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Housing sector gets leg-up as RBI to lower minimum risk weight

Banks will be able to free more funds to lend for affordable housing as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday proposed to lower the minimum risk weight on housing loans from the current 50 per cent.

“With a view to improve affordability of low-cost housing for economically weaker sections and low income groups and giving a fillip to Housing for All, while being cognizant of prudential concerns, it is proposed to reduce the risk weights applicable to lower value but well collateralised individual housing loans,” the RBI said.

The minimum risk weight applicable on individual housing loans is 50 per cent, at present. “Detailed guidelines in this regard are being issued separately,” the RBI said in its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement.

“The RBI’s proposal to reduce the minimum risk weightage on individual housing loans for low-cost homes will also help revive sales,” said Property consultant CBRE South Asia Chairman and MD Anshuman Magazine.

JLL india Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said for the affordable housing sector, the outlook is nevertheless bright, since the RBI governor has made provisions for lending to this sector to become less stringent and broader in scope. Lowering of minimum risk weight means that banks will have to set aside less capital for affordable housing loans leading to availability of more funds for the segment. Meanwhile, real estate developers have hailed the RBI’s decision to cut key lending rate by 0.5 per cent.