Korean bank mortgage rates hit their highest level in more than 7 years in November amid rising borrowing costs, central bank data showed on Thursday,

Bank mortgage rates averaged 3.51% in November, up 0.25 percentage points from the previous month, according to data from the Bank of Korea (BOK)

This is the highest since July 2014, when the corresponding rate was 3.54%.

The rate on unsecured loans from banks also rose 0.54 percentage points to 5.16% last month, the highest level since September 2014, when it was 5.29%.

The average interest rate on loans to households thus rose to 3.61% in November against 3.46% the previous month, the highest since 3.61% in December 2018.

Lending rates have increased recently, in line with the government’s desire to curb the rapid growth in household debt and a central bank rate hike aimed at controlling inflation.

At the end of November, the BOK raised its key rate by 0.25 percentage point to 1%, three months after announcing a rate hike of a quarter of a percentage point in August.

The average bank deposit rate, meanwhile, stood at 1.57% in November, up 0.28 percentage points from the previous month, the BOK said.

The gap between loans and deposits by Korean lenders, a measure of the profitability of banks’ lending, stood at 1.66 percentage points last month, below the 1.78 percentage point in October.
Yonhap