Real estate lending posted double-digit growth last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed, with commercial developments accounting for the bulk of loans approved by universal and commercial banks.
At P1.800 trillion as of end-December 2017, real estate loans were up 16.2 percent from a year earlier and accounted for 20.6 percent of the big banks’ loan portfolios, which excludes interbank loan receivables.
This was slightly higher than the 20-percent cap set by the BSP.
Over 75 percent or P1.03 trillion of the real estate loans was extended to land developers, construction companies and other commercial borrowers. The remaining P338.21 billion consisted of residential loans.
Alvin Ang, economist at Ateneo de Manila University, told The Manila Times that banks’ real estate lending was “likely going to go higher particularly in newly built areas around the country.”
In September last year, the central bank announced that banks would have to report even more details about their property financing activities under new rules approved by the policy-making Monetary Board.