UAE backtracks on mortgage caps

23 January 2013

Central bank governor says mortgage caps planned in six to nine months

Plans to cap how much can be borrowed to finance mortgages will not be implemented until later this year and not until after banks have been consulted, according to Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi, governor of the Central Bank of the UAE.

Speaking to Al-Ittihad, a local newspaper, Al-Suweidi, said that a notice sent to banks at the end of December had intended to “draw their attention to certain standards that are expected to be adopted”, as part of a review of how banks finance mortgages as the regulator seeks to avoid a repeat of the real estate market crash of 2009.

Banks have been trying to lobby the central bank to water-down the plans to cap mortgages at 50 per cent for expatriates and 70 per cent for nationals since the notice was sent out in late 2012.

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