Banks

Mortgage rates rose in March

Some loan applicants are already penalized. The average credit rate over 20 years required by the partner banks of Empruntis fell from 1.1% in February to 1.3% in March, reveals a document sent on Wednesday March 30 to Family Folder through the brokerage network.

The average credit rate over 25 years rose from 1.25% to 1.4%, while the rate on loans over 15 years, whose shorter duration entails a lower cost, rose from 0.95% to 1.15%, according to Empruntis. “It’s a clear and distinct increase”tells us Cécile Roquelaure, director of network studies.

“In March, most banks increased their scales” note from Family Folder Sandrine Allonier, spokesperson for the Vousfinancer brokerage network. “One bank even increased its rates by 0.57 point, it had to lower it by 0.1 point thereafter. » says Sandrine Allonier.

Another Vousfinancer partner lender has slightly increased its rates by linking this trend to “the end of inflation, financial market volatility and the Ukrainian conflict”.

Banks are trying “in order not to lose market share”but, in order to preserve their margins, pass on the increase in their own costs.

“Rates had been rising quietly since January, up to 0.5 or 1 point. For two or three weeks, the progression has been stronger, it represents 0.15 or 0.2 points”explain to Family Folder Maël Bernier, spokesperson for the brokerage network Meilleurtaux.com.

Increase in the cost of government borrowing

Inflation, the gradual change in the policies pursued by the European Central Bank (ECB) and by the American Federal Reserve (FED) or even the rebound in the yield of assimilated treasury bonds (OAT) over 10 years, securities issued by the State to finance its debt on the financial markets, explain the evolution of borrowing rates. The 10-year OAT rate is a benchmark for setting rates.

According to Sandrine Allonier, the 10-year OAT rate has passed the 1% threshold “for the first time since April 2017”. The magazine Challenges asserts that this level had not been reached “since February 2018”. The OAT rate had even temporarily fallen below the 0% threshold: buyers were losing money by paying for their own investments, using French public debt as a safe.

Will the increase in mortgage rates continue? “If the rise continues at this rate, rates should reach 1.5% or 1.6% in May-June”predicts Maël Bernier, spokesperson for the brokerage network Meilleurtaux.com.

“The crystal ball is a difficult exercise. It is not impossible that the rates reach 1.5% at summer time, but it is not certain. The banks themselves do not know what rates they will ask for next month, as the factors are so many, such as the cost of their refinancing or the announcements of the ECB”recalls the director of studies Cécile Roquelaure. The rates applied to the second semester will depend on ” achievement of objectives “ the first, considered strategic by the banks. Establishments that have not met their mortgage loan objectives may choose to stabilize their rates or reduce them, dragging other establishments in their wake.

The director of studies at Empruntis observes “a desire to get out of low rates” and an increasingly fine-tuned adaptation of banks to their environment. “Some of our partners have told us they want to change their rates from once to twice a month or even once a week”reports Cécile Roquelaure.

Decrease in borrowing capacity

Loan applicants must review their real estate acquisition project. “We are forced to call back people for whom we had done a simulation a month ago. For some, borrowing capacity having declined, different assets should be targeted. For other candidates, with such an increase, the debt ratio [différence entre le coût mensuel du crédit et les revenus] risks being overwhelmed and their case may be rejected”deplores Sandrine Allonier.

The increase in the cost of credit is accompanied by a virtual stagnation of usury rates, above which the banks cannot go. The wear rates of “loans with a duration between 10 years and less than 20 years” increase from 2.4% between January and March to 2.43% in the second quarter, indicates a notice from Bercy of March 28, published the next day in the Official newspaper. For loans with a duration equal to or greater than 20 years, the wear rates fall from 2.41% to 2.4%.

Conventional files exceed the rate of wear, taking into account the guarantees, the file fees and the cost of the borrower’s insurance “observes Sandrine Allonier. “To avoid a refusal, candidates are forced to take out insurance whose guarantees are weak. If they use a broker, the latter can grant a discount on his fees”continues the spokesperson for Vousfinancer. The usury rates are intended to protect borrowers against excessive demands from banks.

“Banks will be stuck with usury rates”anticipates Cécile Roquelaure. Lenders are likely to adjust their rates to avoid losing potential customers.

A limitation of the debt ratio to 35% for 20% of loans

Since January 1, 2022, banks must comply with new obligations, which until then represented simple recommendations.

The High Council for Financial Stability (HCSF) has imposed a 35% limit on the debt ratio or a 25-year cap on the duration of loans. For loans financing the acquisition of a property giving rise to major work, the term can go up to 27 years. Institutions have the right not to apply these rules to 20% of loans marketed each quarter.

“Banks no longer have a choice regarding these criteria, they use matrices [outils mathématiques] to track exceptions. The gray area of ​​debt ratios between 35% and 39% will increase”believes Mael Bernier. According to the spokesperson for Meilleurtaux.com, “Not a day goes by without a network franchisee or a bank not taking a file”. Sometimes, the absence of contribution of 7,000 or 8,000 € can lead to the rejection of a file.

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