Housing loans shrink for 12th straight month in December

Sat, Feb 01, 2020


HOUSING loans in Singapore shrank for the 12th straight month in December, leading to a fall in total consumer loans, preliminary Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) data showed on Friday.

On a month-to-month basis, housing loans, which account for three-quarters of consumer lending, dipped 0.1 per cent to S$200.7 billion in December. Year on year, they were down about 1.7 per cent.

Consequently, total consumer loans in December edged down 0.1 per cent to S$262.8 billion from the month before. Year on year, they registered a 1.3 per cent decline.

Overall bank lending in Singapore was flat in December from the month before, amid a continued decline in housing loans and sluggish demand for business loans, MAS data showed.

Loans through the domestic banking unit - which captures lending in all currencies, but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending - stood at S$692.4 billion in December, up a tad from the month before. But year on year, total loans were up about 3.1 per cent.

Growth in business loans flattened in December from the preceding month, coming in at S$429.6 billion.

Loans to the manufacturing and business services sectors were down 3.1 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively in December.

Loans to the transport, storage and communication sector also dipped 0.4 per cent, reversing a 1 per cent growth in November.

However, some segments held up. Loans to the building and construction sector, for example, rose 0.5 per cent, while loans to general commerce grew 0.7 per cent. From the year before, total business lending in December climbed 5.9 per cent.