Banks are caught in a vice. First of all, they benefit from good news. In accordance with the Central Bank’s decisions, their deposits have not been taxed since July 27 and are theoretically entitled to lend at higher rates. Enough to raise their margin a bit.
However, they will not take advantage of this to raise mortgage rates. They fluctuate between 1.8% and 2.2% in July for 20-year loans and are not expected to move for the following month, warns Sandrine Allonier, spokesperson for the short Vousfinancer: “There should be a status quo in August for lack of personal, but also for the impossibility of processing the files “.
Real estate credit: will 2022 sign the end of the soft loan?
The rate of wear, a structural problem
The biggest obstacle faced by banks (and customers) is structural and concerns the usury rate. This cap rate beyond which institutions cannot lend is still too low and makes their margins … negative. It is currently set at 2.57% for loans starting at 20 years. “When a rate of 2% is obtained, the insurance, the costs of the practices and the guarantee quickly overcome the usury,” warns Maël Bernier, spokesperson for the Meilleurtaux broker. “Above 1.8%, it becomes very difficult to stay below the wear rate”, Sandrine Allonier abounds.
“Refinancing banks now costs a lot more. They are unable to integrate this increase into their rate due to usury,” explains Caroline Arnould, director of development for the Cafpi broker. Raising interest on credit would be really counterproductive. for banks. They have already significantly increased their rates since the beginning of the year and pushing the envelope further would make all dossiers unfundable. On the contrary, they are reluctant to grant rate cuts as they could not increase their margin sufficiently during the period of interest rate increases on French debt, a situation that forced them to go “stand by”, according to credit intermediaries.
“We are witnessing a gradual freezing of real estate loans on the ground, confirms Olivier Landrevie, president of Cafpi. Since the beginning of the month, it is 1 in 2 files that are experiencing difficulties due to the wear rate! (…) Many banking networks have openly sidelined rather than lending at a loss ”.
The number of loans is decreasing
Unable to increase the profitability of their mortgages, the banks then turn off the tap and potential borrowers have to pay the piper. “It’s a bit of a disaster, warns a broker. The banks suspend their business and tell us to come back in September. Most have revised their credit production target downwards ”. Some have already stopped part of the production of their credit with intermediaries, but also directly in their branches, such as Société Générale, Crédit du Nord or BNP.
Consequence: year on year, between April and June, the number of loans granted decreased by 9%, specifies the Housing Credit Observatory. However, the landscape is not completely black. Loans outstanding in March stood at 6.8% according to the latest data from the Banque de France. Borrowers are getting scarce, but loan amounts are rising to cope with rising property prices.
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