S Korean financial firms report record-high home loan growth in 2009

15:37, January 06, 2010      

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South Korean financial firms' reported a record-high growth in home-backed loans in 2009 on the back of favorable borrowing costs, local media reported Wednesday.

The mortgage loans that local financial institutions extended posted 351.2 trillion won (308.1 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of December, up 43.4 trillion won from the previous year, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported, citing data compiled by the Financial Supervisory Service.

The figure marked the largest full-year growth in history, according to Yonhap.

The data came as South Korea's central bank has kept its key interest rate frozen at a record low of 2 percent for 10 straight months, triggering a boost in demand for mortgage lending in expectation of gains in housing prices.

The hike in home prices, as well as home-backed loans, was eased in the fourth quarter as the financial regulator tightened regulations on such loans in July and September.

Source: Xinhua
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