New houses
Mortgages for new houses will only be exempt from the new rules for a limited period. Credit: Leif R Jansson / TT

Government agrees with opposition on new mortgage rules

1:31 min

The government and the centre-right parties in the opposition have agreed on new mortgage rules, that will force new mortgage borrowers in Sweden to pay off part of their loan. Mortgages for new houses will be exempt from the requirement - but only temporarily.

There have been legal criticism against a rule that would force new mortgage borrowers to start paying off their loan, but the government has decided to continue to push for it.

Now the government has made a deal with the opposition, according to the business daily Dagens Industri.

The four centre-right Alliance parties were the ones who had demanded that mortgages for newly produced houses would be exempt from the new rules. But after criticism from several major building companies and the Swedish banking association, the Alliance has now agreed to make the exception temporary, and limit it to five years, Dagens Industri reports

The new rules will apply to loans for more than 50 percent of the value of the property, where the borrowers will have to pay off one percent of the loan per year. For those exceeding 70 percent, the requirement will be higher: two percent per year.

The Swedish Financial Inspectorate already tried to introduce similar measures in 2014, but had to back down on 2015 after courts ruled it had no legal grounds for changing the rules.

According to Dagens Industri, the parliament's financial committee is expected to vote in favour of the proposal on Thursday, and the bill will be passed in parliament in time before the planned implementation on June the 1st.

The previous attempt to introduce such a requirement for new mortgage borrowers caused a prize hike on the housing market, as people wanted to take out a mortgage before the new rules began to apply. That is however not expected this time around, as it was clear the new rules would come sooner or later, and most banks are already demanding that their clients start paying off their mortgage.

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