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Number of mortgages given by Bulgarian banks increases in January 2010

Housing loans

altThe total volume of mortgage loans given by Bulgarian banks increased in January 2010 as more deals were struck in small towns, according to estimates by credit consultants Credit Centre.

The trend is fuelled by sliding interest rates, with cuts reaching 0.5 per cent.

The average mortgage in January 2010 was 34 668 euro.

The highest average was in Sofia, more than 45 000 euro, and the second-highest was in Varna, 34 820 euro.

Young families accounted for more than 45 per cent of all borrowers.

Meanwhile, non-banking financial institutions in Bulgaria are seeing their portfolios shrink deeper for a fourth quarter in a row, to 1.8 billion leva in the three months up to December 2009, according to central Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) data.

This is a decline of 1.1 billion leva, or 37.6 per cent, on an annual basis.

As the end of 2009, small consumer loans accounted for 2.7 per cent of Bulgaria’s GDP. The figure a year earlier was 4.2 per cent.

In the final three months of 2009, financing provided by non-banking financial institutions decreased by 442.3 million leva, about 20.1 per cent.

The drop in loans took its toll on companies’ assets, which fell 12.9 per cent to 2.6 billion leva in the past 12 months.

On a quarterly basis, assets decreased by 17.2 million leva, or 7.2 per cent.

At the end of 2008, assets surged by 34.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

BNB's figures confirmed observations by market representatives that the sharp increase in defaults is calming down. On an annual basis, the volume rose by 14.8 per cent against a formidable 175.7 per cent at the end of 2008.


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