, compared with $8.96 billion in April.

But total loans hit $681.8 billion - up 0.8 per cent on April and 2.1 per cent ahead of May last year, thanks to more business lending.

Demand has slumped since the cooling measures were put in place last July and there may be no respite soon, as MAS managing director Ravi Menon said on Thursday that the curbs will not be lifted in the near future.

Business loans were up 1.5 per cent on April to $417.97 billion, thanks to a 3.2 per cent rise in manufacturing lending and a 4 per cent jump in general commerce borrowing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2019, with the headline 'Housing loans down in May for 5th straight month: MAS data'. Print Edition | Subscribe