Crédit immobilier : les autorités maintiennent les règles, jugeant qu’elles ne sont pas la cause des difficultés

Le ministre de l’économie, Bruno Le Maire, le 20 septembre 2023.

Ils ont estimé qu’un assouplissement ne résoudrait pas les difficultés du marché. Le Haut Conseil de stabilité financière (HCSF), qui réunit entre autres le ministre de l’économie et le gouverneur de la Banque de France, a décidé mardi 26 septembre de maintenir les règles d’octroi du crédit immobilier.

Today, banks have the ability to deviate from the current criteria for some of the loans they grant, but they are far from fully utilizing this leeway. This leads the HCSF to state in a press release that institutions « therefore have room to further increase their credit offerings » while still adhering to the current rules.

To combat over-indebtedness, banks are not allowed to lend money if the monthly payments exceed 35% of income, or for a duration longer than twenty-five years. However, they can make exceptions to these criteria in 20% of cases, provided that it primarily concerns primary residences and targets first-time homebuyers in nearly one-third of cases.

The HCSF notes that banks only deviate from the rules for 13.8% of cases, and that exceptions for non-primary residence purchases, which can only account for 6% of total loans granted, only make up 2.4%.

Decrease in the number of transactions

According to a source close to the organization, the prevailing sentiment today is that the decline in activity in the real estate sector is primarily due to the fact that « the market is adjusting to the new interest rate conditions, » which have increased from an average of 1.06% in December 2021 to 3.63% in August 2023, rather than the establishment and revision of the rules in effect since 2019.

For months, banks, brokers, and players in the real estate sector have been openly or indirectly opposing these regulations, as the number of transactions declines. They point fingers at the Bank of France and its governor, François Villeroy de Galhau, who is one of the main advocates for maintaining the rules.

Several presidents of parliamentary committees, as well as the general rapporteur of the budget Jean-René Cazeneuve, have recently increased pressure by pleading, in a letter addressed to Bercy, to loosen the constraints. According to deputy Sacha Houlié (Renaissance), interviewed on Sunday on Franceinfo, Bruno Le Maire had said « to study this hypothesis ».

Le Monde avec AFP

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