Laying Bricks

State housing finance giant HDFC plans to start offering pawning services to allow customers to take out housing loans.
Loans linked to its pawning schemes will be priced at 15 percent, significantly lower than the market average of 18 percent.rn

rn”Customers will be only allowed to use the funds for housing loans and not for private consumption,” says HDFC Bank CEO, S A Sarathchandra.rn

rnThe shift to pawning comes after the Housing Development & Finance Corp (HDFC) got regulatory approval to operate as a specialised housing bank from September.rn

rnA banking licence also allows HDFC to guarantee large housing projects and give wholesale loans to property developers.rn

rn”We were earlier constrained by our Act to offer project loans only to half finished projects. But now we can offer loans from the conception stage upwards,” he said.rn

rnHDFC Bank has disbursed over Rs. 1.4 bn worth of housing loans todate to over 20,000 applicants. Sarathchandra says the appetite for low cost housing is so