Only 12 of the respondents said the number of loan applications has increased, a trend that emerged after a year marked by significant corrections in home and land price.

“The primary catalyst in the mild recovery of lending is the First Home scheme. The main factors that reduced the demand have been the uncertainties in the real estate industry, borrowers’ expectations regarding the financial conditions, unemployment rate in the following 12 months and the tight loan standards”, NBR survey found.

However, banks have softened credit standards in the third quarter for mortgage loans, and will continue to do so in the coming period.

Banks expect home prices to decline further

Three quarters of the banks that participated in the survey, said home prices fell in the third quarter, and are expected to drop in the final part of the year.

“Home prices and the downward trend that persisted over the past 12 months confirm banks Q3 forecast”, NBR said in the report.

Banks have tightened their lending standards for consumer credits, for which the demand has declined slightly. Banks have raised the minimum credit score requirements in the third quarter, and will remain tight in the following three months, while contractual terms in loan agreements haven’t changed dramatically in Jul-Sep period.