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Romanians' appetite for lending returns, interest rates fall, housing becomes more expensive 

The volume of mortgage loans in RON granted by banks doubled in the last three months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, and exceeded RON 10 billion, according to the latest data published by the National Bank of Romania, quoted in a press release by Imobiliare.ro Finance.

"The lending market is coming back strongly after an extremely difficult period marked by uncertainty and high financing costs. More and more Romanians are now looking to take out a loan and are increasingly interested in working with a credit broker to obtain the most advantageous financing conditions," says the source.

At the same time, 187,500 properties were transacted nationwide, up 3% from 2022, data from the National Agency of Cadastre and Real Estate Publicity, cited in the same release, show.

Of the total, 49,700 were apartments, a segment where an advance of about 9% can be observed compared to the end of the previous year.

For the whole of last year, there was a 31% increase in the volume of mortgage loans in RON, up to RON 31 billion. In the case of consumer loans, the advance was 13% in this period, up to about RON 28.7 billion.

Specialists of the credit brokerage division of the real estate company estimate reductions in variable interest rates starting with the middle of this year, provided that the forecast decline in inflation will further reduce the existing pressure on interest rates.

On the other hand, they forecast an increase in the price of housing in 2024, amid the increase in the reduced VAT rate from 5% to 9% for housing up to EUR 120,000, the alarming decline in the supply of available properties on the residential market, but also a potential increase in demand amid the reduction in interest rates.