Iran’s housing savings account scheme losing credibility

Financial Tribune – Loans granted under HSA initiative currently cover as little as 20% of the average price of homes in Tehran and this has driven up full withdrawal rates to 13% in the current year (March 2018-19)

T he Housing Savings Account scheme, the mortgage loan program of the government-owned Bank Maskan, once acted as a stimulus for the housing sector, but not anymore.

The HSA initiative was launched more than three years ago in June 2015. Its target applicants are mostly first-time prospective homebuyers from middle-class backgrounds and people living in old urban areas. It was aimed at increasing home ownership among youth population.

The scheme requires applicants to make an initial deposit (400 million rials or $3,508) and wait out the one-year maturity period for credits with a ceiling of 800 million rials ($7,017), plus the depositor’s down payment, in the capital Tehran.