Many banks have been trying to boost lending to customers, focusing on those who have a demand for accommodation, in the context of their abundant capital, the English language news website dtinews reported.

Three years ago, Thu Phuong in Dong Da district, Hanoi, had to abandon her plan to buy an old apartment which has an usable area of 50 square metres, while the area written on the Red Book, house ownership certificate, is just 25 square metres.

As a result, banks turned her down for a mortgage as the apartment area was too small compared to the minimum area of 40 square metres regulated by banks.

Many banks requested customers to use their Red Book for the apartment that they bought as a mortgage to get a loan. It means that customers had to get loans from different sources to buy the apartment, and then, after that the Red Book of the apartment is used as a mortgage for receiving loans from banks.

Now, however, customers are warmly welcomed by banks who promise to support them in procedures to get loans quickly although their apartments of just 25 square metres.

A staff member from an transaction office of Vietcombank said customers who are allowed to take out loans for 60% of the total value of an apartment they want to buy.

The loan payment time can last 10-15 years and customers with the annual interest rate of 11.3% and they also can pay the debt before schedule without extra fees. Particularly, customers will enjoy the preferential interest rate of 8% for the first half of the first year.

Sacombank has also offered the annual interest rate of 12% for customers who get loans for buying a house. For the first three months, they will also receive the preferential interest rate of 9%.

An official from a commercial joint stock bank said since the State Bank of Vietnam removed restrictions on non-production loans in 2012, many banks have boosted lending for housing. However, high interest rates and high housing prices have still caused difficulties for lending. After two years of changes, both housing prices and interest rates have become more reasonable.

Meanwhile, many banks have capital available, so they need to boost lending. For a country with young population, housing demand in Vietnam is still very high. Most of people have got loans for buying homes. Interest rates are expected to further drop by 1%-2% this year, offering more favourable conditions for customers to buy houses.-VNA