As Recession Takes Hold, HK Banks Worry About Risk of Easier Mortgage Rules

Even as Hong Kong has reduced down-payment requirements to help young professionals and families to buy homes, banks are beefing up mortgage application standards to ensure that a recession does not saddle them with bad loans, bankers and mortgage brokers said, Reuters reported. Last month, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, struggling to restore confidence in her administration after five months of civil unrest, approved rules allowing first-time homebuyers to borrow as much as 90% of a HK$8 million ($1 million) home’s cost. Earlier, such a high ratio was only permitted on properties worth half as much. The move increased sales of used homes. Read more