This month is shaping up to set an all-time high for a February for new mortgages, at over NIS 4 billion, according to industry sources. The figure is noteworthy given that February is a short month.
The February 2013 figure is over 30% higher than the NIS 3 billion in new mortgages granted in February 2012 and NIS 3.2 billion granted in February 2010, the previous record for the month. If the current pace of new mortgages continues, 2013 could set an all-time high for new mortgages.
Yesterday, Supervisor of Banks David Zaken announced a new directive to limit mortgages, ordering the banks to increase their provisions for mortgages because of what the Bank of Israel sees as rising credit risk in the real estate market. Despite the extensive media coverage of the directive, and reports that it will increase the cost of mortgages, the banks say that there has been no unusual increase in inquiries from customers, in contrast to the public's response to the previous Bank of Israel directive.
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