Prague - Czech banks are gradually tightening their mortgage approval policies. Loans worth 100 percent of the property purchase value are very hard to find.
Raiffeisenbank, which until recently offered mortgages with no down payment, earlier this week restricted the maximum size of new housing loans to 75 percent of the purchase value. For land buyers the ceiling is 50 percent, as it is for lenders who do not wish to disclose their income.
"The reason behind these changes is not that the bank is experiencing any difficulties, but the current market developments," the bank wrote in a statement addressed to its external advisers.
The Raiffeisenbank is not the only Czech bank to take such measures. GE Money Bank has recently announced it would provide mortgages worth a maximum of 80 percent of the property value.
According to Raiffeisenbank, some other Czech banks have also restricted the size of their mortgages without publicly admitting it.
Naděžda Ptáčková, business manager at Skanska Reality, spoke about tighter mortgage restrictions at a press conference last week. "Our clients are starting to find it seriously difficult to obtain a mortgage that would fully cover the price of the flat they are buying," she said.
Analysts point out that, by decreasing the maximum size of mortgages, banks are tying to protect themselves from an expected decline in Czech real estate prices.