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Mortgage loans are for rich people: Kazakhstan's central bank governor

25 december 2013, 18:18
0
©Marat Abilov
©Marat Abilov
Kairat Kelimbetov, Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, believes that only rich people should obtain mortgage loans, while as all the rest should resort to renting cheap public housing with an option to purchase it over time, Tengrinews reports citing Kazakhstan’s National Bank Governor Kairat Kelimbetov as saying.

"The interest rate (on mortgage loans) is fairly high (in Kazakhstan) and probably that is the it should be, because this segment of financial services is for well-off population, for those people who have high salaries or can be called rich. They are the ones who should obtain the loans because they are financially solvent. Only 5-10% of the Kazakhstan's resident can afford to purchase a housing using a mortgage loan," Kairat Kelimbetov said.

The average interest rate on a mortgage loan makes 16-17% including all the additional payments and commission fees.

"A housing obtained via a mortgage loan is not the same as 'affordable housing'," he added. "Affordable housing is the a rented public housing with an option to subsequently purchase it from the government. Housing construction savings is also an way to acquire housing. Social housing for public employees of the corporate sector and national companies is one more option," he said.

Cheap public apartment buildings for rent to the population with an option of subsequent purchase of the apartments from the government are currently build in Astana, Almaty, Shymkent and Karaganda cities in the frames of the Affordable Housing 2020 state-run program.

The program enables families to move in into government-owned apartments and start making the payments. After all the payments are made the family become full owner of the housing. Experts insist that this option is much cheaper than a mortgage loan. Initially the rental price was expected to to make 1000 tenge ($6.5) per a square meter of the apartment floor, with the total floor area of the apartments ranging from 35 to 75 square meters. However the rental price also depends on the cost of the building's construction, its class, location city and seismic activities in the area.

The average sales price of such rental housing at the initial stage of the program will reportedly make $780 per 1 square meter for the cheapest apartments (of the 4th class of comfort) in Astana and Almaty.

"There is not a single country in the world where every residents would own his or her own housing. Even in the developed countries, owning real estate is considered an indicator of well-being. You know that millions of people in the United States were dispossessed of their housing for failing to repay their mortgage loans," Kelimbetov said.

According to him, 155 billion tenge ($1billion) worth mortgage loans were issued in Kazakhstan as of November 1, 2103.

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