The impact of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework is being felt, with less than 10 percent of existing borrowers having a TDSR of more than 60 percent, reported The Business Times, citing statistics from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
In fact, the prevalence of highly leveraged borrowers has declined for new housing loans, said the MAS.
“Almost all new housing loans are below the 60 percent TDSR threshold, with a significant proportion of new borrowers having TDSRs of less than 40 percent.”
Moreover, borrowers are now taking out fewer mortgages. Borrowers with more than one loan accounted for 20 percent of all new housing loans in Q3 2015, down from the 30 percent seen in 2011.
With this, the MAS is encouraging households to prepay their home loans in order to avoid monthly repayments and higher interest costs.
Banks also noticed that households have improved the risk profile of their home loans by paring down their mortgages.
Tok Geok Peng, DBS Bank’s Executive Director of Secured Lending, believes that the property cooling measures have helped homeowners to downsize their loan commitment via debt consolidation, capital repayment and other means.
Sherry Leong, Head of Secured Finance Solutions at Citibank Singapore, added: “We do not foresee any impact to (borrowers) with respect to the transition period, which should be sufficient for them to make any changes to their refinancing arrangement if required.”
The MAS revealed that the purpose of the three-year transition period is to encourage highly leveraged borrowers to “right-size their loans as early as possible”.
In February 2014, the central bank introduced a concession which broadened the exemption of the TDSR to include homeowners who breached the 60 percent limit but were hoping to refinance the loan on the property that they live in.
As for investment homes, the MAS allows a grace period until 30 June 2017 for refinancing, should the borrower agree to pay down a portion (usually at least three percent) of the outstanding loan.