The government plans to relax the criteria for granting mortgages

Would the criteria set in 2022 by the High Council for Financial Stability (HCSF) for obtaining credit no longer be adapted to the current situation? Faced with soaring credit rates and an insufficient landing in prices, which does not necessarily rhyme with a drastic drop, household purchasing power is at half mast. These conditions were established in order to limit the risks of over-indebtedness of borrowers but today they would block access to credit for many households.

The government would therefore consider relaxing the criteria for granting credit, according to The echoes. To do this, it will assess the relevance of the HCSF criteria set in 2022, such as the maximum debt ratio of 35% of income and the loan period limited to 25 years (27 years in the case of a property under construction). construction or purchase in the old with major renovations). “Regarding the standard HCSFthe Minister is very attentive to feedback from the field and therefore wishes to ensure that this standard, which aims to achieve financial stability by avoiding excessive indebtedness, does not become an obstacle to access to credit and therefore to property, from households that are nevertheless solvent“says Bercy to Echoes.

Assessment work is carried out with the Banque de France and the HCSF to verify whether these criteria are exceeded or still valid. Indeed, brokers have been sounding the alarm for several months and are asking for a revision of these conditions. “The requirements of the HCSF make sense in substance, but in form, they cannot apply uniformly to all types of borrowers, whether in terms of debt ratio or duration.“, assures Cécile Roquelaure, spokesperson for the real estate broker Empruntis, at Figaro.

A longer lifespan

Among the brakes that result in the exclusion of first-time buyers, the maximum authorized borrowing period of 25 years. “Even if we can understand the desire to limit the duration of borrowing to protect consumers, the lifespan is getting longer. A loan is on average kept for 8 to 10 years, this means that the extension of the duration ultimately has few disadvantages, but above all has the advantage of reducing the weight of the monthly payment, which is very important for first-time buyers. mainly first-time buyers, especially in times of inflation and tight budgets“, continues Cécile Roquelaure.

Then, the 35% rate of indebtedness would also pose a problem according to the brokers. “The obligation to calculate the debt ratio for all borrowers in a uniform way mechanically reduces the number of potential investors“, assures the spokesperson of Empruntis. It would penalize all categories of the population, but above all investors. Before these criteria established by the HCSF were fixed, they benefited from a right to a method of calculating the particular debt ratio: “The difference between rent to be collected and credit to finance the property entered into the calculation of the debt ratio. This method mechanically lowered the debt ratio“, compares Cécile Roquelaure. The vast majority of investors also have a loan for their main residence, which explains this specific method of calculation. “By imposing the same type of calculation on all profiles, we penalize investors, a real problem in a context where there is a great need for housing in France“, she concludes.

The government has already put in place some measures such as the monthly payment of the usury rate (maximum rate at which banks can lend) temporarily, between February 1 and July 1. It goes to 4.24% for mortgages of 20 years and over in April, against 4% in March and thus takes into account the rise in credit rates. Will Bercy go so far as to relax the other criteria? The decision will be taken in agreement with the Governor of the Banque de France, once this analysis work has been completed. The next HCSF is scheduled for June.

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