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Despite high interest rates, housing loans increase by 15%

Despite the Reserve Bank's rate hike binge since May of last year, housing loans outstanding increased 15% year over year to a record Rs 19.36 lakh crore at the end of March, according to data from the central bank released on Friday.

At the end of March 2022, there were 16.84 lakh crore in outstanding housing loans, up 12.9% from the previous year. In March 2021, there were Rs 14.92 lakh crore in outstanding loans for housing (including housing in the priority sector).

Since May 2022, the Reserve Bank has increased the benchmark rate by 250 basis points, firming the interest rates on all loans, including those for buying residential properties.

According to information provided by the central bank on “Sectoral Deployment of Bank Credit – March 2023,” personal loans had an increase of 20.6% (year over year) in March 2023, compared to 12.6% a year earlier, mostly due to “housing loans.”

Consumer durables, housing, advances against fixed deposits, unpaid credit card balances, school loans, and auto loans are all included in the personal loans section.

The statistics also showed that, from 7.5% in March 2022 to 5.7% in March 2023, lending to industry saw increase.

In terms of size, loans to significant industries increased by 3% from only a year earlier. Medium-sized businesses' credit growth was 19.6% compared to 54.4%. In March 2023, credit to micro and small businesses increased by 12.3% as opposed to 20.0.

According to the RBI, loans for agricultural and related businesses increased from 9.9% to 15.4% (year over year) in March 2023.

For March 2023, information on the sectoral use of bank credit is gathered from 40 carefully chosen scheduled commercial banks, which together account for around 93% of the entire amount of non-food credit used by all banks.

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