NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: A 25 basis point rise in key interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday is likely to further lower home sales across the country, some builders and bankers said in the midst of increase in bank rates. Customers will now have to reconsider the size and locations of houses they wish to purchase and many buyers are expected to put off their purchases altogether till home prices come down and rates stabilise. This is certainly bad news for existing home loan consumers as banks will certainly increase home loan rates.
Purchasing capacity had already gone down visibly during the last tranche of interest rate hikes, and we will see a further reduction in buyer interest. Owing to the last 10 rate hikes by RBI, EMIs for housing loans have risen 25 percent to INR980 per INR 1 lakh of borrowing, and consequently loan eligibility for homebuyers has declined by 20percent. Anil Kothuri, head of retail lending business at Edelweiss Group says, “Housing finance companies have no wriggle room available.” For new home loan seekers, this will be big warning, not just because of the rate hike but also because of the frequency of the rate hike by RBI. “The person who is looking to purchase a home has the option, of buying or not buying. Existing home loan customers are stuck. However, of the opinion of Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director of HDFC, is that this quarter percentage hike will not impact housing demand and loan off-take.