‘300% rise in housing loan NPA in Gujarat in 5 years’

Though bankers point out that the quantum of NPAs in the housing sector is well below one per cent mark in Gujarat, they say most of the defaults happen in cases where a home buyer has lost a job.

There has been over 300 per cent jump in housing loans turning NPAs (Non-Performing Assets) in Gujarat in the last five years since 2015, according to a State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) report. Bad loans in the housing sector skyrocketed to Rs 615 crore at the end of March 2019 from Rs 146 crore in 2015.

Though bankers point out that the quantum of NPAs in the housing sector is well below one per cent mark in Gujarat, they say most of the defaults happen in cases where a home buyer has lost a job.

Data sourced from the SLBC report show that housing loans that stood at a mere Rs 146 crore in 2015 and formed just 0.55 per cent of the total outstanding amount of Rs 26,708 crore, have steadily risen to Rs 374 crore in 2017. By the end of March 2019, the NPAs rose to Rs 615 crore and accounted for 0.93 per cent of the total Rs 66,424 crore loans disbursed in the state.

“The NPAs in the housing sector is well in control. In the last few years, we have come across cases where people have lost jobs or have shifted jobs and found it difficult to pay their home loans. But overall, the housing sector is robust,” said a senior official from Bank of Baroda, which is a convenor of SLBC in Gujarat.

According to Reserve Bank of India, loans to individuals up to Rs 35 lakh in metro cities and up to 25 lakh for other centres are considered as priority sector for housing units that cost Rs 45 lakh and Rs 30 lakh respectively.

Pravin Bavadiya, Chairman of City Estate Management — a leading real-estate brokerage firm in the city — say in the last few years there has been a spike in the number of mortgaged houses.

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