March 11, 2020 / 3:02 AM / 18 days ago

S.Korea Feb bank lending to households grows at record pace

SEOUL, March 11 (Reuters) - South Korea’s bank lending to households in February surged by the biggest monthly amount on record, led by mortgage borrowing as housing sales jumped ahead of regulations to control rising property prices late last year, central bank data showed on Wednesday.

Bank lending to households rose by a net 9.3 trillion won ($7.81 billion) during February, the biggest monthly gain since data compilation began in 2004 and far more than a 3.7 trillion won rise the previous month.

Mortgage lending grew by a net 7.8 trillion won last month, the biggest rise since a net 8.0 trillion won in April 2015 and compared with a 4.3 trillion won gain in January, Bank of Korea data showed.

In December 2019, the country announced new housing regulations, including tighter mortgage rules, with President Moon Jae-in declaring a war against the property market by pledging to deploy “endless” measures to curb surging home prices.

“Mortgage demand for the housing transactions, which increased significantly prior to the announcement of the Dec. 16 measures, seems to have been reflected in the February bank lending data,” the BOK said, adding that it sees the growth of bank lending slowing from March.

$1 = 1,190.2500 won Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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