banks less inclined to lend

When Sylvie, a 59-year-old entrepreneur, took out a bridging loan to buy an apartment in Besançon a few weeks ago, she was calm. “My company is not new, the house I’m selling is worth much more than the amount I borrow, I have a contribution, I’m in good health. I thought it would be easy! »

It wasn’t. If she finally managed to get a loan, she didn’t expect to be turned down. As for Tifenn, 35, she fears that the purchase she is considering, a house near Saint-Etienne, will not be successful. She had signed a loan in July – with difficulty since only one bank had made an offer – but due to an administrative delay related to her acquisition, she may have to reapply in mid-December: “And the broker says I won’t fold this time. Liberal podiatrist, my profile is considered not stable enough. »

Finding a mortgage is rarely easy, but things have gotten more difficult recently. “Are we still lending? Yes. Is access to credit as easy as it was a few months ago? Most likely not”summarizes Guy Poyen, marketing director of Crédit Agricole Ile-de-France.

Based on data from the Banque de France, banks lent, in new home loans, 8.5% less in the third quarter of 2022 than in the third quarter of 2021 (excluding renegotiations). “Since the beginning of summer we have been witnessing a normalisation, certainly not a collapse”reassured Marie-Laure Barut-Etherington, Deputy Director General of the institution’s Department of Statistics and Studies, at a press conference in early November.

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However, the Housing Credit Observatory/CSA publishes much higher data: it estimates the drop at… 27% over the period. The very different calculation methodologies and perimeters of these statistics make it difficult to measure precisely the extent of the phenomenon. Be that as it may, no one disputes the downward trend, linked, according to many players, to both the reduction in credit demand and supply.

Usury rate and profitability

On this front, it is above all at the end of spring that the situation has begun to harden, “when some banks began to lend in trickles, or to lend almost exclusively to their customers”, says Pierre Chapon, co-founder of the Pretto broker. However, these were essentially networks that did not necessarily weigh heavily on the credit market, in particular “Credit du Nord, HSBC, Société Générale or, to a lesser extent, BNP Paribas, while mutualists, the largest lenders, have generally kept their business”list another intermediary.

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