NHB raises capital limit for new HFCs

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 4 2011, 02:19am hrs
The National Housing Bank (NHB), which acts as a regulator for housing finance companies (HFC), has raised its capital requirement for the new entrants in the segment from R2 crore to R10 crore.

NHB chairman and managing director R V Verma said the step was necessary to keep check on the new entrants.

We want genuine companies with strong capital base to venture into the business. We may also raise the level of capital requirement in the existing companies and will give them time to fufil the requirement, he said.

He further said there has been a slowdown in the growth of housing loan uptake due to higher interest rates and rising property prices.

Traditionally, growth in housing finance loans was witnessed at 25% each year for four consecutive years before the slowdown began.

In FY11, the demand grew by about 16%to R62,000 crore which points out the slowdown, he said. Even in FY10 when the recovery process began, the growth was about 19%, he said, explaining that rising interest rates coupled with the jump in property prices have dented loan demand.

During the four years prior to the 2008 crisis, housing loan portfolio for housing finance companies grew 25 %.

In 2009-10, it grew 19% and in 2010-11 it grew 16-17%. With inventory pile-up of housing units, Verma cautioned that demand would go down further if rates continue to be hiked. NHB has raised its prime lending rates to 10.5% from 10.25%three months back and has no plans to further hike rates, he said.

The company has disbursed nearly R12,000 crore as of now, Verma said.

When aked if NHB plans to sell its stake in Mahindra Rural Housing Finance, Verma said there is no such plan presently and the company will stick to the investment. The NHB has a 12.5 % stake in Mahindra group company, Mahindra Rural Housing Finance (Mahindra Home Finance).