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S.Korea's bank mortgage loan growth hits 13-month high on higher home price
Last Updated: 2018-09-12 16:45 | Xinhua
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South Korea's bank mortgage loan growth hit a 13-month high last month amid higher home prices, central bank data showed Wednesday.

Debts owed by households to banks expanded 5.9 trillion won (5.2 billion U.S. dollars) in August, faster than a 4.8 trillion-won (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) increase in the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Among the total, home-backed loans by households advanced 3.4 trillion won (3 billion U.S. dollars) in the month, posting the biggest increase since July last year.

The fast increase in mortgage loans came as speculative demand for real estate escalated amid rising expectations for the government not to get tougher on measures to control speculative investment in the property market.

Such expectations encouraged speculative investors to get back to the real estate market, raising home prices.

The number of apartment transaction in the capital Seoul was 7,000 in August, up from 6,000 in the prior month.

Other bank credit loan, excluding mortgage loan, gained 2.5 trillion won (2.2 billion U.S. dollars) last month.

Household debts continued to grow amid the near-record-low borrowing costs. The BOK refrained from altering its policy rate since the bank raised it to the current level of 1.50 percent in November last year from an all-time low of 1.25 percent.

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