Mortgage lending down 26.9 pct in January-February

Mortgage lending fell by 26.9 percent in the first two months of 2019 to 24.5 billion crowns, according to Czech National Bank figures.

Market analysts attribute the drop to front-loading in the second half of 2018 in anticipation of stricter lending guidelines and higher interest rates.

The average mortgage rate in the Czech Republic has been steadily climbing since reaching a record low of 1.8 percent in December 2016. It stood at 3.0 percent in January.

Meanwhile, consumer bank and credit-union borrowing rose by 7.1 percent in February, to 1.66 trillion crowns.

Author: Brian Kenety