South Korea January mortgage loan growth hits four-month low

SEOUL: South Korean banks' mortgage lending to households in January posted the smallest monthly gain in four months due to a fall in new home supplies and sluggish winter property trade, central bank data showed on Feb 10.

Household mortgage loans rose by 605.3 billion won (RM1.8 billion) in January from the previous month to 265.7 trillion won, the smallest gain since September last year, and compared to a two trillion won gain in December 2009, the sluggish of Korea said in a statement.

Overall lending to households fell one trillion won in January from the prior month to 407.6 trillion won after rising 500 billion won in December as many people paid back cash advances with year-end bonuses, the Bank of Korea said.

The data, which did not include loans by non-bank financial companies, came a day before the central bank looks certain to keep interest rates on hold. -- Reuters