[SEOUL] Mortgage loans owed by South Korean households rose 10.2 per cent by the end of December over a year earlier, marking the fastest growth since records began in late 2008, central bank data showed on Thursday.
Mortgage loans at households rose to 460.60 trillion won (US$419.5 billion) by the end of December from 418.12 trillion won a year before and gained 3.5 per cent from 445.16 trillion won three months earlier, the Bank of Korea data showed.
The quarterly growth was also the fastest on record. Robust growth in mortgage loans underscores a recovering property market but at the same time adds to concerns about the risks from heavy household debt to Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Overall household credit - borrowings from financial institutions and purchases on credit - grew 6.6 per cent to 1,088.98 trillion won by the end of December from 1,021.36 trillion won the year before, the data showed.
Annual growth in household credit was the same as the rate at the end of September, which was the highest growth since the first quarter of 2012.