how could Bercy unlock your access to a loan?

Should we ease up on the 35% maximum debt rate? Or allow banks to borrow more easily outside the constraints of the High Financial Stability Council? Since the announcement of a probable new relaxation, brokers are in the starting blocks.

What are these famous binding rules?

The situation changed on January 1, 2022. What was until then only a professional standard became a binding standard, enshrined in law. More precisely, the regulations require banks to comply with the standards established by the High Council for Financial Stability (HCSF), a body chaired by the Minister of the Economy, to grant a real estate loan.

These constraints can be summarized in three key measures:

  • A effort rate of real estate loan borrowersthat is to say the total amount of expenses linked to housing in relation to income, of 35% maximum;
  • a debt duration (or credit maturity to quote the HCSF) 25 years old or lesswith a possible extension of 27 years in certain cases (such as work prior to moving in);
  • there possibility of waiving these criteria for 20% of creditshowever with almost a third of these exceptional files reserved for those buying for the first time and more than three quarters reserved for main residences.

In June 2023, faced with insistent demands from the banking profession and credit brokers, the High Financial Stability Council has adjusted this 20% exemption. No real upheaval, however: the completely free share in these files without constraints increases from 4% to 6% of the total, as explained in this graph.

Evolution of HCSF rules

Real estate credit: what changed for borrowers in January 2022

What are the avenues mentioned?

The president of the Assembly’s Law Commission, Sacha Houli, announced this Sunday, September 24 on Franceinfo that Bercy has agreed to study the hypothesis of a relaxation of the conditions of access to credit: i.e. the rate of 35% , or open exemptions.

More precisely, what relaxation is possible? Sacha Houli returns the ball to the HCSF but slips: What I no longer want to see is people who come to see me in the office, who tell me: “I have the means to borrow but my bank does not follow me not”. (…) This must no longer happen and review these rules even if it means revisiting them when the situation improves.

What measures are credit brokers hoping for?

Caroline Arnould, general director of Cafpi: Let’s hope that the HCSF’s responses will be more impactful than those provided last June. (…) We need to think about the rest of our lives rather than just the debt rate. Furthermore, the realistic consideration (differential calculation) of rental income as was previously done would also be welcome! Only in this way can we hope to bring the real estate market out of its sluggishness.

Brangre Dubus, general secretary of the Union of Real Estate Credit Intermediaries (UIC): Increasing the possibilities for exemptions has no meaning or effect. No one creates rules to widely deviate from them! The UIC demands to consider settled loans as a contribution, to authorize the compensation of rental income and to allow durations greater than 25 years for those under 30 years old.

Sophie Ho Thong, Legal and Legal Relations Director of Finance Consulting: We must return to common sense and relax the granting criteria so as to let credit institutions analyze the rest of life according to the level of income, the geographic sector, the energy consumption of the property, the cost of using the property. housing (teleworking), any renovation work that may be carried out and the cost of commuting.

When will the relaxation be decided?

Probably this Tuesday, September 26, when the next HCSF meeting will be held. This High Council brings together in particular the governor of the Bank of France, the president of the Financial Markets Authority, personalities from the economic world and therefore the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, who chairs this HCSF.

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