Czech banks extended CZK 149.3bn ( EUR 5.4bn ) in mortgage loans to households in 2013, up by 23% from a year earlier helped by record-low interest rates and stable real estate prices, the local development ministry said. The full-year figure hit a new record high beating the previous record level reached in 2007 when household mortgage lending totalled CZK 142.3bn. The number of extended mortgage credits increased by an annual 26% to 92,600 last year. The growth was mainly supported by refinancing loans that accounted for roughly a third of all mortgage credits. Including mortgage loans to companies and municipalities, the market grew by 21% y/y to CZK 176.6bn in 2013. A total of 94,400 credits were given to individuals, companies and municipalities, up by 26% from 2012. According to the Fincentrum Hypoindex indicator, the average interest rate on mortgages in the country had been constantly falling since August 2012 before it reached a historic low of 2.95% in June 201. In the following couple of months it had been hovering around 3%. In December it edged down to 3.06% from 3.09% in November.
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